Pubdate: Sun, 13 Oct 2002
Source: Maui News, The (HI)
Contact:  2002 The Maui News
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Note: For more on ice eradication in Hawaii go to


HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii has the worst crystal methamphetamine problem in the
country, according to U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo. 

The problem is destroying families and communities, he said on Friday. 

Kubo cited a Justice Department report that says 40 percent of the people
arrested in Honolulu tested positive for methamphetamine use. Kubo said no
other city came close to 30 percent. 

In a talk to a presidential commission on Asian-Americans and Pacific
Islanders, Kubo also cited these statistics: 

* 30,000 Honolulu residents are hard-core users of crystal meth and as many
as three times more are recreational users. 

* Substance abuse, with crystal meth as the No. 1 drug of choice, is
associated with 90 percent of the 2,300 confirmed child-abuse cases in the
state each year. 

* In a town on the Big Island, 50 percent of teen-agers are addicted to
crystal meth. 

* Drug use has had a role in 44 percent of the state's homicides, and much
of the state's most high-profile violence has been linked to crystal-meth

Crystal-meth users support their habits through burglaries, shopliftings,
robberies, purse snatchings and car thefts, and have helped to raise
Hawaii's larceny-theft rate to the highest in the nation, Kubo said. 

''This drug is directly linked to the destruction of families and a
deterioration of the social fabric in Hawaii,'' he said. 

Crystal meth is one of the most serious public health issues in Hawaii and
the Pacific region, Kubo said. 

He called for increased spending to make drug treatment programs available
to more prison inmates and to make longer treatment programs available to
those on probation and parole. 

He also called for more residential treatment programs and urged the health
insurance industry to increase coverage to well beyond the 30 days maximum. 

He said young people and their parents need to be educated about the health
dangers of the highly addictive drug. Law enforcement agencies must be given
more money to stop the flow of drugs to Hawaii, he said. 

The presidential commission heard testimony on health, economic and
community development, education and migrant/immigrant issues in the state.
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