HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Synthetic Marijuana Laced With Rat
Pubdate: Fri, 06 Apr 2018
Source: Columbus Dispatch (OH)
Copyright: 2018 The Columbus Dispatch
Contact:  http://www.dispatch.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/93
Author: Alissa Widman Neese

OHIO HEALTH OFFICIALS: SYNTHETIC MARIJUANA LACED WITH RAT POISON
CAUSING SEVERE BLEEDING IN OTHER STATES

State health officials issued a public warning Friday about a severe
bleeding outbreak in the Midwest that has been linked to synthetic
marijuana contaminated with a rat poison ingredient.

No cases have been reported in Ohio as of Friday.

A total of 94 people have exhibited symptoms in the past month in
other states.

Most were in Illinois, which has reported 89 cases, including two
deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cases also have been reported in Missouri, Wisconsin and Maryland, and
there is a suspected case in Pennsylvania.

Ohio's advisory is "purely precautionary," said Dr. Mark Hurst,
medical director for the Ohio Department of Mental Health and
Addiction Services.

"If our health-care providers see a case of unexplained bleeding, we
want them to be aware to consider this as a possible source," Hurst
said.

The contaminant, brodifacoum, is a very potent blood thinner, he
said.

If someone ingests it, symptoms can include bruising, nosebleeds,
bleeding gums, vomiting or coughing up blood, excessive menstrual
bleeding, blood in urine or stool, back or flank pain, altered mental
status and loss of consciousness.

Treatment requires hospitalization and high doses of vitamin K.

Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made chemicals that mimic the effects
of marijuana. They are sprayed onto plant material to be smoked, mixed
into a liquid to be used in e-cigarettes or swallowed with food or
liquids, according to the CDC.

They're often called "synthetic marijuana" or the brand names "K2" and
"Spice."

They're an illegal substance in Ohio and cannot be sold, according to
state la. But they're not regulated in every state, where they're
often available in convenience stores, gas stations and stores that
sell drug paraphernalia.

Ohio's law, which passed in 2011, has reduced the drug's availability
here, Hurst said.

Report suspected cases to the Ohio Poison Control Center at
1-800-222-1222.
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