Overdose total hits 76 in Connecticut park near Yale

As many as 76 people overdosed on what's believed to have been synthetic marijuana at or near a CT city park as fellow parkgoers watched in horror.

New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell said the number includes 15 people who overdosed within 45 minutes of each other on Wednesday morning at the New Haven Green, a large city park.

At one point, officials estimate that four to six people were dropping from overdoses at the same time and 25 of the overdoses happened within a three-hour stretch.

The exact cause of the overdoses has not been confirmed, but officials suspect that synthetic cannabinoids, also called K2 or spice, are the culprit.

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.

No deaths were reported, but officials said two people suffered life-threatening symptoms.

Synthetic marijuana is plant material sprayed with chemicals that has been blamed for overdoses nationwide.

'It is taking people out very quickly, people having respiratory failure. "He's out cold", an unidentified bystander shouted, according to the New Haven Register.

Paramedics sprinted from patient to patient in a park overlooked by Yale University buildings as users began to show symptoms including vomiting, hallucination and unconsciousness.

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The man arrested on Wednesday is suspected of being connected to some of the drugs that caused the overdoses, NBC News Connecticut reported.

Nationally, overdose deaths reached a record level of 72,000 in 2017, according to a recent federal report.

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.

"Even while we were trying to return people to service, they were passing victims on the ground", Fire Chief John Alston told reporters. 'Narcan was not effective here at the scene, ' said Alston.

The alert also reminds people of the symptoms of overdoses: The person won't wake up; has blue lips or fingernails; has clammy, cool skin; shallow, slow breathing or is suffering from seizures, the EMS office said.

The victims ranged in age; however, many are part of the homeless population in the city, police said.

A look at the scene of multiple overdoses in the area of a CT park on Wed., Aug. 15, 2018.

More than a dozen people overdosed on synthetic marijuana July 4 in New Haven, The Associated Press reported at the time.

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