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Public Health Officials Warn of Marijuana

The Connecticut Department of Public Health collaborates with law enforcement on reports of overdose patients who claimed to have simply smoked Marijuana but experienced symptoms identical to those of an opiate overdose. The cannabis in issue tested positive for fentanyl in at least one of these situations. The patients had to be revived with naloxone in many of these cases, according to DPH. At least one individual appeared to have died. Since July, dozens of these incidents have been documented around the state.

According to the DPH, several of these incidents occurred in Plymouth, and a sample of the cannabis analyzed revealed that it contained fentanyl. This is Connecticut’s first lab-confirmed case of Marijuana laced with fentanyl and potentially the first in the United States. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is one of our state’s significant causes of overdose deaths. Watertown Police said in a recent Facebook post that there had been multiple occurrences involving illegally purchased Marijuana laced with fentanyl and that one person overdosed and died in the neighborhood.

As the illicit drug market is growing more volatile, the state feels that more overdoses are expected. Pharmaceutical fentanyl, according to the CDC, is a synthetic opioid approved for treating severe pain, generally advanced cancer agony, and is 50 to 100 times more robust than morphine. A doctor prescribes it as transdermal patches or lozenges, but it can also be abused. Some people illegally use fentanyl by removing the drug from the patch and injecting it.

According to the CDC, fentanyl is frequently blended with other medicines, including heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA – with or without the user’s knowledge – to amplify its euphoric effects. Doctors caution that there is no such thing as safe drug use and that fenta has serious hazards.

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