At least 41 people have overdosed from suspected synthetic marijuana at or near a Connecticut city park, authorities said Wednesday. Most of the overdoses happened on the New Haven Green — a downtown park near Yale University — throughout the day Wednesday, according to officials.
The Office of Emergency Management in New Haven said it is still fielding calls and the number of victims could increase.
An official in the city said earlier there were a total of 25 overdoses over a three-hour span and that some overdoses were “in multiples of 4-6 at a time.” All of those overdoses were in the area of the New Haven Green, said Rick Fontana, the city’s director of emergency operations.
No deaths have been reported.
Fontana said the city’s 911 center started receiving calls just after 8 a.m. about possible overdoses at the park. Responding personnel found individuals suffering from “a multitude of signs and symptoms ranging from vomiting, hallucinating, high blood pressure, shallow breathing, semi-conscious and unconscious states,” he said in an email.
“Two individuals had life-threatening symptoms, and the others had non-life-threatening symptoms,” he said.
Fire Chief John Alston Jr. said Wednesday morning that victims apparently consumed, but investigators will await toxicology test results to confirm that. Synthetic marijuana is plant material sprayed with chemicals that can mimic the high from real marijuana.
Sandy Bogucki, EMS medical director in New Haven, said they heard from people on the green Wednesday morning that whatever was consumed “potentially” contained PCP and that some of the reactions of the patients in the emergency department suggest an opioid was involved.
Officials said the patients were “all different ages” and that anti-overdose drugs given to some victims did not work.
Police said they arrested a man believed to be connected to at least some of the overdoses. The suspect’s name wasn’t immediately released.
More than a dozen people overdosed on synthetic marijuana at the same park July