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Mass Overdose Near Yale University Leaves Over 70 Sick

18 August 2018

A man has been arrested in the USA after more than 40 people overdosed in a CT park on a drug suspected of being laced with an opioid, police say.

A drug dealer has been arrested after 76 people overdosed in the space of 24 hours in CT, as national figures showed drug-related deaths had hit a record high.

New Haven first responders were called to a similar overdose outbreak on the Green on 4 July, when more than a dozen people were sick from synthetic cannabis. So far, no deaths have been reported, although some had life-threatening symptoms. In May, for example, 25 people were hospitalized in one area of Brooklyn, New York, after having negative reactions to what was believed to be K2, police said.

Police Chief Anthony Campbell said one of three people arrested in connection with the overdoses apparently gave K2 away for free in an effort to get people hooked.

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

Synthetic cannabinoids are often laced with other drugs, such as opioids, officials said. Their names have not been released and the investigation is ongoing, police said.

'Today's emergency is deeply troubling and illustrative of the very real and serious threat that illicit street drugs pose to health of individuals, ' the Democratic governor said. Though they did say not all of those calls were overdoses.

Mass Overdose Near Yale University Leaves Over 70 Sick
Mass Overdose Near Yale University Leaves Over 70 Sick

"People are self-medicating for several different reasons and every agency - police, fire, medical, hospitals - all are strained at this time", Chief Alston said.

By late Wednesday afternoon, Harp had increased police presence on the green, and directed that the New Haven Fire Department and AMR ambulance maintain an around-the clock incident-command center there.

WVIT reports that the man arrested "is believed connected to at least some of the overdoses" and "had drugs on him at the time of his arrest, [but] has yet to be charged in any of the overdose cases".

EMTs administered Naloxone, an antidote for narcotic overdoses, to some victims but it didn't appear to be effective.

Proponents of legalizing the substance cite studies that link marijuana usage with less harm compared to alcohol, and point to the difficulty of overdosing on the drug through normal usage.

Paramedics sprinted from patient to patient in a park overlooked by Yale University buildings as users began to show symptoms including vomiting, hallucination and unconsciousness.

Authorities found more than two dozen people suffering from apparent overdoses at the New Haven Green in New Haven, Connecticut, Aug. 15, 2018. The state Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services have been assisting New Haven officials throughout the day. Most of those overdoses also happened at the New Haven green, the wire service said. Other victims reported paying for the drugs.

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Mass Overdose Near Yale University Leaves Over 70 Sick