Synthetic Marijuana Situation In Illinois Kills 2, Number Of Cases Still Growing

Bryan Strickland
April 4, 2018

The two victims were both male and in their 20s, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Two people have now been reported dead among dozens of cases of synthetic marijuana users who've turned up to IL hospitals in recent weeks complaining of severe bleeding. In the last few weeks, 56 people in IL have reported severe bleeding, coughing up blood, blood in the urine or other signs of hemorrhaging. The chemicals are called cannabinoids, IDPH says, because the are similar to chemicals found in marijuana. IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold told the Chicago newspaper that the product is banned for sale across the state, but some manufacturers alter the "molecular makeup of the products" to "get around" the law. On Saturday, the number of cases climbed to 38, including one death, the health department reported.

The IDPH said early treatment is vital for people who have hypoprothrombinemia.

Health officials in IL are warning people about mock marijuana that is spreading across Chicago and the central part of the state, causing severe bleeding among users and, in some cases, death. "However, synthetic cannabinoids are unregulated and identifying a source or sources is hard".

"If you use synthetic drugs, you're playing Russian roulette with your life", Smith said.

Synthetic cannabinoid - often called Spice or K2 - is a mixture of hundreds of chemicals that can come as a spray to coat plant material for smoking or as a liquid to be used in e-cigarettes or other devices, according to the health department.

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Synthetic cannabinoids are sold in convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores and online.

People who smoke synthetic cannabinoids can have rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion and hallucinations, according to the CDC.

27 cases are in Peoria and Tazewell Counties, 23 are in Cook and 2 in Kankakee.

"Synthetic cannabinoids are part of a group of drugs called new psychoactive substances (NPS)".

In less than a month, 34 people have experienced symptoms as the state government continues to investigate where the products are obtained and where people are buying it.

In the past few years, doctors have become familiar with the health outcomes people can face when they are exposed to synthetic cannabinoids, said Dr. Patrick Lank, an emergency physician and assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in IL.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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