Connecticut health officials are warning residents about the possibility of fentanyl-laced marijuana circulating around the state.
Connecticut Department of Public Health Thursday said they have received nearly 40 reports of people experiencing opioid overdose symptoms and requiring naloxone, a drug used to reverse narcotic overdoses, for treatment. The patients only claimed to have smoked marijuana and denied having taken any form of opioid.
Authorities said the cases were “spread across Connecticut.”
In October, authorities managed to secure a sample of marijuana on a stage for one of the overdoses in Plymouth, Conn. An analysis of the sample confirmed that the marijuana was filled with fentanyl.
“This is the first laboratory-confirmed case of fentanyl marijuana in Connecticut and possibly the first confirmed case in the United States,” said Connecticut Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani in a release.
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The cases were first reported in July, with a total of 11 such overdoses occurring. Nine cases were counted in August and September and 10 in October.
Health authorities urged those using illegally obtained drugs to “know the signs of an opioid overdose, not use alone and have naloxone on hand.”
Authorities are continuing to investigate.
This comes as more than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States during the 12-month period ending April 2021. The number is at a record high, an increase of nearly 29 percent from the previous year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC).
Opioids accounted for close to 75,000 deaths, while synthetic opioids such as fentanyl killed 64,000 people.
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