According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), through April 9, there have been 107 cases in the Chicago area and central Illinois, including three deaths, in which people experienced severe bleeding after using synthetic cannabis, which is also known as Spice, K2 or fake weed.
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. The department says two deaths were men in their 20s and a third death was a man in his 40s. Those sickened have reported blood in the urine, severe bloody noses, bleeding gums and internal bleeding.
"Each day we've seen the number of cases rise", IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, said in the release. Federal prosecutors explained U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration representatives made under cover buys of synthetic cannabinoids in Masoud's westside keep. "They are not regulated and people don't know what chemicals may be in them, like rate poison". "While efforts are under way to get contaminated drugs out of circulation, it's possible they could re-emerge".
Synthetic cannabinoid is a man-made mixture of hundreds of chemicals that affect the same brain cell receptors as the active ingredient in marijuana.
"As bleeding can be life-threatening", she continued, "it is important that people who have used synthetic marijuana seek medical attention at the first sign of poisoning so we can begin treatment right away".
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Synthetic marijuana, also known as spice, is causing violent behavior and risky overdoses across the country.
"These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they are similar to chemicals found in the marijuana plant".
The third synthetic marijuana-related fatality comes after three Chicago-area convenience store clerks were charged for allegedly selling synthetic cannabinoids laced with rodent poison, police said.
Stenger said the state department is calling the problem a "public health emergency".
In the 1980s, synthetic cannabinoids were considered research compounds but they are now produced overseas, according to the CDC. While the substances are meant to mimic the effects of marijuana, they are often far more risky for users.