Despite the huge effort being put forth to warn people against using synthetic marijuana, 3 residents of Winnebago County are in the hospital with severe bleeding.

And, statewide in Illinois, 4 people have died from using the rat-poison infused synthetic cannabinoids.

You would think a national campaign (along with the Illinois Department of Public Health's own campaign) would've gotten the attention of those who would be considering giving the synthetic weed a try, but at least 154 cases statewide of severe bleeding, along with 4 dead, shows that not everyone is getting the message.

So, what is this stuff?

The drug contains dried plant material is sprayed with a mind-altering substance to produce effects similar to that of marijuana. In the 150 bleeding cases reported, the substance has been contaminated with brodifacoum, a chemical found in rat poison that prevents the blood from clotting, resulting in abnormal, severe bleeding and death.

Symptoms include coughing up blood, blood in the urine, bloody nose, bleeding gums, internal bleeding, and/or back pain near the kidneys. Treatment can include high doses of vitamin K, up to 30 tablets a day for up to six months, to repair the body's ability to form blood clots.


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