Less than five months after recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Connecticut, the state Department of Public Health reported its concern about a series of overdose incidents among people who say they have only smoked cannabis, reported local media.
According to a Nov. 15 bulletin from the New England HIDTA, between July 2021 and Oct. 26, public-health authorities reported 39 instances of patients who “exhibited opioid overdose symptoms” and needed shots of naloxone (the overdose-reversal drug). However, they denied using opioids.
Several of these in early October all occurred in Plymouth, Connecticut, Forbes reported.
“This is the first case we’ve actually had laboratory contamination of marijuana with fentanyl,” Susan Logan, an epidemiologist at the Connecticut Department of Public Health, said.
“People who have overdosed have said they thought they were only taking marijuana and then they needed to be administered Naloxone in order to reverse their overdose,” Logan added.
“Dealers are trying to compete and make their marijuana more potent than what you can buy, say over the counter,” Brian Foley, spokesman for the Department of Emergency Services said.
“People need to know that if they’re buying marijuana through illegitimate means that this is a possibility,” Foley concluded.
In June, Connecticut became the 18th state in the union to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. The law allows adults 21 and older to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis.
The sale of recreational marijuana is planned to kick off in May 2022.
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