NEW HAVEN, Conn. – People say 46 people overdosed Wednesday from a suspected bad batch of “K2” synthetic marijuana on or in the vicinity of a city park in Connecticut. No deaths were reported, but officials said that two people had life-threatening symptoms.
Most of the overdose deaths were on the New Haven Green, a popular historic town of park that borders part of the Yale University, and officials said they expected that the overdose total to increase. The police said that they arrested a man believed connected to at least some of the overdose.
“Don’t come down to the Green and the purchase of this K2,” New Haven police chief Anthony Campbell told WVIT-TV. “It is taking people out very quickly, people with respiratory problems. Put your life in danger.”
Ambulance and police were stationed at the park throughout the day as more people get sick. Some became unconscious and others surrendered, authorities said. Emergency services rushed to the victim as officials were giving a press conference in the neighborhood late Wednesday morning.
“We have literally had people walk around the Green providing treatment,” said Rick Fontana, the city’s emergency operations director.
Police did not immediately release the name of the man who was arrested, saying that they were waiting for the victims to identify him.
New Haven emergency services were called to a similar overdose outbreak on the Green on July 4, when more than a dozen people were sickened by synthetic marijuana. The city also saw more than a dozen synthetic marijuana overdose at the end of January. No deaths were reported in either outbreak.
Synthetic marijuana, which is generally plant material sprayed with chemicals that mimic the high of the real marijuana, was blamed for overdose deaths in the whole country.
Officials said that the blood from Wednesday the victims were tested to see what exactly they taken. Fontana said one of the widely used anti-opioid overdose medication given to a number of victims on the park do not seem to be effective, but the same drug helped some patients recover when given in higher doses in hospitals.