SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Illinois public health officials say the number of people in Illinois who have experienced severe bleeding after using synthetic marijuana has increased to 95 cases.
Friday’s updated number includes two deaths and is up from 56 cases reported Monday.
Health department data show the majority of cases are in the Chicago area, Peoria County and Tazewell County. None have been reported in La Salle and or Livingston counties.
Some have tested positive for an anticoagulant often used as rat poison.
The substance is often referred to as Spice, K2 or fake weed. It is a human-made, mind-altering chemical that is either sprayed on dried shredded plant material to be smoked or sold as a liquid to be vaporized and inhaled. Public health officials say the product is not safe and if anyone has purchased it they shouldn’t use it.
“While La Salle/Livingston County has not seen any cases of severe bleeding caused by synthetic cannabinoid use yet, the number of people experiencing severe bleeding after using the synthetic drug is still increasing in the region,” said health departments in La Salle and Livingston counties in a press release issued Friday. “We will continue to work with state and federal public health officials to try to identify common products and where it’s coming from. We strongly urge everyone not to use synthetic cannabinoids.”
Anyone with questons should contact the Livingston County Health Department at 815-844-7174 ext. 238 or the La Salle County Health Department at 815-433-3366.