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Houston’s Police Chief Warns Of The Dangers Of Designer Drugs

HPD says “designer drugs” are a growing problem in the city. The department is asking for the public’s help in shutting down dealers.

Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland at a news conference at police headquarters.
Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland says the designer drug trade is a growing threat.
Some of those designer drugs are sold from behind the counter in convenience stores, and investigators say they’re filled with dangerous chemicals. Police Chief Charles McClelland says it’s the biggest growing threat for Houston’s young people.

“Simply because how they’re marketed, how they’re produced, and how there’s a lack of knowledge of these chemicals,” says McClelland.

The product is often called synthetic marijuana. Captain Dale Brown with HPD’s Narcotics Division says it makes some people think it’s not dangerous. But the two substances aren’t related in any way.

“Respiratory problems, hallucinations and psychosis, seizures, loss of conciousness, death. How many of those do you associate with marijuana?” asks Brown.

HPD says when it comes to volume, they seize more designer drugs than any other illegal substance, second to marijuana.

In the effort to get the public involved, the department has launched a new website where people can give anonymous tips about designer drug sales.

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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