OPD Sees Drop In Synthetic Drug Calls 1/16/14
CBS 7 News
January 16, 2014
ODESSA-After a year-long fight to ban synthetic drugs, the Odessa Police Department says they are responding to fewer calls than before on issues with the dangerous drugs.
Doctors are also treating fewer synthetic drug patients in general at Medical Center Hospital. Police say there’s only one shop selling the potpourri-like drugs out in the county. People we spoke with say the stories of brain damage, hallucination and even death are keeping some buyers away.
With names like Purefire, K-2 and spice, with symptoms on par with bath salts, synthetic use was rampant in Odessa.
"We were getting at least one or two calls a night with someone hallucinating from it and on stops it was frequent where someone would have it,” said Odessa Police Department Corporal Kolby Kea. “Now we see it very rarely, maybe one call ever two weeks.”
Police credit the reduction to an ordinance aimed at eliminating synthetic sales in the city.
“The city ordinance that went into effect in October made it more difficult to access it, so we haven’t seen it as often,” Kea said.
For 17-year old Jaquinn Green and his friends, they say word is spreading on the dangers of the drug.
“Bad news travels fast and people take other people’s advice,” said Green.
“Why do you think less people are using it?”
“Because it makes you crazy of course. Why would you want to go crazy over some drug? Right?” said 17-year-old Nathan Aguilar.
Regardless of the reason, it's a good sign for the city.
"There were several instances of bystanders being attacked by the person hallucinating,” said Kea. “It definitely leads to safer neighborhoods.”
The city did not have to issue any fines under the new ordinance. For most of these shops, a visit by police officers was enough of a warning.