1 death, 45 hospitalization due to Synthetic Weed in IL

1 death, 45 hospitalization due to Synthetic Weed in IL

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.

IDPH officials warn that the contaminated products could be in any county across the state.

The samples tested positive for brodifacoum, a widely used pesticide used in rat poison and highly potent anticoagulant. The officer purchased K2 twice, according to the affidavit acquired by ABC News, and found multiple packages laced with brodifacoum, a substance used in rat poison that causes hemorrhage.

The Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) issued a statement on Wednesday announcing that at least six people in northeastern Illinois had been hospitalized after using the man-made substance - also known as "fake weed", "K2" or "spice".

The health department said the patients' symptoms included blood in the urine, severe bloody noses, bleeding gums, coughing up blood, bleeding from the eyes and ears, and heavier menstrual bleeding, the Tribune reported.

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

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

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"We continue to see the number of cases rise", IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. said in a statement.

Now, state officials are working to identify any common synthetic cannabinoid products related to those cases and to determine where the products were obtained.

There's not much information about the synthetic marijuana death, and Arnold said there won't be in order to protect the victim's identity. The two deaths were reported in Chicago and central IL. "We're doing whatever we can with regards to outreach to notify any who may be impacted by this outbreak".

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

The number of acute poisonings from synthetic cannabinoids rose sharply between 2010 and 2015, according to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016.

Per the IDPH, synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed on to dried plant material. They are sold for recreational drug use with claims they will provide the user the effects of cannabis.

One study of a synthetic cannabinoid found that it was 85 times as potent as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the mind-altering chemical in marijuana.

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