At least 16 people suffered overdose effects, and three others died as a result of the ingestion of a mystery drug they mistook for cocaine in New Haven. Authorities declared the situation as a public health emergency last Friday, and they extended it to surrounding areas since they found about four more cases of overdose nearby New Haven’s center.
Authorities in Connecticut considered there is a current high risk of overdose since it seems that street drug dealers are selling unknown substances like cocaine, and regular drug users are not aware of this.
The police are trying to determine what happened
Investigators consider fentanyl as a drug that is more dangerous than heroin. It is a substance commonly mixed with the drug that causes the overdose. However, drugs seized are still being tested to determine exactly what was the problem and what was the substance that caused such overdoses that led to death in those 3 cases.
Patients that were treated said that they thought they were buying regular cocaine, and the ingestion was no different than in other opportunities.
Newhallville and Dixwell in New Haven held the majority of cases of overdose, but other reports came from Shelton and cities of West Haven. This reveals that the subject may be distributed through street drug dealers in this areas. Authorities stated that drug users should be extremely careful given this public health emergency.
Drug abuse in Connecticut
The most recent survey conducted by The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that 8.23 percent of Connecticut residents used illicit drugs in the past month, and about 4 percent of that index reported using drugs other than marijuana.
Public health facilities often treat heroin, marijuana, and cocaine overdose cases but in this opportunity, health care providers had to respond to episodes of overdose to unknown drug mixes.
In 2007, about 770 people died as the result of overdose or reactions to drugs, but that number decreased in the following years since the Office of National Drug Control Policy Programs in Connecticut installed Drug Courts and a program called “Drug-Free Communities” that reached several areas in the state.
However, this year there has been an outbreak of drug overdoses, and according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner about 200 people had died in the first trimester of the year.
Source: Connecticut Drug Control Update