Man suffers 'severe bleeding,' dies after using synthetic marijuana

Illinois man dead from'fake weed

Illinois man dead from'fake weed

Emergency rooms in IL are noticing a spike in synthetic pot users suffering from "severe bleeding", and state health officials are warning the public to remain vigilant. There were 10 cases reported in Chicago and four others in Cook County, according to the department of health. "Very severe bleeding that's prompting them to go to the emergency room". "This bleeding is not expected, at least in such a significant population so quickly", says one area ER physician.

Arnold said manufacturers could be tweaking the recipe for these products to get around a statewide ban and allow them to be sold legally.

Anyone who starts experiencing symptoms, including severe bleeding or bruising, should be taken to the hospital immediately, the IDPH said. Officials say there have so far been no deaths connected with the synthetic pot.

Millewich added that a change in the formula used in the drug could be behind the bleeding, but because health officials don't know the exact makeup of the products, exactly what's causing the bleeding is unclear.

"Synthetic cannabinoids contain hundreds of chemicals, and it is hard to know what's in them or how people will react to the ingredients", said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG.

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"People don't realize how unsafe this is", she said. They are mind-altering chemicals made up of hundreds of elements that aim to emulate the effect of true marijuana.

The products are also known as legal weed, synthetic marijuana and herbal or liquid incense, and come in forms that can be sprayed on plant material to be smoked or liquids that can be vaporized.

Although numerous people affected by the outbreak have reported acquiring the drugs in the Chicago area, the IDPH said synthetic cannabinoids could also be in other counties across the state.

While those affected by the outbreak admitted using cannabinoids, it's been hard to determine their exact source for the substance, Arnold said. "It is hard to know what's in them or what your reaction to them will be". A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found the use of fake weed can increase risky and violent behaviors, particularly among teens.

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