Hundreds of overdoses tied to emerging illegal drug

Channel 2 looks at where they're happening in Houston

HOUSTON – A synthetic drug called Kush is causing hundreds of overdoses just in the last six months.

Hundreds of drug overdoses plaguing some of the city's busiest neighborhoods.

The drug is responsible for the emerging epidemic and what it's costing to keep up. Kush is the street name for the most popular illegal drug in Houston. It's a designer drug made from combinations of synthetic chemicals sprayed on potpourri, then packaged like candy and smoked like marijuana.

Kush isn't new, but there were no numbers to show just how big a problem it is in Houston, until now.

Last summer, Houston EMS Director Dr. David Persse asked his ambulance crews to start keeping records of patients they suspected of or who admitted smoking Kush.

"This is probably our No. 1 illicit drug we're dealing with on the street," Persse said.

Houston ambulances crews responded to more than 900 calls for help connected to the drug. Houston's Kush epidemic runs through the heart of the city.

Fire department maps show most of the 900-plus cases clustered along the Metrorail train line running from downtown to the medical center.