By Devin Bartolotta

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– An alarming trend is sending Marylanders to the hospital with uncontrollable bleeding.

At least 21 people across the state have been poisoned by synthetic marijuana.

The CDC knew something was up about two months ago, but just recently, lab tests revealed rat poison is to blame. And Maryland is a significant part of a nine-state outbreak.

The CDC is warning that rat poison mixed with the drugs has sent 21 Marylanders to the hospital with uncontrolled bleeding.

“Most of the cases are coming from Baltimore City and Baltimore County. So that’s I think maybe a reflection of where the people are that are using this stuff most commonly,” said Dr. Bruce Anderson of the Maryland Poison Center.

Dr. Anderson with the Maryland Poison Center says the poison-laced synthetic marijuana has now reached nearly every corner of our state.

The same product sickened 160 users in the Chicago area and 8 other states–killing three people so far.

A Baltimore man told WJZ he’s afraid his daily fake weed habit will kill him. And though he’s tried to get help, he always comes back.

“I left because I still wanted to get high. You know, not many people are going to say that,” he said. “This right here. Where I’m at right now. How you see me right now, this is rock bottom.”

Doctors say the high is a gamble users can’t afford.

“There’s no way to make them safe, there’s no way to know if the products that you’re using happen to include the rat poison or not. so the best thing to do is just avoid exposure altogether,” Dr. Anderson said.

The symptoms of the poisoning include bleeding gums, nosebleed, and vomiting blood.

Treatment can take months and can cost up to $8,000.

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Devin Bartolotta

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