Overdose total hits 76 in Connecticut park

As many as 76 people overdosed on what's believed to have been synthetic marijuana at or near a CT city park as fellow parkgoers watched in horror.

More than 70 people have overdosed in or around a historic CT park near the Yale University campus after receiving what authorities believe was synthetic marijuana laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl. A city official said more than a dozen people fell ill from suspected drug overdoses on the green and were taken to local hospitals.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. The number of overdose victims linked to a suspected bad batch of synthetic marijuana has risen to 76 in New Haven, Connecticut, as officials try to determine exactly what sickened people. Chief Mark Vendetto, New Haven Fire Department.

Officials said three people have been arrested in connection with the overdoses, including a man who may have been giving out free samples of K2. While no deaths were reported, a local official says at least two of the overdose victims had "life-threatening symptoms".

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.

Connecticut Public Radio's Diane Orson reports that at least one person has been arrested in connection with the case. About five of his friends from the city's green overdosed on Wednesday.

"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.

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"It's a nationwide problem", Alston said of drug overdoses. "Some of the reactions of the patients in the emergency department would suggest that there was an opioid involved as well", Bogucki told reporters during a news conference Wednesday.

What do the police say?

"New Haven is a place where we really are trying to help people", Campbell said.

"The substance behind these overdoses is highly risky and must be avoided", Malloy said, adding that state public health officials had delivered 50 doses of Naloxone to New Haven to replenish the supply expended by first responders over the course of the 24-hour crisis.

Emergency responders found people of a variety of ages suffering from a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and lethargy.

A similar, but smaller overdose incident, played out on the Green on July 4, when more than a dozen people became sick from synthetic marijuana, according to the Associated Press. The additives boost the high, but can create a unsafe, sometimes deadly cocktail.

EMTs administered Naloxone, an antidote for narcotic overdoses, to some victims but it didn't appear to be effective. The city also saw multiple synthetic cannabis overdoses in late January.

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