Arrest after 'mass overdose' in U.S. park

A 53-year-old man has been arrested in connection with more than 100 synthetic-marijuana overdoses, many of them in the same New Haven park, after authorities say they caught him with 32 bags of the drug, police said Friday. "Don't put your life in harm".

While the drug tested by the Drug Enforcement Administration was straight K2, some tested at Yale New Haven Hospital showed traces of fentanyl.

Some individuals were unconscious; others were vomiting or exhibiting other overdose symptoms.

People on and around the historic New Haven Green near Yale University began falling ill shortly after 8 a.m. Wednesday, and the overdoses continued into Thursday morning.

"We heard from people on the Green that it potentially contained PCP, and some of the reactions in the emergency room suggest there was an opioid involved as well", said EMS Medical Director Sandy Bogucki. He said at first, the drug Nalaxone - used to treat narcotic overdoses - appeared not to work, but later took effect when higher doses were administered.

A look at the scene of multiple overdoses in the area of a CT park on Wed., Aug. 15, 2018.

The synthetic cannabinoid K2 is often laced with other substances, CNN reports, adding that authorities believe an added opioid may have contributed to the New Haven overdoses.

The fire chief said one of the victims still had some of the marijuana, which was sent for for testing.

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A suspected drug dealer has been arrested after more than 70 people overdosed in the space of 24 hours in CT.

Doctors said some victims improved after being given the opioid overdose antidote drug naxolone, while others did not.

The latest incident in CT comes as new preliminary estimates on 2017 overdose deaths were released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials blamed K2 and said it can often be laced with risky or even lethal substances.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said Wednesday that the state Department of Public Health and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services were assisting New Haven with the rash of overdoses.

The AP notes, "New Haven first responders were called to a similar overdose outbreak on the Green on July 4, when more than a dozen people were sick from synthetic marijuana". They say no deaths have been reported so far, but at least six victims were near death.

"We're getting another call of a person", Alston said.

"The message has to be very clear to people that any time you are taking a synthetic drug, you have really no idea, as we've seen today, what you're taking and how that drug is going to affect you", Hartman told WTNH late Wednesday night.

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