More than a dozen people overdose near Yale

Dozens Overdose In Connecticut Park On Tainted Synthetic Marijuana

Dozens Overdose In Connecticut Park On Tainted Synthetic Marijuana

New Haven first responders were called to a similar overdose outbreak on the Green on July 4, when more than a dozen people became sick from synthetic marijuana.

Most of the overdoses were on the New Haven Green, a historic downtown park near Yale University.

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.

"Throughout the day [Wednesday] it was extremely busy, we had six or seven people at the same time, kind of put a little bit of stress, not only on emergency services personnel, EMS personnel, but throughout the entire city", said Rick Fontana, New Haven Office of Emergency Operations.

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.

Emergency crews showed up and found some people passed out and unresponsive, while others were complaining of nausea or were vomiting.

By late Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Toni 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.

'It is taking people out very quickly, people having respiratory failure. They are still awaiting toxicology tests to confirm the exact substance.

First responders went through a lot of the life-saving anti-overdose drug Narcan. Lower doses administered at the scene had been ineffective. "However higher concentrations of it in the emergency room proved effective". He said there were a dozen overdoses in 40 minutes on the green on Wednesday morning.

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".

In October, Donald Trump labelled America's opioid epidemic a "public health emergency", giving officials extra powers to tackle the crisis. The city also saw multiple synthetic cannabis overdoses in late January.

Nationally, overdose deaths reached a record level of 72,000 in 2017, according to a recent federal report.

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