Pubdate: Wed, 24 Sep 2003
Source: Honolulu Weekly (HI)
Contact:  2003 Honolulu Weekly Inc
Author: Chad Blair
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Note: To read about the "ice epidemic" in Hawaii, go to .


The recently concluded Hawai'i Drug Control Strategy Summit, convened by Lt.
Gov. Duke Aiona, generated big headlines and positive buzz on how to deal with
what has been described as a crystal methamphetamine "epidemic" in the islands.
While praising the "ice summit," especially the consensus on the need for
expanded treatment services, two attendees shared with the Weekly their
thoughts on what was missing:

"Some major stakeholders in the drug debate were not invited, including the
head of the state's needle-exchange program, the director of the social
workers' professional organization, and the principal investigator of a
federally funded research and treatment program for women using ice," said Pam
Lichty, president of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai'i. "A state senator
complained publicly that all members of the Joint House Senate Task Force on
Ice and Drug Abatement were not invited."

Kat Brady, head of the Community Alliance on Prisons, said, "The most
surprising element was the lack of support for drug testing students. This
issue didn't even get a nod in the broad recommendations emerging from the
summit. There is lots of talk against it in the street from people of all
political persuasions, and the word is that people don't like subjecting their
kids to suspicionless drug testing."

Brady continued: "Another theme of the summit was that people don't want
substance abuse to be caught up in the miasma of politics while their families
are suffering. The Lingle administration is doing one thing, the Legislature is
doing another, and communities all around Hawai'i Nei are wondering if this
political football will actually produce some useful resources to ameliorate
their pain or just be another campaign promise with no solutions in sight."

One other summit highlight: A new group, HEART (Honolulu for Expanded Access to
Resources and Treatment), a coalition of churches, community organizations,
service providers and concerned citizens, handed out buttons and brochures to
help educate the conferees on women and treatment, mandatory-minimum and
three-strikes laws, student drug testing and youth drug education.
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