No deaths were reported, but officials said two people suffered life-threatening symptoms.
The exact cause of the overdoses has not been confirmed, but officials suspect that synthetic cannabinoids, also called K2 or spice, are the culprit. Authorities confirm the substance was synthetic cannabis and that other drugs weren't involved in the substance. "Narcan was not effective here at the scene", said Alston.
New Haven fire chief John Alston said responders received calls just after 8 a.m. reporting multiple individuals experiencing overdose symptoms, including unconsciousness, vomiting and nausea.
A "mass overdose" appears to have taken place in a CT park today (Aug. 15), according to news reports. In some cases, patients who were hospitalized later returned to the Green and had to be treated a second time, New Haven Police Officer David Hartman said.
"We literally had people running around the Green providing treatment", said Rick Fontana, the city's emergency operations director.
Federal officials issued a warning about the spread of synthetic marijuana across the country.
Police said they arrested a person of interest in connection with the mass overdose.
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Today New Haven was on the front lines of a coast-to-coast struggle to combat the public health menace of illicit distribution and use of what appear to be tainted street drugs.
The case on Thursday was the latest in what turned out to be 76 overdoses on Wednesday.
CT governor Dan Malloy described the emergency as "deeply troubling and illustrative of the very real and serious threat that illicit street drugs pose to health of individuals".
The substance behind these overdoses is highly unsafe and must be avoided. No deaths have been reported.
A similar, but smaller overdose incident, played out on the Green on July 4, when more than a dozen people became sick from synthetic marijuana, according to The Associated Press.
Drug overdoses killed a record 72,000 Americans a year ago, a rise of around 10%, according to preliminary estimates released this week by the Centers for Disease Control.
A number of people were also found in semi-conscious and unconscious states.