2 in IL dead after using fake pot; 56 cases reported statewide

Synthetic Cannabinoids | IDPH

Officials had never before seen a death in Chicago related to fake weed, Arnold said.

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.

Synthetic marijuana, more commonly called by its aforementioned colloquial terms, has been found to be highly risky. Per CNN, the over 50 cases all involve hospitalizations in and around Chicago, where complaints have ranged from bloody noses to bloody coughs, blood in urine and other startling symptoms.

One patient died over the weekend and another on Monday, according to alerts sent out by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Both are men in their 20's from Peoria and Chicago.

The number of fatalities in connection with the outbreak is expected to rise, according to a statement from the Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday.

People are using synthetic marijuana as a safe way to get high but instead have had some alarming effects: bleeding from their ears and eyes. The poison inhibits how the body uses Vitamin K, which can lead to hypoprothrombinemia, a blood disorder that causes impaired blood clotting and excessive bleeding. "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. Without more information, IDPH does not know how much contaminated product is circulating or where".

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

Many questions about the unfortunate outbreak still loom large.

A similar warning has been issued by IN health officials.

However, the effects of those chemicals on a person are, according to IDPH, quite risky.

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're typically sprayed on dry plants, which are then smoked. In fact, they are not safe and may affect the brain much more powerfully than marijuana; their actual effects can be unpredictable and, in some cases, more risky or even life-threatening.

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

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