Dead, 54 Sickened by 'Fake Weed' in IL

Dead, 54 Sickened by 'Fake Weed' in IL

Dead, 54 Sickened by 'Fake Weed' in IL

The arrests come as IL works to combat a statewide K2 epidemic that as of Monday had killed two and sickened almost 60 others, public health officials said.

Two deaths and 54 other cases of severe bleeding in cases across Chicago and in central IL have been tied to synthetic cannabinoids - often called Spice, K2 or fake weed.

All cases have required hospitalization for symptoms such as coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose and bleeding gums.

"We continue to see the number of cases rise", IDPH Director Dr. Nirav D. Shah said in a release.

Health officials warn that anyone who has a reaction to synthetic cannabinoids immediately should call 911 or be taken to an emergency department. On Saturday, the number of cases climbed to 38, including one death, the health department reported.

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

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'Because these products are not regulated, it's hard to know the chemical make-up, source and distribution'. "We strongly urge everyone not to use synthetic cannabinoids". The products, which have been around for years, can be smoked or vaporized in e-cigarettes and are commonly sold in convenience stores, gas stations and drug paraphernalia shops across the United States.

Among the 56 IL cases reported as of Monday, 54 were reported from Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, McLean, Peoria, Tazewell and Will counties, and two cases are under investigation. 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. They are marketed as drugs claiming to provide the effects of cannabis.

Since 2015 hundreds of people across the USA have overdosed and been hospitalized after smoking too much or bad batches of synthetic cannabis. "Or if this is potentially a new side effect of a new synthetic cannabinoid".

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

In the 1980s, synthetic cannabinoids were considered research compounds but they are now produced overseas, according to the CDC.

Cara Smith, spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff's Office told the Tribune, "If you use synthetic drugs, you're playing Russian roulette with your life".

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