Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
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Mass Overdose Leaves Connecticut Park Strewn with Dozens of Drugged-Out Victims

Mass Overdose Leaves Connecticut Park Strewn with Dozens of Drugged-Out Victims

In all, more than 40 individuals had overdosed.

Fire Department first responders were handling so many calls that they were experiencing "compassionate-care fatigue" and had to be rotated off the engine companies, said New Haven Fire Chief John Alston.

The Green, which attracts homeless people and drug users throughout the year, as The New York Post reported, is located in downtown New Haven to the south and west of the Ivy League Yale University.

Most were treated at local hospitals, though at least five refused to be transported. No deaths were reported in either outbreak.

A police officer speaks to a man walking on New Haven Green, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, in New Haven, Conn.

CBS News reported the victims, covering a range of ages, experienced "a multitude of signs and symptoms ranging from vomiting, hallucinating, high blood pressure, shallow breathing, semi-conscious and unconscious states", said Rick Fontana, director of the city's Office of Emergency Operations.

Police and fire officials said the K2 was potentially laced with some type of opioid. Fontana said a widely used anti-opioid-overdose drug given to some victims at the park did not seem to be effective, but the same drug did help some patients recover when given in higher doses at hospitals.

Police have arrested a man who they say may have passed out free samples of synthetic marijuana. But some overdosed again, including one person who was treated for three separate overdoses. It's a potent, synthetic drug, that induces a marijuana-like effect. Several people have died because of complications.

There have been mixed reports regarding the possibility that the drugs may have been laced with an opioid.

According to Fox News and WTNH News 8, the number of overdoses had risen to more than 70 by Wednesday evening.

A new report estimated a record 72,000 Americans died a year ago from drug overdoses, a rise of around 10 percent, the Centres for Disease Control said on Wednesday.

"We hope this is coming to an end, but it's too early to tell". "Emergency responders rushed to one victim as officials were giving a news conference nearby late Wednesday morning". "We're pretty beat up". The problem is widespread and considered by the Department of Health and Human Services a national public health emergency.

Synthetic cannabinoids can be smoked or vaporized in e-cigarettes, and range in price from mildly affordable to cheap.

Police are still waiting for toxicology results, but believe the victims had been using synthetic marijuana - also known as K2.

"It's a synthetic, a man-made product so you never know what they're putting in it", said Asst.

More than a dozen people overdosed on synthetic marijuana at the same park July 4.

"It is upsetting", Campbell, the police chief, told a WVIT reporter. "It's sad when you know statistically this is something that is happening to our entire nation, but when you see it first hand right where you live and where you work, it's a bad thing".

Mayor Toni Harp said plans were being finalized for President Trump's drug czar nominee, Jim Carroll, to visit New Haven on Monday.

"One of our fears is that this isn't over", Hartman said.

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