Published: Wed, April 04, 2018
Medical | By Alyssa Little

IDPH: Peoria man dead, rat poison chemical found in synthetic marijuana

IDPH: Peoria man dead, rat poison chemical found in synthetic marijuana

This photo provided Friday, Aug. 7, 2015 by New York Police Department shows packets of synthetic marijuana seized after a search warrant was served at a newsstand in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Synthetic cannabinoids - commonly known as spices, K2 or fake weeds - were associated with 46 major severe bleeding in Chicago and central IL, including one death.

The numbers of those affected by the fake marijuana are reportedly increasing as officials noted that more and more people are being taken to the hospital with symptoms such as "coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose, and/or bleeding gums", the health department said in a statement.

"We continue to see the number of cases rise", IDPH Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah said in a release. These chemicals are called cannabinoids because they are similar to chemicals found in the marijuana plant, however their effects on health can be unpredictable, harmful, and even deadly. "Without more information, IDPH does not know how much contaminated product is circulating or where".

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One of the deaths was in Chicago and the other in central IL.

MyFox8 reported that 2 people died and 54 other cases of severe bleeding were reported.

'Because these products are not regulated, it's hard to know the chemical make-up, source and distribution'. Synthetic cannabinoids are found in drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores, convenience stores, gas stations and online, according to IDPH.

"The synthetic cannabinoids were packaged in sealed containers and labeled with such names as "Matrix, ' 'Blue Giant" and 'Crazy Monkey, '" federal agents said. Synthetic cannabinoids are found across IL and the U.S.in convenience stores, gas stations, drug paraphernalia shops, novelty stores, and online.

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

Arnold said that the Centers for Disease Control are sending epidemiologists to help in the investigation. "Or if this is potentially a new side effect of a new synthetic cannabinoid".

Health officials warn if you have purchased any of this product in the past month, do not use it.

There are now cases in at least eight Chicago-area communities including Cook County, Dupage County, Kane County, McLean County, Peoria County, Tazewell County and Will County.

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