More than 90 overdose on New Haven Green

Faith Williams, Managing Editor

Between August 14th-16th, more than 90 people collectively overdosed at or near the New Haven Green.

Since then, the city’s director of the Office of Emergency Operations, Rick Fontana, has come forward on the subject assuring the public that there were no deaths. However, one patient was found “very sick,” said Fontana.

Although suffering near death experiences, at least 10 people who were discharged from the hospital went back to the green just to overdose again. One person had to be treated 3 times in one day.

New Haven authorities have proposed synthetic cannabinoid k2, an ever changing array of man-made chemicals, to be the cause of said overdoses. K2 can be up to 100 times stronger than THC and the side effects vary from slight hallucinations to cardiac arrest.  

Since many victims were not responsive to Narcan or Naloxone, further investigation has gone into the case to determine whether or not the k2 was laced with something that would block the antidote such as fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid.

All survivors have recovered and have been released from the hospital.

New Haven police have arrested John Parker, age 53, and Felix Melendez, age 37. Both men are residents of the city and have been charged with possession of controlled substances, sale of hallucinogens and the intent to sell/ distribute.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it’s estimated that among the more than 72,000 drug related deaths in 2017,

“ The sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with nearly 30,000 overdose deaths.”

According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “More than 72,000 people in the US are predicted to have died from drug overdoses in 2017- nearly 200 a day. That’s up from 2016, which was already a record year in which roughly 64,000 people in the us died from drug overdoses.”

Authorities note that further investigation is going into the case. They suspect there may be more arrests to be made.