Suspects now officially linked to K2 overdoses

NEW HAVEN - Both of the men arrested by New Haven police in connection with the over 100 overdoses related to the synthetic drug K2,  have now officially been charged with the sale and distribution of the poison on the New Haven Green.

John Parker, 53, of New Haven, has been charged with possession of controlled substances and the sale of hallucinogens - both with the intent to sell/ distribute. Felix Melendez, 37, also of New Haven, was charged with possession of controlled substances and the sale of hallucinogens - both with the intent to sell/ distribute. This is Melendez’s 38th arrest.

Both Parker and Melendez have been identified by victims/ witnesses in the ongoing New Haven Green K2 Overdose case. Both have been directly linked to the sale and/ or distribution of K2 to some of those victims. This case remains under investigation and police said more arrests are possible.

Fortunately, there is much good that has come from this evil, thanks to many social services organizations.

"Events that occurred last week were a stark and very visual reminder of the role that addiction plays in our community right now," said Kathleen Savino, Psy. D., of The Connection.

With an office directly across the street from the green, The Connection staffs a table every day for engagement with those struggling with addiction.

"We are sending them right upstairs to get their paperwork started," Savino said. "We’re also just providing general information about K2 or other drugs that are impacting our communities.

She describes K2 has a synthetic drug that simply is "incredibly dangerous. Peoples euphoria tends to be very intense and it’s a very short-lived high." That's why many people were overdosing multiple times.

The Connection is working closely with Mayor Toni Harp's office and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

"The majority of individuals here (on the green) are licensed clinicians and they’re really trying to out reach and engage with individuals here on the green," Savino said.

Savino was among those attending a discussion in New Haven yesterday with James Caroll, President Tump's nominee for drug czar.

"I think what was very positive, among the room, was the way that addiction is being viewed," she said. "It’s being viewed as a medical illness that requires treatment services and it requires resources.

For more information on The Connection, click here.