A man has been arrested in the U.S. after more than 40 people overdosed in a CT park on a drug suspected of being laced with an opioid, police say.
The majority of people overdosed on suspected synthetic marijuana at the CT city park and another two people nearby fell ill with similar symptoms around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, officials said.
No deaths were reported, but authorities said two people showed life-threatening symptoms.
Police said they arrested a man believed to be connected to at least some of the overdoses.
Fontana said 72 people were brought to hospitals and four refused to be treated or transported to hospitals.
Dr. Kathryn Hawk, an emergency physician at Yale New Haven Hospital, told the New Haven Register on Wednesday that the Drug Enforcement Administration had "confirmed the presence of fentanyl in some of the overdose cases".
"I just don't understand why you would keep purchasing this stuff that's laced, your life is at risk, not a smart thing to do", said Ahisamac Rodriguez, of New Haven.
'It is taking people out very quickly, people having respiratory failure.
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"Today 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", said New Haven Mayor Toni Harp in a statement.
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.
Three arrests have been made in the case, Hartman said, but officials can not say for certain if all three arrested or just one of them are directly responsible for the overdoses.
News 12 is told that there were at least 20 more overdoses on Thursday.
Fontana added that a commonly used anti-opioid-overdose drug did not seem to help when given in the park, although benefits were seen when it was given in a higher dose in the hospital.
More than 70 people fell ill from suspected drug overdoses on the green and were taken to local hospitals. No deaths were reported in either outbreak. The city also saw more than a dozen synthetic marijuana overdoses in late January.
The overdoses were concentrated on the New Haven Green but because it's now dark the incident is beginning to branch out to different parts of the city, where more people are being found, police said. Alston said many contend with mental health issues, making the drug abuse a medical issue in addition to a legal one.
EMTs administered Naloxone, an antidote for narcotic overdoses, to some victims but it didn't appear to be effective.