Mass K2 Overdose Sign of National Crisis

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Mass K2 Overdose Sign of National Crisis

 

You’ve certainly heard the heartbreaking news by now: More than 100 people overdosed on synthetic marijuana, also known as K2 or spice, in the New Haven green, a historic park bordering the Yale University campus in CT. The drug tested positive for the painkiller Fubinaca, which was never pursued for human use but has begun to show up on the black market.

According to reports, state public health officials delivered 50 doses of Naloxone to New Haven to replenish the supply expended by first responders over the course of the 24-hour crisis.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of the devastating effects of K2, which is unpredictable and often cut with potent opioids or other drugs. Just last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that synthetic marijuana has become particularly risky because some producers had been adding brodifacoum — a long-acting anticoagulant commonly used in rat poison and thought to extend the drug-induced “high.”

In recent months, hundreds of people in roughly 10 states were hospitalized, according to The Washington Post. And several people died of complications.

Every community has a green or some other place that has become a hub for illicit drugs and users need to beware: “The message has to be very clear to people that any time you are taking a synthetic drug, you have really no idea, as we’ve seen today, what you’re taking and how that drug is going to affect you,” New Haven Police Officer David Hartman, told reporters, after the mass overdose.

“The New Haven green’s not the problem, addiction is the problem, and those who prey on addicts are the problem,” Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy said at a news briefing.

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