3 people now dead from synthetic drug use

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ILLINOIS (WAND) – A third person in Illinois has died from exposure to drugs called synthetic cannabinoids. 

The Illinois Department of Public Health says synthetic cannabinoids have now claimed the lives of three men, including two in their 20s and a third in in his 40s. The drugs are known to cause severe bleeding, internal bleeding, bleeding gums and other symptoms.

A total of 107 people in central Illinois have dealt with severe bleeding symptoms from these drugs. IDPH leaders say the health effects they cause can be “unpredictable, harmful and deadly.”

The Ford County Public Health Department is asking people who experience these symptoms to find hospital care as soon as possible, stressing that an affected person should not walk or drive themselves. A person in that situation could also call 911 for help.

“Synthetic cannabinoids are unsafe,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shad, M.D., J.D. “They are not regulated and people don’t know what chemicals may be in them, like rate poison. While efforts are underway to get the contaminated drugs out of circulation, it’s possible they could re-emerge. We urge people not to use synthetic cannabinoids now or ever.”

The man-made drugs are sprayed onto dried plant material and can be smoke or vaporized. They’re called cannabinoids because their chemicals are similar to what can be found in a real marijuana plant.

Some convenience stores, gas stations, other shops and websites sell synthetic cannabinoids.

Click here for more information about synthetic drugs and case statistics in Illinois.

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