Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Overdose total hits 76 in Connecticut park near Yale

No fatalities have been reported, but at least one patient was "very sick" earlier, Rick Fontana, the city's director of the Office of Emergency Operations, said in a statement.

"We've heard from people on the green that it potentially included PCP".

Officials said most of the overdoses happened on the New Haven Green throughout the day on Wednesday.

"The Police Department is aware of a high number of patients that were treated since last night, including as many as six now".

Police respond to the scene of multiple overdoses at a Connecticut-area park on Wed., Aug. 15, 2018.

Harp said that on Wednesday, "New Haven was on the front lines of a coast-to-coast struggle to combat the public health menace of illicit distribution and use of what appear to be tainted street drugs ..."

"Any physical evidence and gathered intelligence, including patient testimony is considered when trying to track down and arrest those who deal illegal drugs in our city".

Many patients were treated by EMS and some were taken to local hospitals, while others refused to be transported, officials said.

Most of the overdoses occurred on the New Haven Green, a downtown park adjacent to Yale.

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A number of people were also found in semi-conscious and unconscious states.

Dr Kathryn Hawk, an Emergency Department physician at Yale New Haven Hospital, said the drug was laced with fentanyl, but police have yet to confirm this.

In New Haven, Fire Chief John Alston Jr told reporters the opiate problem is a far-reaching one.

"Do not come down to the Green and purchase this K2", New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell told WVIT-TV.

Officials were testing the blood of the victims to see exactly what they ingested. "Let's address it that way", Alston said.

First responders scrambled all day Wednesday to handle almost 80 overdoses caused by what officials believe to be synthetic marijuana, which is commonly called K2.

Emergency responders were forced to cut a press conference short in the morning to rush to the aide of one victim who fell ill nearby.

A look at the scene of multiple overdoses in the area of a CT park on Wed., Aug. 15, 2018. The city also saw more than a dozen synthetic marijuana overdoses in late January.

In a warning last month signed by top federal officials, the Food and Drug Administration said synthetic marijuana has become particularly risky because some producers have been adding brodifacoum - a long-acting anticoagulant thought to extend the drug-induced "high".

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