95 people have been hospitalized for overdose on synthetic cannabis over a two day period in New Haven, Connecticut. 75 of those occurred last Wednesday alone.
So far there are no reported fatalities and most of those hospitalized have since been discharged. Patients were treated for a variety of serious symptoms including loss of consciousness, severe agitation, and respiratory failure, as reported by High Times.
Authorities believe the batch of K2 on New Haven’s streets may contain fentanyl, the extremely potent opioid which has been pointed to as partially responsible for the record high overdose rates which the country is currently experiencing.
Three men have been arrested in connection with the K2 crisis in New Haven: Felix Menendez, 37, John Parker, 53, and another unnamed man. Menendez allegedly was in possession of K2 when he was arrested and police later found 30 bags of the substance at his residence. Menendez was also arrested in May for distributing K2. He could face up to five years in prison for the charges.
Parker was arrested after police found 30 bags of K2 in his hotel room. His lawyer claims that police have no evidence that his K2 is the batch responsible for sending so many New Havenites to the hospital.
The epidemic has overwhelmed the city’s public services. High Times reports that multiple fire departments and hospitals have had to coordinate with each other.
It is not certain what other drugs the K2 may have been laced with or even if only one batch is responsible for the crisis. Medical professionals administered Narcan, a drug used to treat opioid overdoses, to those suffering from K2 overdoses. Some responded to the treatment and some didn’t. There are also reports that the town’s K2 may be laced with PCP.