Combatting the Rise of Synthetic Marijuana Abuse in Houston

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

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Phoenix House Texas has seen the major affects synthetic marijuana has had on our students, our adult clients, and families as a whole. The truth is that synthetic marijuana is not a safe alternative to other drug use, yet it has been marketed as such. Since its popularity grew, Phoenix House Texas has been working tirelessly to combat the effects of synthetic marijuana use.

Prior to October 2014 it was legal to distribute, market, and use synthetic drugs, such as K2, in Houston, Texas. Calls to poison control centers as a result of synthetic marijuana have doubled in recent years, but synthetic marijuana remains difficult to regulate as manufacturers simply adjust formulas to comply with changes in laws. City Attorney David Feldman decided to address to problem of synthetic marijuana usage in Houston by requesting to add the proposal for a ban of synthetic drugs to the Houston City Council Agenda after presenting the issue to the Quality of Life Committee in September 2014.

Rudy Garcia, the Directory of Prevention Services for Phoenix House Texas, added his voice to those speaking out about the dangers of synthetic marijuana, particularly among our young people. He addressed the City Council of Houston and described the terrible effects of synthetic marijuana and how Phoenix House Texas, along with the Coalition of Substance Abuse Prevention, is on the front lines in helping those affected by abuse of these drugs. Garcia explained how some users exhibit aggressive behavior, symptoms of psychosis, extreme anxiety, and how it can be very addictive. The City Council of Houston ultimately banned the use, sale, marketing, and manufacturing of illicit synthetic drugs (K2, Spice, etc.) and the Houston Police Department began enforcement of the ban immediately.

Phoenix House Texas is very pleased that the city of Houston is taking measures to combat the effects of abuse of synthetic drugs, but above all we remain committed to our treatment and prevention programs, knowing that making a drug illegal does not necessarily take it off the streets or stop people from using and selling. We will continue to be a resource for the community as an environment to seek help. We are dedicated to assisting the community in prevention efforts and through providing substance abuse treatment options for both adults and adolescents. We provide substance abuse help in residential and outpatient settings in Houston, Austin and Dallas. With our master’s-level clinicians and truly individualized programming we provide a safe environment where those affected by synthetic marijuana can get the help that they need to succeed. Our programming recognizes that drug and alcohol use is not the only problem. We focus on family education, individual family counseling, and psychiatric evaluations throughout treatment.

Every day, Phoenix House Texas helps adolescents and adults who are suffering from addiction in Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Find out more about our programs and services, or call us today at: 888 671 9392.

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