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Coles County Health Department joins others in warning about synthetic cannabis
11 April 2018, 11:25 | Franklin Nunez
Third death reported from synthetic cannabis in Illinois; 5 other states reporting cases | Belleville News-Democrat
The substance is often referred to as Spice, K2 or fake weed.
Two of the deaths occurred in men who were in their 20s; the third was a man in his 40s. The drugs are known to cause severe bleeding, internal bleeding, bleeding gums and other symptoms.
This comes a week after officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services sent out a warning to residents about the spike in issues linked to the use of synthetic marijuana containing brodifacoum in neighboring IL.
"Each day we've seen the number of cases rise", said director of the IDPH Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. The synthetic cannabinoids are not regulated.
News 10 spoke to several people who didn't really know much about synthetic cannabinoids. While efforts are underway to get the contaminated drugs out of circulation, it's possible they could re-emerge.
Quincy police Deputy Chief of Operations Doug VanderMaiden said officers saw a jump in synthetic cannabinoids a couple of summers ago but they have not come across it lately.
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Three people are facing federal charges for allegedly selling synthetic marijuana to undercover officers at a mini-mart in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago.
The CDC is suggesting healthcare providers screen patients who enter ERs with unexplained bleeding and potential history of using this synthetic marijuana.
Adams County Sheriff Brian VonderHaar said deputies also haven't noticed a jump in synthetic cannabinoids in the county. Foil packets of the drug are often sold over the counter at convenience stores, sometimes deceptively labeled as "herbal incense" or "potpourri". While state law has banned numerous substances, manufacturers often change ingredients to stay a step ahead of the law. "Synthetic cannabinoids are unsafe".
MI health officials issued a warning to the public to be aware of the cases.
In the 1980s, synthetic cannabinoids were considered research compounds but they are now produced overseas, according to the CDC.
If you experience any symptoms, call 911 or have someone drive you to a hospital emergency department immediately, Foley and Sparkman said.
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