Statement on New Haven Green Overdoses: United Effort Needed to Combat Drug Abuse

August 16, 2018

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding yesterday’s reported overdoses in New Haven. Over 70 people were reported to have overdosed on what is believed to be the synthetic cannabinoid K2, with the majority of these overdoses taking place on the New Haven Green.

“What happened in New Haven yesterday was disturbing and heartbreaking. It speaks to a painful and ugly reality about drug abuse we have to work together to combat. It also speaks to a city that has allowed one of its primary community centers, the New Haven Green, to deteriorate to the point where it is no longer an attraction for families or economic development, but a place of despair. The Green is just steps away from City Hall, and town officials know drug use on the Green was not limited to just what happened yesterday.  There is a known problem there that occurs every day and has not been addressed.  People are suffering and those who need help have been ignored. It is my hope that yesterday will be a wakeup call to the mayor’s administration about a problem they can no longer turn a blind eye to. We need to proactively treat drug addiction with proper social services and provide necessary shelter. We also need a united effort to clean up the Green, to make New Haven a strong city, and we need a criminal investigation into how this drug came to the Green unlike anything New Haven has ever seen before.

“New Haven should be a place of hope. From world-renowned medicine and education opportunities to great businesses, history and community pride, our city has so much to offer. I love New Haven and what happened yesterday not only raises moral questions and is scary to our residents, but it is a deterrent to people coming here and staying here. Mayor Harp’s administration needs to act swiftly and decisively to take control over the problems that have festered on the New Haven Green and surrounding areas to prevent the Elm City from becoming a ghost town.”