Spice addiction linked to rising homelessness in Clearwater

- A drug called Spice or K2 can cause hallucinations and even seizures. Officials in Clearwater are now saying the synthetic drug is causing an increase in the homeless population downtown.

Young adults between the age of 18 and 30 are living on the streets of Clearwater after falling victim to addiction to spice.The drug is smoked, similarly to marijuana, but unlike pot, it’s known to be much less expensive, not to mention deadly.

Spice is made by spraying chemicals on things like potpourri, which is then smoked.

“They just fall out,” a man who asked to remain anonymous told FOX 13 of people high on Spice. “What do they act like? Zombies! Tripping, tweaking, it's sad really.”

A year ago, Clearwater police officers responded after a dozen homeless people reportedly overdosed on the substance.

Mayor George Cretekos says the city has someone undercover, living with the homeless population to determine who’s dealing, who needs help, and who needs to be arrested.

“We are trying to determine if the person you are seeing downtown is someone who needs help or who is causing problems,” Cretekos said.

Clearwater Police officers are doing more code enforcement in Crest Lake Park – another possible reason the homeless population is more concentrated downtown.

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