Houston Matters

What Are Synthetic Drugs and What’s Being Done to Prevent Their Use?

Tomorrow (6/19/15), a district court hearing will address a temporary restraining order obtained late last week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, to stop four Houston-area stores from distributing products containing synthetic marijuana. The category of “synthetic drugs” can cover a wide range of chemical compounds that have varying […]

Tomorrow (6/19/15), a district court hearing will address a temporary restraining order obtained late last week by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, to stop four Houston-area stores from distributing products containing synthetic marijuana.

The category of “synthetic drugs” can cover a wide range of chemical compounds that have varying effects. Some such compounds are called seemingly innocuous things like “spice,” “kush” or “bath salts,” but some can have hallucinogenic effects and bring with them many of the same substance abuse problems as other traditional drugs. Law enforcement characterize them as products specifically designed to circumvent existing laws — something a number of bills passed in the Texas Legislature this year sought to address.

On July 31, the Council on Alcohol and Drugs-Houston’s Prevention Resource Center will host a summit on synthetic marijuana, where law enforcement and clinical practice and substance abuse prevention professionals will discuss synthetic drugs and how you can help curb their use.

We learn more from Emily Breeding from the Prevention Resource Center and Dr. Iram Kazimi, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UTHealth Medical Center.

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