Paramedics in New Haven, Connecticut were called to New Haven Green on Wednesday morning to tend to at least 25 people who overdosed on the synthetic cannabinoid K2, according to WTNH local news. A Yale nurse on the scene told Heavy that they believed the K2 had been laced with fentanyl.
Reporter Stephanie Simoni of WTNH was informed by a witness that the overdoses began at 8:30 a.m. At first, it was believed the number of overdoses was around ten. That number has since climbed to at least 25.
Simoni described a harrowing scene in which a man screamed and kicked at both police officers and paramedics as they tried to treat him. While on the scene, WTNH has watched three people fall to the ground and appear unresponsive. None of the overdoses have been fatal.
New Haven Green is a 16-Acre Park Located in Downtown New Haven
All of the reported overdoses occurred in the area of New Haven Greeen, a 16-acre park located downtown. New Haven Green hosts public events throughout the year and is a popular hangout spot.
Some Yale University buildings surround the perimeter of the park, including eight dormitories situated on the university’s Old Campus.
Courthouses, churches, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and numerous historic buildings line the other sides of the park.
K2 Is a Synthetic Version of Marijuana That Is Considered Very Dangerous
K2 is one of the names for synthetic marijuana (others include Spice, Kronic, and Black Mamba). According to professor Marilyn A. Huestis, synthetic marijuana “can be u to 100 times as potent as the THC in cannabis.” K2 has a high risk of overdose, and can cause permanent kidney damage, heart attacks, and even death.
K2 has caused mass overdoses before today. In 2016, 33 people were hospitalized from K2 overdose. That same year, more than a dozen people were taken to hospitals for what was believed to be Spice overdoses.