Hawaii is the 50th state, only added in 1959. It is made up entirely out of islands. It is a very touristic destination, attracting the interest of people who want to lie on the beach, surfers, volcanic enthusiasts, biologists and so on. Its culture is fascinating, with influences from North America and Asia. The current population is mainly made up from native residents and military personnel. Hawaii is made up of hundreds of little islands, with eight main islands. Hawaii is, as such, one of the smallest states and also one of the least populous. However, it is one of the most densely populated states. Although an idyllic state, with perfect weather and perfect geography, Hawaii knows its fair shares of problems. One of these is an issue around drugs and alcohol abuse and the rising number of Hawaii drug rehab facilities demonstrate just how serious this problem is getting. Before looking at what Hawaii drug rehab facilities have to face, let’s understand just what the problem looks like in the state. This can also help in terms of understanding the particular problems that are present.
Hawaii Drug Statistics
Any drugs that are available of the mainland are also available on the islands of Hawaii. The leading threats faced by Hawaii drug rehab facilities include crystal meth, cocaine (powder and crack), marijuana, predatory drugs and heroin. It seems that drugs are shipped in by visiting passengers, but also through the regular postal service and shipping companies. Some meth labs have been foiled in Hawaii, meaning that these drugs can now be produced “in house”.
Cocaine Drug Abuse
Cocaine is the third biggest drug problem in Hawaii. Hawaii drug rehab facilities, however, most often see cocaine abusers come through their doors. The price of cocaine is reasonably low on the island, adding to the problem. Cocaine seems to be supplied by Mexicans, Pacific islanders and local organization, which presents a particular problem for law enforcement. At wholesale level, the drugs are provided mainly by Mexican cartels. One of the most significant issues is that cocaine is often used in combination with other drugs.
Heroin Drug Abuse
The most popular type of heroin on Hawaii is black tar. However, Hawaii drug rehab facilities have reported an increase in Southeast Asian Heroin. This means that the market is diversifying and that the problem is getting bigger.
Methamphetamine Drug Abuse
The number of meth labs foiled by law enforcement has risen slightly every year, which is a real concern. Hawaii drug rehab facilities report that this is the most popular drugs and Hawaii has the highest number of meth dependents per capita in the country. It is incredibly high in purity and the quantities that can be purchased range from very large to very small, making it even more accessible. It is mainly smuggled in from Southeast Asia, but also from California, Oregon and Washington. The biggest traffickers seem to be the Chinese, but other Southeast Asian countries are making an important contribution to the market as well. According to Hawaii drug rehab facilities, one of the most worrying things is that meth is around seven times more expensive than anywhere else in the country. Yet demand is very high.
Predatory Drug Abuse
Predatory drug abuse is also a significant problem. Hawaii drug rehab facilities report that GHB, MDMA and LSD abuse is on the rise, particularly amongst youth and military personnel. The drugs are very easy to access, which increases the problem. A large seize of LSD was recently performed on a single active duty sailor. Hawaii drug rehab facilities report that the largest growing problem is linked to MDMA however. This is a particular problem among 20 to 30 year old individuals. All MDMA is imported, mainly through parcel services and travelers. Because these types of drugs are used heavily by military personnel, Hawaii drug rehab facilities are working together with law enforcement and military law enforcement personnel to tackle the problem. Control also takes place at raves and nightclubs.
Marijuana Drug Abuse
Marijuana poses a significant drug problem, mainly because it is so readily available. It is often home grown and stronger than anything that can be purchased in the rest of the country. Marijuana is also smuggled in from the mainland, but the drugs cartels are almost always from Hawaii itself. The local population does not see the use of marijuana as a problem, which adds to the wide use of the drug. It also seems that traffickers of marijuana traffic other drugs as well. Of particular concern is that the drug is readily available to young people aged between 6 and 12 through public schools. However, the drug is not as commonly used as meth, particularly in Guam. On Saipan, the drug is almost solely used by school aged children. This is particularly worrying because Hawaiian marijuana is so strong and heavy in THC content. It is grown on each of the five main islands, with the Big Island producing the most. The climate and geography of Hawaii makes it perfect for the growth of the plant, regardless of the elevation. It is often found inside forests, but also within cane fields, on pasture lands, mountains and even in parks and backyards. The climate allows for the drug to be cultivated all year long. It is sold at quite a high price, making it a lucrative business for less than scrupulous people. However, the high price is not a deterrent for people to use it. Medical marijuana is also available in Hawaii, which puts additional strain on Hawaiian law enforcement.
Other Drug Abuse
There is a rising problem in terms of abuse of prescription drugs. There are now quite a few so called “doctor shoppers”, but pharmacies are also often the victim of robberies. Prescription fraud is high, particularly within the medical community where doctors often prescribe drugs on demand, rather than because the drugs are needed. The biggest problem with prescription drugs is based on Hydrocodone, which costs a user between $3 and $9 per tablet. The second most used prescription drug is OxyContin, which has risen in price by 20% due to the higher demand.