A few months back, reports started coming in about people in Illinois having horrific reactions after using synthetic marijuana. It's still happening, and close to home.

Since the outbreak of problems began on March 7th of this year, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) says that they've received reports of 164 cases, including four deaths. Cases report using synthetic cannabinoid products before suffering from severe bleeding.

Doctors say the synthetic cannabinoids, commonly called K2 or spice, can lead to severe bleeding, sometimes hospitalization and possibly death. IDPH Director Nirave Shah says it is unclear if this is a new batch of synthetic drugs or the same batch from March.

The IDPH says people who have become sick have reported coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose, bleeding gums and internal bleeding.

Tazewell County (just south of Peoria) leads the state in reported cases with 49. Chicago is 2nd with 40 cases. Next comes Peoria County with 35, and Cook County with 10.

Winnebago County has 9 reported cases at the present time.

Cases report acquiring the synthetic cannabinoid products in counties across the state. Individuals reported obtaining contaminated synthetic cannabinoid products (i.e., K2, spice, synthetic marijuana, and legal weed) from convenience stores, dealers, and friends.

If you have purchased any of this product in the past month, do not use it. If you have used any of these products, and start experiencing severe, unexplained bleeding or bruising, please have someone take you to the hospital immediately or call 911. Do not walk or drive yourself. Tell your health care providers about the possible link between your symptoms and synthetic cannabinoid use.


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