One Park, One Day, 41 Overdoses

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First responders found about 46 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.

He says one of the victims still had some of the drug, which was sent off to a lab for testing. No deaths were reported, and most people brought to hospitals have been discharged, officials said. The synthetic cannabinoid K2 is often laced with other substances, CNN reports, adding that authorities believe an added opioid may have contributed to the New Haven overdoses.

Felix Melendez was "known" to police and was out on parole when he was arrested Wednesday afternoon, Police Chief Anthony Campbell told the New Haven Register.

On average, two people die of a drug overdose every day in CT.

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"We literally had people running around the Green providing treatment", New Haven's emergency operations director, Rick Fontana, said, according to the TV station. So far, there have been few scientific studies of the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on the human brain, but researchers do know that some of them bind more strongly than marijuana to the cell receptors affected by THC, and can produce much stronger effects.

A police officer speaks to a man walking on New Haven Green, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, in New Haven, Conn.

New Haven Fire Chief John Alston said the event was largest concentration of overdose victims the department had experienced.

Police arrested one local man believed to be connected to some of the overdoses, city officials said the statement. Patients were taken to the Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael.

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The Office of Emergency Management in New Haven said it is still fielding calls and the number of victims could increase.

Naloxone, an antidote for narcotic overdoses, was administered to some victims but didn't appear to be effective.

The victims suffering from symptoms ranging from nausea, hallucinations, and high blood pressure to shallow breathing, semi-conscious, and unconscious conditions.

The overdoses follow a similar outbreak at the same park on July 4, when more than a dozen people were treated.

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"The substance behind these overdoses is highly risky and must be avoided", Malloy said, adding that state public health officials had delivered 50 doses of Naloxone to New Haven to replenish the supply expended by first responders over the course of the 24-hour crisis.

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