meth

Toby Talbot/AP

Hawaii lawmakers were asked on Thursday to help make non-pharmaceutical alternatives more available to patients who use opiods, the addictive pain-killing drugs.

Hawaii Drug Courts Offer An Alternative to Prison

Jun 15, 2016
Flickr / stockmonkeys.com
Flickr / stockmonkeys.com

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been sharing stories of crystal meth addiction throughout the state. It’s a collaborative project with Honolulu Civil Beat called Hawai‘i’s New Ice Age: Crystal Meth in The Islands. In a search for solutions, one program seems to be working. But as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, there’s not nearly enough space.

Noe Tanigawa
Noe Tanigawa

Over the next several weeks, Hawaii Public Radio and Honolulu Civil Beat are doing a series of podcasts and radio reports we’re calling Hawai‘i’s New Ice Age: Crystal Meth in the Islands. HPR’s Molly Solomon takes a closer look at how and why crystal meth has become embedded in Hawai‘i’s local culture.

Episode 2: Hawai‘i’s Meth Culture

Jun 1, 2016
Noah Matteucci
Noah Matteucci

    

  

Many people think of crystal methamphetamine users as homeless addicts with deep-seated mental health issues. While that describes some users, it’s a much broader spectrum of people who have issues with crystal meth. From blue collar workers seeking energy to work multiple jobs to white collar employees, crystal meth in Hawai‘i cuts across demographic lines. Job applicants in the state consistently test positive for crystal meth at more than three times the national average.

Hawaii’s Ice Epidemic: How Did We Get Here?

May 26, 2016
Flickr / Klaus Stiefel
Flickr / Klaus Stiefel

Crystal meth first came to Hawai‘i in the 1980s. Over the next several weeks, Hawaii Public Radio and Honolulu Civil Beat are doing a series of podcasts and radio reports called Hawai‘i’s New Ice Age: Crystal Meth in the Islands. Today, HPR’s Molly Solomon looks at how the drug first arrived in the islands.

Listen to the full episode by subscribing to our podcast on iTunes.

Episode 1: "45 Patients A Day"

May 25, 2016
Noah Matteucci

Dr. Daniel Chang estimates 45 patients a day come to the emergency room at Queens Medical Center for some type of methamphetamine-related complaint. The use of crystal methamphetamine is a medical, legal and social crisis that has now entered its third generation in Hawaii.

A dozen years ago, Congress held hearings on the topic, calling them "The Poisoning of Paradise." But despite a dip in publicity, meth hasn't left the islands.

Noah Matteucci
Noah Matteucci

45 times a day.

That's how many patients Hawaii’s largest emergency room admits with an issue related to crystal methamphetamine—one of four patients it treats.

Several decades ago, Hawai‘i was the first place in the United States that crystal meth landed — and today it’s a problem that stretches across three generations. Users are not just toothless addicts, but also high-functioning individuals whose chronic health problems turn up years later as heart and kidney issues. Many wind up in prisons and jails.