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18 August 2018, 06:44 | Melissa Porter
Police work to stop overdoses after 76 fall ill in Connecticut
The city of New Haven, Connecticut, has been struggling with a string of synthetic marijuana overdoses, and now police think they've arrested some of the people responsible.
He says one of the victims still had some of the drug, which was sent off to a lab for testing.
Synthetic marijuana, called "spice" and other names, usually is plant material sprayed with chemicals or other substances that is sold in small, colorful packets.
As of mid-Friday morning there had no reports of new K2 overdoses, Chief Campbell said at Friday morning's news conference.
Three people were treated since midnight, according to New Haven Emergency Operations Director Rick Fontana, while a WVIT-TV crew saw emergency teams treating two people on New Haven Green on Thursday morning, including one person taken away on a stretcher. Since it exploded on the scene starting in 2015, the drug has been blamed for mass overdoses across the country.
No deaths were reported, and officials said most people recovered quickly.
A doctor at one hospital says some patients tested positive for the powerful opioid fentanyl, but it appears most of the overdoses were caused by a potent batch of straight "K2" synthetic marijuana.
Chief Anthony Campbell, with the New Haven Police Department, states that while there were over 100 overdoses, many of them were the same people who overdosed 4-5 times.
Alston said some people were unconscious and in respiratory distress, and others were vomiting.
While New Haven is famed as home to Yale and its world-class hospitals, as well as two other universities, it is also the fourth poorest community in the wealthy state and has the state's highest crime rate.
As was the case on Wednesday, the synthetic drug K2 was suspected.
In May, for example, more than 50 people in Brooklyn overdosed on K2, none fatally, the Associated Press reports.
Campbell also said officers were executing search warrants Thursday in an effort to get all the bad drugs off the streets.
Fontana said the city's 911 center started receiving calls just after 8 a.m. about possible overdoses at the park. Toxicology tests remained pending.
In fact, some people overdosed and had to be transported as many as three times. Most of those overdoses also happened at the New Haven green, the wire service said.
Almost 80 people have collapsed in or near a park in the USA after suffering overdoses from a batch of synthetic marijuana.
"Today's emergency is deeply troubling and illustrative of the very real and serious threat that illicit street drugs pose to health of individuals", Malloy said, according to the Hartford Courant. No deaths were reported in either outbreak.
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