New cases of severe bleeding tied to synthetic marijuana in Illinois

Synthetic cannabinoids -- often called Spice, K2 or fake weed -- have been tied to 4 recent deaths.

Illinois Department of Public Health leaders said that doctors and hospitals are dealing with another outbreak of severe bleeding from people using synthetic marijuana.

Melanie Arnold, a spokeswoman for the IDPH, said this time the cases are clustered near Rockford.

“The Illinois Department of Public Health have been alerted to a couple of additional cases of severe bleeding in individuals who have used synthetic canabinoids,” Arnold said. “The majority of these are in the Winnebago County area.”

Arnold said the state saw the first round of bleeding this spring when a bad batch of synthetic marijuana made its way through central Illinois. Those cases were centered around Peoria and the Chicago area.

Arnold said the first batch of tainted drugs tested positive forĀ a chemical found in rat poison.

“We want people to know that synthetic canabinoids are not safe,” Arnold said. “Whether they are part of this batch or part of another batch. In general, synthetic canabinoids are not safe.”

Arnold added that people who have been treated after using the the drugs were bleeding from the eyes, gums, nose. They also reported internal bleeding.

So far this year, Arnold says more than 160 people in 15 Illinois counties have been treated for severe bleeding after using the tainted substance. Three people haveĀ died.

This story was originally published by the Illinois News Network.