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Multiple synthetic drug overdoses reported at Hermann Park

HOUSTON – Houston Fire Department ambulance crews transported at least a dozen people from Hermann Park Tuesday who were believed to have overdosed on the synthetic drug Kush.

The first call came in around 2:30 p.m. and was followed by two more 911 calls to the park. Medics set up a command post to direct ambulances in and out of the park.

It was the latest flare up in an epidemic of Kush abuse that has plagued the city for at least a year. Though the department's medical director, Dr. David Persse said they've never dealt with so many overdose cases in such a short time.

"We've been dealing with this," Dr. Persse, said. "My fear is this is the first of many of these event for the rest of the summer."

All of the cases Tuesday involved homeless people who congregate in the park. Hermann Park is known as a hot spot for drug abuse.

Kush is an illegal, synthetic drug that comes prepackaged in bright wrappers resembling candy. Kush wrappers were found on the park grounds Tuesday.

The Houston Fire Department has been tracking suspected Kush overdoses for the last year. A map produced by the department in March shows the highest concentration of overdose cases along the METRORail line running from the Medical Center through downtown Houston.