Pubdate: Thu, 11 Sep 2003
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin (HI)
Copyright: 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Author: Ishmael W. Stagner II
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Note: To read about the "ice epidemic" in Hawaii, go to .


Your suggestion that high school student usage of "ice" is diminishing
(Star-Bulletin, Sept. 8) can be misleading. I have worked in a program for
court-adjudicated at-risk and incarcerated youth ages 14-18 for the past 3 1/2
years, and I have noticed little or no lessening of ice or any other kind of
drug usage among my clients. What I have noticed is that if youths have
identified drug problems in the 9th- or 10th-grade years, they usually are out
of school by the 11th- or 12th-grade years, and those who are still in school
are raising hell with everyone. Thus they don't appear on later statistics. 

Additionally, many youths self-medicate with ice and other drugs to escape the
harsh realities of incest, rape, abuse, homelessness, poverty and neglect. The
paucity of true treatment and rehabilitation programs for Hawaii's youth is
shameful, and the programs that do exist are overwhelmed, understaffed and
incompletely funded. Talk to those of us in the field sometime.

Ishmael W. Stagner II

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