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City of Houston

UPDATE: Drug Overdose Was Cause Of Death For Houston Councilman Larry Green, He ‘Served Honorably’ Mayor Turner Says

Green died unexpectedly on March 6

Houston City Council Member Larry V. Green

The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences said Friday that Houston City Council Member Larry Green died of an accidental drug overdose.

The medical examiner's report finds Green took a combination of chloroethane, a recreational inhalant, and methamphetamine, commonly known as meth or speed. Green was elected the first council member for Houston's District K in 2011.

Chloroethane is an organic solvent that is found in aerosol (spray can) preparations. It has been used as a solvent, refrigerant, local anesthetic and in the manufacture of various other chemical compounds. It is sold in spray cans as a "cleaning solvent."

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that is commonly known as "meth," or "speed." Methamphetamine has direct effects on the body to produce a sense of excited elation.

"The dangers of chloroethane are particularly drastic," said Doug Thornton, who teaches at the University of Houston's College of Pharmacy. "Individual can experience shallow breathing, loss of consciousness, and lowered heartrate."

While chloroethane is a powerful depressant of the central nervous system, methamphetamine is a stimulant.

Thornton says it's common for users to self-medicate: "If you're extremely intoxicated on a CNS depressant like chloroethane, you maybe think that you can bring yourself back up with a methamphetamine, or vice versa."

In a statement, Mayor Sylvester Turner said, "Larry Green served honorably as a Houston city councilman. He fought to improve the community and open the doors of opportunity for people who shared his vision for equality, economic opportunity and safe neighborhoods.

“The autopsy results do not diminish the great work he did for the people of District K. However, it does remind us that our actions have consequences.

“I hope everyone will continue to celebrate his life instead of focusing on his death. I was not aware of any substance abuse issues Councilman Green may have struggled with in his personal life. At City Hall, he was a leader and focused on serving his district.”

Green was found dead in his home on Tuesday, March 6. He was 52 years old.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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