(WFSB) - The state Department of Public Health is issuing a warning to residents after some overdose cases here in Connecticut were linked to marijuana that's been laced with fentanyl.
Between July and October 26 of this year, the state saw a total of thirty-nine such overdose cases.
First responders have noted that patients were administered naloxone for revival.
The patients appeared to have not known what caused them to overdose, saying that they did not use opioids and had only smoked marijuana.
It was back in early October when Plymouth Police encountered the same situation while responding to several overdoses.
Marijuana samples were collected and sent to the state lab for testing, where it was confirmed that the marijuana had been laced with fentanyl.
“This is the first lab confirmed case of marijuana with fentanyl in Connecticut and possibly the first confirmed case in the United States,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani said in a statement.
State health officials encourage those that use marijuana to learn about the dangers when mixing it with fentanyl.
Waterbury Police say it's important to buy marijuana from trusted sources, like dispensaries.
"To confirm the substance you are using. If, at any time, during your use, you find yourself with adverse medical conditions, always call 911 and seek medical help," Waterbury Police Lt. Ryan Bessette tells us.
There have been no cases in the Brass City yet, but police there have been keeping tabs with neighboring agencies.
"We have weekly intelligence meetings with our partners, because things that happen in one community affect another, and we're all here to help the communities we serve collectively," Bessette explained
"It was a very difficult time for us to begin with and then that happened," Jeff McKenna, co-chair of ASAP Woodbury-Bethlehem, said.
Substance abuse and addiction are things that have hit Jeff's family hard.
He hasn't heard of fentanyl in his communities yet, but the concern is high.
"The kilo of cocaine is expensive. A kilo of fentanyl is inexpensive, so if you're a drug dealer, obviously, you're out for profit and there's no easier way than to mix your product with fentanyl and get more product, basically, out onto the street," said McKenna.
McKenna says ASAP has been doing a lot of online gatherings since the pandemic began, but the main goal is just educating families and making sure they don't feel alone.
"There's always help. We know where we can help your child, or your spouse, or your family member. Don't feel embarrassed or ashamed, you don't know what to do, because there is help out here," McKenna added.
Information on harm reduction services can be found here.