Enforcement Officers: 3,214
State Prison Population:
Probation Population: 15,707
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 43
Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 28.6 kgs.
Heroin: 5.5 kgs.
Marijuana: 7.9 kgs.
Clandestine Laboratories: 3 (DEA, state, and
Top City in HawaiiHonolulu
Methamphetamine: The availability and abuse of
crystal methamphetamine and high potency marijuana are the most serious drug
rehab concerns to Hawaii. Methamphetamine addiction, particularly high purity
crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice, poses the greatest drug threat to
Hawaii drug rehab concerns. The number of addiction treatment admissions for
methamphetamine abuse more than doubled from 1994 through 2000. Honolulu had
the highest percentage of adult male arrestees who tested positive for
methamphetamine among cities reporting to the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring
program in 2000. Violence associated with the distribution and abuse of
methamphetamine is a serious concern for law enforcement officials and
healthcare professionals in Hawaii.
Marijuana: Marijuana addiction, the second
most significant drug rehab threat to the state, is widely available and
frequently abused in Hawaii, especially by teenagers. Most marijuana available
in Hawaii is produced locally. The state consistently ranks among the top five
in the number of cannabis plants eradicated. Cannabis grown outdoors in Hawaii
contains some of the highest THC levels in the nation because of the optimal
growing conditions, nutrient- and mineral-rich volcanic soil, and advances in
Heroin: The availability, distribution,
and abuse of heroin continue to present a threat to Hawaii drug rehab scene.
Heroin is widely available and addiction of the drug continues to increase.
Mexican black tar is the most common type of heroin available in Hawaii. The
availability of Southeast Asian heroin, which dominated the Hawaii heroin
market in the 1970s and 1980s, is very limited.
Cocaine: The addiction of
cocaine, particularly crack, is decreasing but remains a threat to Hawaii drug
rehab programs. Pacific Islander independent dealers and Mexican criminal
groups in Hawaii transport most of the cocaine into the state from the West
Coast, typically using couriers on commercial flights or via package delivery
Drugs: The other dangerous drugs (ODDs) category includes club drugs and
diverted pharmaceuticals. Currently, the threat posed by club drugs such as
MDMA, GHB, and LSD is limited but still a serious drug rehab issue. However,
MDMA abuse is increasing in Hawaii addiction treatment scene. Club drugs are
used primarily by teens and young adults at all-night dance parties called
raves. The abuse of diverted pharmaceuticals such as OxyContin is increasing in
Hawaii. There is no evidence to suggest that ODDs contribute to violence in the
state and, with the exception of a few isolated incidents, ODDs are not
produced in Hawaii.
Hawaii drug rehab programs are grounded in the eight main islands and
a 1,500-mile chain of islets covering more than 6,400 square miles. The islands
include Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, and Oahu. The
island of Oahu and the city of Honoluluthe major drug transportation hub
in the stateare the focal points for the flow of drugs into the islands.
Honolulu, the state capital, is located on the most populated island of Oahu.
Honolulu has more than 377,000 residents nearly 10 times the population
of Hilo or Kailua, the next largest cities.
Hawaii has approximately 1.2
million residents and ranks forty-second in population leaving a huge drug
rehab need largely unfulfilled. It has the most racially diverse population of
any state. Asians account for 41.6 percent of the population, while Caucasians
represent 24.3 percent of the population, the lowest percentage of any state.
Native Hawaiians account for 9.4 percent; Hispanics, 7.2 percent; and African
Americans, 1.8 percent. The remaining 15.7 percent is mixed race. The term
Pacific Islander refers to Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Tongans, and individuals
from other islands located in the Pacific Basin or those descended from a
combination of two or more of these groups. This ethnic diversity must be taken
into account with any serious drug rehab program. Drug abuse is a serious
concern in Hawaii requiring drug rehab centers.
According to the 1999 National
Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), 6.7 percent of the respondents aged 12
and older in Hawaii reported using any drug in the past month. Nationally 6.3
percent of respondents reported past month drug abuse. According to the
Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), the total number of drug rehab admissions
for drug and alcohol abuse in Hawaii increased over 50 percent from 1994
through 1999. During the same period, the number of addiction treatment
admissions for drug and alcohol abuse remained stable nationwide. Per capita
spending on substance abuse including drug rehab programs in Hawaii is
significant. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at
Columbia University reported that Hawaii spent $368 per resident in 1998 on
substance abuse-related services, ranking the state seventh in the nation
including Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. That same year Hawaii spent $430
million of its annual budget (8.6 percent) on substance abuse-related programs,
inclusive of drug rehab, that focused on justice, education, health,
child/family assistance, mental health/developmental disabilities, public
safety, and the state workforce. Clearly there is huge room to expand drug
rehab facilities and addiction treatment programs in Hawaii.
Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction Treatment
Drug Situation: The Hawaiian
Islands are located approximately 2,500 miles from the continental United
States. The population is comprised of several ethnic groups, to include native
Hawaiians, Japanese, Korean, Phillipino, African-American, and Caucasian. All
of the illegal drugs that are available on the mainland can also be found in
the islands, with cocaine HCl, crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine
(ice), Ecstasy, and OxyContin being the leading threats in the
state. Hawaii also remains the producer of some of the highest-grade marijuana
in the country (such as Kona Gold), and it is suspected that much
of it is exported to the mainland.
The most common forms of diversion of
pharmaceutical controlled substances continue to be doctor shoppers; employees
who steal from the drug inventory; prescription fraud, including forgeries and
other types of prescription falsification; and physicians who indiscriminately
prescribe and write prescriptions for reasons other than legitimate medical
purposes, outside the scope of their professional practices. Hydrocodone is one
of the most abused pharmaceutical drugs in Hawaii, ranging from $3-$9 per tab
on the street. OxyContins street price has risen 20% (80 mg/$18; 40
mg/$9; 20 mg/$4-5; 10 mg/$3) due to increased demand. Local pharmacies in Hilo
report that individuals are purchasing the maximum limits for
pseudoephedrine-based OTC drugs.
Enforcement Teams: This cooperative program with state and local law enforcement
counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response to the overwhelming problem of
drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. There have
been 348 deployments completed resulting in 14,794 arrests of violent drug
criminals through June 2002. There have been four MET deployments in the state
of Hawaii since the inception of the program: Hilo, Waipahu, Maui, and Kona.
These deployments resulted in 132 arrests and the seizure of one pound of
cocaine; 2 ounces of crack cocaine; 0.6 pounds of heroin; 9.6 pounds plus 1,847
plants of marijuana; and 3.8 pounds of methamphetamine. Also seized were 13
weapons, 19 vehicles, and over $130,000 in U.S. currency and property.
Addiction Treatment Centers Needed: As is the case on the mainland,
drug addiction continues to be a growing problem for Hawaiians. More drug rehab
centers are needed to effectively handle the problem.