Thursday, 20 September, 2018

At Least 1 Dead and 38 Ill From Synthetic Weed in IL

Second death reported Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Judith Alexander | 03 April, 2018, 04:57

The Illinois Department of Public Health is confirming a second death linked to synthetic cannabinoids.

The Department of Public Health reports that 20 of the 38 people in the state who smoked a bad batch of synthetic marijuana live in Peoria, Tazewell, or McLean Counties.

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. Nine of the cases tested positive for brodifacoum, or rat poison, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday. Tell your health care providers about the possible link between your symptoms and synthetic cannabinoid use.

While numerous cases report acquiring the synthetic cannabinoid products in the Chicagoland area, contaminated products could be in counties across the state. They can be found nationwide at convenience stores, gas stations, head shops, novelty stores and online.

"We strongly urge everyone not to use synthetic cannabinoids", Shah added.

Synthetic marijuana, which is legal in IL since the formula is slightly altered to sidestep the law, is manufactured by spraying an assortment of chemicals on dried plant material.

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

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

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

People who smoke synthetic cannabinoids can have rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion and hallucinations, according to the CDC.

If a person was hospitalized, they could get Vitamin K through an IV, which would work faster on the body, Lank said. "Why they're happening? We're still uncertain", he said. "It's often used as a rodenticide, or in rat poison".

Synthetic cannabinoids are part of a group of drugs called new psychoactive substances (NPS).

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