Two dead from synthetic cannabinoids in IL

04 April, 2018, 01:15 | Author: Clint Gray
  • Credit Scharls  Creative Commons

Link to the Illinois Department of Public Health page on this subject here, and the U.S.

Two people have now been reported dead among dozens of cases of synthetic marijuana users who've turned up to IL hospitals in recent weeks complaining of severe bleeding.

Officials are not releasing any information about the death, or the dozens of other cases where people were treated for severe bleeding from the eyes, nose, and lungs after using synthetic marijuana. These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they are similar to chemicals found in the marijuana plant. 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.

One of the deaths was in Chicago and the other in central IL. Melanie Arnold with IDPH said they've found a chemical used in rat poison in some of the victims.

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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.

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

Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other devices.

The health effects of using synthetic cannabinoids can be unpredictable, unsafe and possibly life-threatening because it's hard to know what's in them or how a person will be react to them.

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"We strongly urge everyone not to use synthetic cannabinoids", Shah added. "Or if this is potentially a new side effect of a new synthetic cannabinoid".

Among the 56 IL cases reported as of Monday, 54 were reported from Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, McLean, Peoria, Tazewell and Will counties, and two cases are under investigation.

In the 1980s, synthetic cannabinoids were considered research compounds but they are now produced overseas, according to the CDC.

In less than a month, 34 people have experienced symptoms as the state government continues to investigate where the products are obtained and where people are buying it.

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