Hawaii Addiction Treatment
High purity crystal methamphetamine, commonly known as ice or glass, is the most dangerous drug used in Hawaii. As the process of importing drugs becomes more sophisticated, cocaine and heroin rates are also increasing throughout the island. With large volumes of drugs coming into Hawaii each year, drug-related deaths have surpassed the number of people who die in motor vehicle accidents or from firearms.
Hawaii has one of the highest rates of illicit drug use in the nation among those ages 12 and older.
Some of the most commonly abused drugs in Hawaii include:
Methamphetamine abuse has been problematic for Hawaii residents since the 1980s. More than 90 percent of it is crystal methamphetamine, which is often smoked using a glass pipe. As the euphoric sensations of methamphetamine begin to wear off, a person may become violent, delusional and paranoid. In Hawaii, methamphetamine-related violence has led to assault, child neglect, burglaries and homicide. Roughly 35 percent of individuals jailed in Honolulu alone have methamphetamine in their system – the highest percentage in the U.S.
Many drugs enter Hawaii through the state’s airports, especially the Honolulu International Airport. On average, 90 percent of imported methamphetamine in Hawaii is seized at the Honolulu International Airport.
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Laws of Hawaii Drug Use
Criminal charges relating to drug use vary based on type and amount of substance as well as whether the crime involves drug possession, manufacturing or distribution. Sentencing for illicit substances has tightened due to local law enforcement and government agencies’ efforts to stop Hawaii’s drug epidemic.
Drug charges are categorized as one of the following:
- Possession with intent to distribute
Each sentence will then fall into one of five schedules based on the drug’s risk for dependency and danger. For example, schedule I consists of harmful controlled substances such as heroin and other opium derivatives. Schedules IV and V, however, are less harmful and include zolpidem and some dosages of codeine.
Marijuana Laws In Hawaii
In 2000, Hawaii became the first state to approve the use of medical marijuana for serious health conditions. Over the past decade, laws have evolved around the drug’s qualifying conditions and dispensary programs.
The qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Hawaii are:
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- HIV or AIDS
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
A patient can possess four ounces of usable marijuana at any given time. This does not include the seeds, stalks and roots of the plant. Additionally, home cultivation is allowed in Hawaii; however, the maximum number of immature or mature plants allowed is seven.
As of July 2016, state-licensed dispensaries became fully operational. Individuals can now get up to four ounces of products, including oils and lozenges, from a licensed dispensary every 15 days. A primary caregiver may also obtain medical marijuana on behalf of a patient. Combined, caregivers and patients must not possess more than four ounces of marijuana at one time.
While medical marijuana is legal in Hawaii, the recreational use of the drug is not. Individuals who possess or distribute marijuana illegally face serious punishment.
|Marijuana Amount||Criminal Charge||Potential Sentence|
|Less than 1 oz.||Misdemeanor||30 days in jail, $1,000 maximum fine|
|1 oz. – 1 lb.||Misdemeanor||1 year in jail, $2,000 maximum fine|
|1 lb. or more||Felony||5 years in jail, $10,000 maximum fine|
Other marijuana charges may include possession with the intent to distribute, which can involve severe legal consequences. For instance, any amount of marijuana within 750 feet of a school or park, or within 10 feet of a parked school vehicle is recognized as a felony with up to five years in prison and $10,000 fine.
Addiction Treatment Laws In Hawaii
Although Hawaii does not offer funding for addiction treatment, many rehab facilities accept private insurance. Some services may also be eligible for financial assistance depending on an individual’s need. Programs designed to help those struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction include:
- Alcoholics Anonymous
- Hawaii State Department of Health Access Line
- Narcotics Anonymous
Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation With Enforcement (HOPE) Program
In an effort to reach out to individuals who are not eligible for drug court, the HOPE program is an intensive recovery program. It typically involves offenders who are likely to violate the conditions of their probation.
The warning hearing, the first step in the HOPE program, discusses the general rules and consequences in case of a violation. Afterwards, individuals are required to call a drug testing hotline every weekday. If the hotline recording includes the person’s assigned color, they must report to the courthouse for a drug test. Generally, a color will be called six times during the first two months. As time goes on, the assigned color will be called less frequently.
If an individual does not comply, they will be sentenced to jail. Upon their release, they may resume participation in the HOPE program.
Within a 12-month period, 61 percent of those who complete the HOPE program had zero positive drug tests.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) In Hawaii
Hawaii is one of 35 states that has an operational PDMP which helps track prescribed controlled substances. The program allows medical professionals and pharmacies to better assist with patient care, identify potential drug abuse and be on alert for insurance fraud.
PDMPs help reduce the rates of drug abuse by allowing states to share data with other states who are part of the program. By monitoring which substances are dispensed and where, the program hopes to reduce non-medical uses of painkillers and possible overdoses.
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High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program
Due to its location and access to various transportation means, Hawaii is part of the HIDTA program. The program supports local drug control efforts in designated HIDTA counties. With state-of-the-art equipment, new technology and other resources, communities are able to take a step forward in their fight against drug trafficking. HIDTA also strengthens the relationship between local law enforcement officials, state representatives and various organizations who are committed to the safety of Hawaii’s citizens.
Drug Court In Hawaii
Since the late 1990s, Hawaii’s drug courts provide nonviolent offenders an opportunity to receive proper treatment for an addiction. Those who qualify for the program will receive community supervision instead of jail time. Drug court focuses on both mental and physical healing that includes services such as inpatient rehab, counseling, work programs and support groups.
Today, drug courts have spread throughout numerous cities in Hawaii. The program’s success has gained national recognition for its impact on long-term recovery for drug offenders.
Roughly 95 percent of drug court participants will not be convicted of convicted of a similar offense after completing the Hawaii drug court program.
Treatment Centers In Hawaii
Hawaii offers many different treatment options to those suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction. With a growing number of adolescents using illicit substances, some middle and high schools are also now offering school-based substance abuse treatment. Other local organizations, such as the Salvation Army, provide addiction treatment services at a reduced cost. Some of these services may include social detoxification, outpatient rehab or sober living homes.
While staying close to home for treatment has its benefits, another option to consider is an out-of-state treatment facility. Sometimes going away during recovery can significantly impact your success for lasting sobriety and the opportunity to build a new life. When reviewing different treatment methods, consider what works for you and will give you the greatest chance to overcome your addiction.
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