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Hawaii Drug Addiction Recovery and Treatment Programs and Centers

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Despite the fact that it sees millions of tourists every year (many of whom bring drugs along for the trip) and its strategic location on a major trade route, Hawaii ranks far below the national average for its’ citizens’ drug and alcohol abuse. The state of Hawaii’s population is over a million people, but fewer than seven thousand of them were admitted to Hawaii’s drug and alcohol treatment centers in 2007. That says a lot for the notion that there’s more to do in Hawaii than just drugs. However, that doesn’t mean that Hawaii is unaffected by drugs and alcohol- the biggest drug concern in the state is methamphetamine- a toxic, dangerous, and highly addictive drug.

Like in other states, meth usage in Hawaii began to be a problem in the early 2000s, because of the proliferation of homemade meth labs and higher manufacture rates in California and Mexico. Hawaii’s drug and alcohol treatment centers say that methamphetamine addictions have caused Hawaii’s drug admission rates to double since 1992. In 2007, the last year for which data is available, methamphetamine caused over thirty percent of drug treatment center admissions in Hawaii.

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues At-A-Glance, Hawaii

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), December 2008

Another bad thing about methamphetamine use (as if there wasn’t enough negativity around it already!) is that more and more children are trying meth. Among Hawaii’s schoolkids, meth use is more common among younger students than it is among higher grades. This is especially troubling not only because of the extremely addictive properties of methamphetamine, but because numerous studies confirm the belief that the younger a person is when they first start using drugs, the more likely it is that they will become addicted.

In 2006, there were one hundred and five drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities in Hawaii. Of all those, eighty percent were privately run and not-for-profit, and twelve were run on a for-profit basis. As is the case in many states, only a few of Hawaii’s drug and alcohol treatment centers are owned or operated by the state, but almost ninety percent of them receive some public funding. The fact that most of Hawaii’s drug treatment centers are partly publicly funded means that they are accessible to more of the people who need them.

In spite of the availability of drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Hawaii, residents of the state should be careful when they choose a center. Like it is in most other states, each of Hawaii’s drug and alcohol centers are run a little differently. Not all programs are offered by all centers. For example, only three of Hawaii’s 105 drug treatment centers host programs for opiate addiction, and seven programs offer buprenorphine. Most of Hawaii’s drug treatment centers prefer to take a holistic approach to treating addiction, which may not suit the needs of the most severely addicted individuals.

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