100 people overdosed on K2 in one CT park

25 people overdose at Connecticut park officials say

First responders found numerous people who appeared to have overdosed on the New Haven Green on Wednesday, with 25 of those overdoses occurring within a three-hour span in the morning and some four to six at a time, officials said.

Authorities suspect synthetic cannabinoids, known as K2, were laced with other substances in the New Haven cases, ABC reported. No deaths were reported but two people are seriously ill, authorities said.

Police Chief Anthony Campbell said Friday that 53-year-old John Parker was charged with drug crimes after being caught with 32 bags of K2.

No deaths were reported, and most of those brought to local hospitals have been discharged.

Police said late Wednesday that they arrested one man on an unrelated warrant and viewed him as a "person of interest" in connection with the drugs the victims were using.

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. The city also saw more than a dozen synthetic marijuana overdoses in late January.

"We literally had people running around the Green providing treatment", New Haven's emergency operations director, Rick Fontana, said, according to the TV station.

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Officials were testing the blood of the victims to see exactly what they ingested. One victim did not respond to Naloxone, the drug used to treat overdoses, when they were injected at the scene and is "very sick", Fontana said in a press release.

The overdoses came as a dire new report from the Centers for Disease Control on Wednesday showed that drug overdoses killed around 72,000 people in the U.S.in 2017, a record-breaking rise of about 10 percent.

Kenneth Driffin, who works with addicts and the homeless in New Haven, said he is planning a public forum on K2 and hoped to convince officials to attend.

PEOPLE has contacted the New Haven Police Department for comment. "And after about the sixth one", Alston said.

Vomiting and hallucinating drug users dropped like flies throughout the day as emergency crews raced to the New Haven Green to save lives. In May, more than 50 people in Brooklyn, New York, overdosed on K2, none fatally.

"Today, we're joining together to send a strong warning to anyone who may use synthetic marijuana products that these products can be especially unsafe as a result of the seemingly deliberate use of brodifacoum in these illegal products", the officials said.

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.

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