HOUSTON (AP) — Officials say they'll ramp up enforcement efforts at Houston parks and other "hot spots" after more than a dozen people were hospitalized after using a synthetic drug.

The Houston Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/297AgPy ) that authorities will create a 50-person police patrol division, transfer about 175 officers to patrol beats and take other measures to prevent drug use at parks.

Mayor Sylvester Turner made the announcement Thursday in an effort to stem the use of synthetic cannabinoids known as Kush or K2.

The drug also is known as synthetic marijuana but it's actually a series of chemical compounds sprayed on plant material.

Authorities in other cities such as Austin and Dallas also have been contending with rising use of the drug.

Houston has outlawed the possession, marketing and sale of synthetic drugs.