Bleeding Cases in Illinois Tied to Synthetic Pot

GettyImages-483036564

GettyImages-483036564

Nine cases tested positive for rat poison brodifacoum as confirmed by the IDPH.

The substance, synthetic cannabinoids-known to many as "spice" or "K2"-can be bought at gas stations, smoke shops, and online".

"We continue to see the number of cases rise", said IDPH director Dr. Nirav Shah, who had previously called the synthetics "unsafe" due to the unknown chemicals used.

No information about the patient's name, age or gender, or the county where the death occurred, had been provided as of Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

All cases have required hospitalization for symptoms such as coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose and bleeding gums.

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

The IDPH has said synthetic pot manufacturers could be tweaking the recipe for these products to get around a statewide ban and allow them to be sold legally. "We're doing whatever we can with regards to outreach to notify any who may be impacted by this outbreak".

Fouad Masoud, 48 and Jad Allah, 44, from Justice, Illinois, a village near Chicago and Adil Khan Mohammed, 44 of Chicago were charged with selling synthetic cannabinoids - often called K2, Spice or fake weed.

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This isn't the first time a region of the United States has seen an outbreak of health problems tied to synthetic cannabinoids.

In November 2016, about 300 people in St. Louis were hospitalized from overdoses of synthetic versions of THC. "However, synthetic cannabinoids are unregulated and identifying a source or sources is hard".

Arnold said that the Centers for Disease Control are sending epidemiologists to help in the investigation.

Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that are sprayed on to dried plant material.

These mind-altering chemicals are called cannabinoids, since they are similar to the chemicals found in marijuana, though they can cause serious side effects that are different from those of marijuana.

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

"We hope that anyone that's a legitimate business ... will say we aren't going to sell this stuff", Gengler said. "They can contain a variety of chemicals, and users often don't know what those are, such as rat poison".

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