Health officials in Connecticut have issued a warning about fentanyl-laced marijuana, which is being eyed in a rash of overdoses throughout the state.
Since July, 39 overdoses requiring the use of naloxone for revival have been reported. In each case, the person involved said they had only smoked marijuana, but officials said they exhibited opioid symptoms.
A cluster of cases was reported in October in Plymouth, though officials say incidents have been dispersed across the state. A lab test of some of the marijuana used in one of the Plymouth cases confirmed the presence of fentanyl, a potent and potentially deadly opioid.
“This is the first lab-confirmed case of marijuana with fentanyl in Connecticut and possibly the first confirmed case in the United States,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani.
The warning comes amid news that an estimated 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in a year, a number that officials say is linked to the coronavirus pandemic and a. Overdose deaths have accelerated over the past two years, climbing almost 30% in the latest year, according to data posted this week.
The main drivers, experts believe, are the pandemic and the growing prevalence of fatal fentanyl in the illicit drug supply.
Contributing: The Associated Press