NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Synthetic marijuana has sent at least 15 people to city emergency rooms over the past few days, a Health Department official told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

New York City banned the substance in 2012, but Dr. Denise Paone with the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said synthetic pot sometimes still turns up in bodegas. Recent cases have come in East Harlem, Central Harlem and Chelsea.

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“We really want to just warn New Yorkers that these are dangerous and illegal and not to buy them and also to report if they see them in stores,” Paone told Smith.

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“Their compounds are changed frequently, so it’s very hard to keep up with what’s being put out there, but they’re very dangerous,” she added.

In 2014 alone, the Health Department said trips to the ER related to synthetic pot are up 220 percent.

Reactions to the substance include nausea, dizziness and hallucinations, Paone said.

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