From:  Danielle L. Kirby
Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse

DANGEROUS SYNTHETIC CANNABINOID IDENTIFIED

The Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (IDHS/DASA) has been alerted to several individuals experiencing adverse reactions to using synthetic cannabinoids. Poison Control has identified that the synthetic cannabinoids may be laced with highly potent rat poison.

At least four cases of severe bleeding have been reported in Chicago, Cook, DuPage and Will County because of individuals using the contaminated product. The identified individuals do not have a history of taking any anti-coagulating drugs. To date, there has been no identified commonality to where or from whom the synthetic cannabinoids were purchased.

All four individuals were hospitalized and are receiving treatment. Treatment for the condition does work when provided early.

DASA urges you to warn your clients of this outbreak and share this information widely with your networks. Tell your patients and clients if they feel ill after using a synthetic cannabinoid, they should call 911 immediately. They should report to the medical personnel what and when they used, so they can be treated quickly and effectively.

An investigation of this outbreak is currently ongoing by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Poison Control. For updates and further information, please go to http://www.dph.illinois.gov/news.

More information about Synthetic Cannabinoids can be found at https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cannabinoids-k2spice.