Connecticut officials warn of fentanyl-laced marijuana after overdoses

Connecticut state health officials are investigating reports of fentanyl-laced marijuana following dozens of reports of patients suffering from opioid overdose symptoms after claiming they had only smoked marijuana.

In at least one of the cases so far, the marijuana has tested positive for fentanyl, a very potent opioid that can be lethal in small doses, Connecticut Department of Public Health [DPH] announced Thursday.

“This is the first laboratory-confirmed case of fentanyl marijuana in Connecticut and possibly the first confirmed case in the United States,” DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani said in a statement.

There have been over three dozen such incidents reported to DPH since July, when patients said they only smoked marijuana but had to be revived with naloxone [Narcan]:

  • July 2021 – 11 cases
  • August 2021 – nine cases
  • September 2021 – nine cases
  • 1 – 26 Oct. 2021 – 10 cases
There have been over three dozen incidents of opioid overdose reported to the Connecticut Department of Public Health since July, when patients reported smoking only marijuana.
There have been over three dozen incidents of opioid overdose reported to the Connecticut Department of Public Health since July, when patients reported smoking only marijuana.
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According to DPH, the overdose incidents were spread across the state and officials were unable to detect a pattern until October, when there were several reported overdose incidents where Narcan was required near Plymouth.

The Plymouth Police Department was able to secure a sample for testing that tested positive for marijuana, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and fentanyl.

The Connecticut Overdose Response Team urged those using illegally obtained drugs to “know the signs of an opioid overdose, not use alone and have naloxone on hand.”

On Wednesday, the United States announced that it had crossed the grim milestone with 100,000 overdose deaths within the last 12 months, a jump of nearly 30 percent from last year. Deaths due to opioids, including fentanyl, accounted for more than 75 percent of deaths over the course of a year, data released Wednesday show.

According to DPH, the overdose incidents were documented across the state and officials were only able to detect a pattern in October.
According to DPH, the overdose incidents were documented across the state and officials were only able to detect a pattern in October.
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