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Keala Foundation gives keiki a sober space to thrive in

Keala Foundation offers classes on Kauaʻi for the youth.
Keala Foundation
Keala Foundation offers classes on Kauaʻi for the youth.

According to a report from Hawaiʻi’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, there were 48 overdose deaths in the state in 2021.

On Kauaʻi, there were 22 deaths, with nine attributed to fentanyl. So what starts people, especially our youth, down the path of addiction?

"It's happening all the time and it's all under the radar, nobody wants to talk about it," said Aaron Hoff, the founder of the Keala Foundation on Kauaʻi.

The Conversation’s Russell Subiono sat down with Hoff, a recovering drug addict who's been sober for the last 25 years.

His organization, Keala Foundation, focuses on educating youth about the dangers of substance abuse and provides a safe community where they can find opportunities for a healthier lifestyle.   

"The gateway to drugs is the household," Hoff says. "They are going to copy what they see."

For more information on Kauaʻi's Keala Foundation, click here.

Russell Subiono is the executive producer of The Conversation and host of HPR's This Is Our Hawaiʻi podcast. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, he’s spent the last decade working in local film, television and radio. Contact him at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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