When the number was at 30 overdoses, the police chief told WVIT to warn residents: "Do not come down to the Green and purchase this K2".
As New Haven, Connecticut, Fire Chief John Alston Jr. spoke to reporters about a spate of drug overdoses on Wednesday, he heard shouting coming from behind him. Some of them were unconscious at the park when officials arrived. The patients were taken to area hospitals for overdose-related respiratory illnesses, Officer David Hartman said. But some overdosed again, including one person who was treated for three separate overdoses.
No one has died, but two individuals are considered to be in serious, life-threatening condition. Police said Wednesday afternoon that they had made an arrest in connection to the overdoses, WFSB reports.
Alston said drug overdoses in New Haven, as in other cities, are at epidemic proportions and that the city is in the grip of a public health crisis.
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 overdoses follow a similar outbreak at the same park on July 4, when more than a dozen people were treated.More news: Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin dies aged 76
The majority of cases were centered on the New Haven Green, adjacent to Yale University. Authorities confirm the substance was synthetic cannabis and that other drugs weren't involved in the substance.
Officials said Wednesday's response was a tremendous drain on the fire department.
First responders went through a lot of the life-saving anti-overdose drug Narcan. In recent months, K2 has caused hundreds of people in about 10 states to be hospitalized, sometimes with severe bleeding.
"This was a particularly odd, rare occasion where (there was) call after call for man down, obviously with symptoms of some kind of overdose, and at the time of getting that patient packaged and transported to the hospital, we'd see another immediately fall down, right there", Jones said.
"He says one of the victims still had some of the drug, which has been sent off to a lab for testing". "The substance behind these overdoses is highly unsafe and must be avoided". No deaths were reported in either outbreak.