Bleeding from synthetic marijuana up to 95 cases in IL

IL public health officials say a third person has died who experienced severe bleeding after using synthetic marijuana.

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.

Drug users reported coughing up blood, blood in their urine, severe bloody noses, bleeding gums and internal bleeding, according to the IDPH.

In nine cases in IL, the substances were cut with brodifacoum - or rat poison, according to the statement from the health department.

The Coles County Health Department joined with departments statewide in issuing a warning about possible dangers of synthetic cannabis use.

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"With this particular cluster, what we are seeing is people are coming in with various types of bleeding", Dr. Jennifer Layden, the chief medical officer of the Illinois Department of Public Health, told CBS Chicago in March.

Synthetic cannabinoids are mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed on dried plant material which can then be smoked or sold as liquids to be inhaled.

The Governor first expanded the list of prohibited drugs and chemicals in 2012 to include dozens more substances being used to make synthetic drugs, including synthetic marijuana, to ensure that distributors could no longer skirt the law by simply modifying the drug's ingredients. The CDC also recommends providers report suspected cases associated with synthetic marijuana to their local health department.

Local health departments in IL are sharing a warning from the state about the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids.

The drugs can be found at convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores, and online.

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"These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they are similar to chemicals found in the marijuana plant". IDPH leaders say the health effects they cause can be "unpredictable, harmful and deadly".

Synthetic cannabinoids are classified as a controlled substance and their possession can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the amount possessed. In fact, they are not safe and may affect the brain much more powerfully than marijuana; their actual effects can be unpredictable and, in some cases, more unsafe or even life-threatening.

Federal officials say the synthetic cannabinoids were packaged in sealed containers and labeled with such names as "Matrix", "Blue Giant" and "Crazy Monkey".

If you experience any symptoms, call 911 or have someone drive you to a hospital emergency department immediately, Foley and Sparkman said.

More news: Officials warn of fatal case of synthetic marijuana use


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