Synthetic marijuana leaves two dead and dozens with severe bleeding

04 April, 2018, 01:19 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • 7 2015 by New York Police Department shows packets of synthetic marijuana seized after a search warrant was served at a newsstand in Brooklyn N.Y

As of Monday, there have been 56 people in the Chicago area and central IL - including the two fatalities - experiencing severe bleeding after using these products, public health officials said.

A similar warning has been issued by IN health officials. They said it came in sealed containers with names like Blue Giant and Crazy Monkey.

Three cases tested positive for brodifacoum, or rat poison, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health on Saturday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is reporting the death of a second individual who experienced severe bleeding and reported using synthetic cannabinoids, often called Spice, K2, or fake weed. The products, which have been around for years, can be smoked or vaporized in e-cigarettes and are commonly sold in convenience stores, gas stations and drug paraphernalia shops across the United States.

The two deaths occurred in Peoria County and Kane County, and cases have been reported in nine counties so far outside Chicago.

"We continue to see the number of cases rise", Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said in the statement. "IDPH is continuing to work with local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to try to identify common products". 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.

Now, at least one person in IL has died from K2, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"This is the first time we've seen an outbreak of this magnitude in the area", she was quoted by the Fox affiliate as saying.

"There could be additional deaths coming; it is hard to say", she added.

These medical emergencies come less than a year after almost 80 people in Lancaster County overdosed on synthetic marijuana in less than 72 hours.

In November 2016, about 300 people in St. Louis were hospitalized from overdoses of synthetic versions of THC.

'Because these products are not regulated, it's hard to know the chemical make-up, source and distribution'.

A man prepares to smoke K2 or "Spice", a synthetic marijuana drug, along a street in East Harlem on August 5, 2015 in New York City. These chemicals are also called cannabinoids due to their similarities to the marijuana plant.

"They include things like seizures, heart attack, kidney failure", said Lank, who was not involved in treating the recent synthetic cannabinoid cases.

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