Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

MI health officials issue warning over deadly rat poison in synthetic marijuana

MI health officials issue warning over deadly rat poison in synthetic marijuana

As of April 5, IL health officials have received reports of 89 cases, including two deaths, linked to an outbreak of cases reporting use of fake pot products before suffering from severe bleeding since March 7. "Brodifacoum is a highly lethal rodenticide and should not be consumed".

Some people who are required to undergo routine drug testing use synthetic marijuana to get high because its components are often hard to detect on tests.

The contaminated synthetic marijuana that IL public health officials have been warning about has claimed at least two lives - a 22-year-old suburban Chicago man and another state resident.

Although the cause of the March 28 death for the 22-year-old man in Cook County is still pending, health officials emphasized the serious harm that can come from brodifacoum.

Brodifarcuom impairs blood clotting in humans and can cause fatal gastrointestinal or brain bleeding, officials said. The medical examiner's office is also investigating a second case that presented with similar hemorrhaging, or bleeding.

"We've only had one case so far, but obviously the concern is that there could be many more so that is why we are trying to get the word out", Anderson said.

"This poisoning is unique in that its effects can last weeks to months", Dr. Jenny Lu, a toxicologist at John H. Stoger Jr. Other interventions may be necessary. Anyone who uses the drug and develops significant, unexplained bleeding should seek medical care right away.

"This bleeding is not expected, at least in such a significant population so quickly", she said. "Without more information, IDPH does not know how much contaminated product is circulating or where". According to investigators, they both sold tainted synthetic marijuana at a Chicago convenience store. They are sold for recreational drug use under the names K2, Spice, Black Mamba, Bombay Blue, Genie, Zohai and others.

"People don't realize how risky this is", she said.

Wisconsin law bans the sale of synthetic cannabinoids. It is a human-made chemical that is sprayed on dried plant materials and meant to be smoked or vaped. The products are also sometimes referred to as herbal or liquid incense.

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