CONNECTICUT - The recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Connecticut less than 5 months ago, and now the state Department of Health says it is seeing a trend - cases of overdoses linked to weed laced with the potentially lethal synthetic opioid, fentanyl.
"What we're finding is that there are possible overdoses related to marijuana that are associated with fentanyl," Susan Logan, an epidemiologist with the Connecticut Department of Health told FOX 5 NY. "We've had our first laboratory-confirmed case of marijuana contaminated with fentanyl."
Since July, the agency has received 39 cases of patients exhibiting opioid overdose symptoms. The state lab has confirmed its first case.
"Just recently in October, in a person who overdosed in Plymouth, they non-fatally overdosed, so they were claiming that they only took marijuana and didn't realize they were taking an opioid. And then the police seized the drugs and sent them to the forensics laboratory for analysis, and we were able to show that they were both mixed into the same drug," Logan said.
According to Logan, the drug is being bought on the black market and, in each of the cases, the patients have denied any opioid use, claiming they've only smoked pot.
"And next thing you know, naloxone is being administered to them and they're being revived from an overdose. Which means that it is an opioid-related overdose and most likely fentanyl-related," Logan said.
Logan is warning consumers of the dangers of buying drugs from the illegal market and says those who are using should keep Narcan on hand.