Drugs

Radspunk / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

One consistent challenge across all islands in the state is drug abuse. Treatment centers are in short supply and opioid abuse has been on the rise. But local law enforcement officials agree with a finding from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency last year that a particularly severe problem for Hawaiʻi remains crystal methamphetamine.

Sherry Bracken

Drug issues continue to contribute to crime on all islands, and that includes the Big Island. Contributing reporter Sherry Bracken talked with Hawai'i County’s Police Chief to find out what he sees as the biggest drug issues on Hawai'i Island.

Wikimedia Commons

Hawai‘i Public Radio has learned that the Hawai‘i County Police Department is missing some illegal drugs from its evidence room. Police Chief Paul Ferreira says the case involves cocaine and hashish. The investigation has now been referred to the county prosecutor and the case is continuing to develop. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has the exclusive story from Hawai‘i Island.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Authorities in the Philippines have seized a stunning amount of methamphetamine headed into the country from China. Police say there was more than half a ton of the drug, smuggled into warehouses in metropolitan Manila—making it the latest multi-million dollar methamphetamine bust in Asia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Radspunk / CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Police in Australia have recovered nearly a ton of crystal methamphetamine in a single case. It is the largest seizure in the nation’s history—and it underlines how much of a problem crystal meth has become in Australia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Heroin use in the United States has been on the rise, connected to a national epidemic of opioid abuse. China is facing a different kind of drug issue and authorities are beginning to talk about it more openly than in the past. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Wikimedia Commons

Amnesty International issued a blistering report earlier today on President Roderigo Duterte’s drug war in the Philippines. More than 7,500 people have been killed over the past 7 months.  Of 59 deaths investigated by Amnesty, the group reported that the vast majority were “extra-judicial killings carried out by government order.” More from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Last month, we reported on the seizure of 1300 pounds of methamphetamine in suburban Manila. Over the weekend, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would have shot the six men arrested in the raid, and declared himself ready to declare martial law if the war on drugs gets out of control. More from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute.

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.

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.

Crystal Meth in Hawaii: Still On Ice

May 25, 2016
Noah Matteucci
Noah Matteucci

A week ago today, two men pleaded not guilty in the largest bust ever involving crystal methamphetamine on Kaua‘i. Police say they found seven pounds of meth—worth $1.6 million.

It’s the latest reminder that crystal methamphetamine remains a devastating problem around the state. 

DENISE DE GUZMAN
DENISE DE GUZMAN

    

 

 2005 may have been the height of Hawai‘i’s ice “epidemic.”  That year, Hawai‘i police arrested  719 people on meth charges.  Though we haven’t heard a whole lot about it since, crystal methamphetamine hasn’t gone away, and some fear it has just become part of our social fabric.   HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports on a new production at Kumu Kahua that makes you wonder how prevalent this drug still is.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

Hawai‘i abolished the death penalty back in 1957—two years before statehood. But capital punishment will come under closer examination this week in Indonesia. HPR’s Bill Dorman explains in today’s Asia Minute.

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay commons

Drug policy and the death penalty are causing diplomatic disruption in Indonesia this week. Brazil and the Netherlands have both recalled their ambassadors to Jakarta after citizens of those countries were executed over the weekend. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.