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More cases of severe bleeding from synthetic marijuana use in Illinois

St. Louis Post Dispatch

Wednesday, June 27, 2018  |  Article  |  By Michele Munz

Drugs (32) , Health (49)
The majority of new cases are in Winnebago County, which surrounds the city of Rockford near the Wisconsin border.

Since mid March, three people have died and more than 160 people in 15 counties in Illinois have experienced severe bleeding after using synthetic cannabinoids – man-made chemicals that are either sprayed on plant material and smoked, mixed into a liquid and vaped or added to food and swallowed.

Patients tested positive for brodifacoum, a chemical found in rat poison, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Individuals reported coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose, bleeding gums, internal bleeding or a combination of these symptoms. People who have used these drugs and have severe or unexplained bleeding or bruising are urged to call 911 or have someone take them to the emergency department.

These synthetic products are also known as herbal or liquid incense and have brand names such as K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie and Zohai.

In April, St. Louis police and health officials reported seeing the drugs once again on streets. In late 2016, a wave of overdoses hit hard the St. Louis downtown homeless community.

Individuals can locate a drug treatment facility through the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances at helplineIL.org. In Missouri, you can call 1-800-575-7480 or e-mail dbhmail@dmh.mo.gov.