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Will County Health Department warns about synthetic cannabinoids

Will County Health Department warns about synthetic cannabinoids

The man-made drugs are sprayed onto dried plant material and can be smoke or vaporized.

To date, 107 people in central IL and the Chicago area have experienced severe bleeding from using what's often called Spice, K2 or fake weed.

All 3 of the deaths associated with synthetic cannabinoids were men, 2 in their 20s and 1 in his 40s.

It said possible symptoms from using the drugs are coughing up blood, blood in urine, severe bloody noses and bleeding gums. Many people have tested positive for brodifacoum, a lethal anticoagulant often used in rat poison.

"IDPH is continuing to work with local health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with other partners, to try to identify common products", said Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Department of Public Health.

Advocate Eureka Hospital in Eureka has had two patients with bleeding after using synthetic cannabinoids since Friday and both were treated and released, spokesman Eric Alvin said.

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Public health officials have said the product is not safe, and urge that if anyone has purchased it they shouldn't use it. "While there have been no current reports of these symptoms in NY, we are asking public health officials to keep an eye out and to remind people that this poison is risky, unpredictable and seems to be getting more so with each passing year".

A third person has died after using synthetic cannabis, with more than 100 affected by what may be a contaminated batch of the drug. Synthetic cannabinoids can be bought across the United States in convenience stores, drug paraphernalia shops, and novelty stores, as well as at gas stations and online.

"These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they are similar to chemicals found in the marijuana plant".

In the 1980s, synthetic cannabinoids were considered research compounds but they are now produced overseas, according to the CDC. IDPH leaders say the health effects they cause can be "unpredictable, harmful and deadly".

The state issued the warning Monday. However, the drugs are often combined with other substances that people may not know about or intend to consume, some of them highly risky. "Synthetic cannabinoids are unsafe".

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