Mental health professionals responded to calls to the New Haven Green,
Police and emergency services swarmed Connecticut park near Yale University following reports of a ‘killer batch’ of synthetic marijuana causing more than 70 overdoses and sending people to hospital.
Social workers along with mental health professionals responded to calls to the New Haven Green, where many people overdosed on Wednesday.
The chaotic scene showed people ‘dropping like flies’ unconscious, while other vomited and some becoming extremely lethargic.
According to officials, 76 people overdosed with a further 17 falling ill on Thursday.
Officials also suspect the overdoses involved the same batch of ‘K2’ synthetic marijuana.
According to the DM: Synthetic marijuana, called ‘spice’ and other names, usually is plant material sprayed with chemicals or other substances that is sold in small, colorful packets.
It has been blamed for other mass overdoses across the country. In May, more than 50 people in Brooklyn, New York, overdosed on K2, none fatally.
Some of the New Haven victims tested positive for the powerful opioid fentanyl, also blamed for overdoses, but authorities believe this week’s overdoses were caused solely by synthetic marijuana.
Police Chief Anthony Campbell said one of three people arrested in connection with the overdoses apparently gave K2 away for free in an effort to get people hooked.
The names of the suspects haven’t been released.
Campbell said New Haven provides an array of services to people addicted to drugs, many of whom come from other towns where such treatment programs aren’t available.
‘New Haven is a place where we really are trying to help people,’ Campbell said. ‘Someone … with malice in their heart took advantage of that, took advantage of this vulnerable population.
‘But that will not stop this city from reaching its hand out to those who are in need and treating them and providing those services.’
The 16-acre Green, which the National Park Service says dates back to 1638 and is one of the oldest in New England, is a focal point of downtown New Haven.