Substance Abuse in Yigo, Guam
Yigo, Guam, is the northernmost village in the territory and home to approximately 20,539 residents. Yigo is larger in land area than any of the villages to the south and also contains Andersen Air Force Base. Located in the Pacific Ocean, south of the Mariana Islands and east of the Philippines, the territory often suffers from the drug trafficking efforts of larger, neighboring countries. As such, a number of illicit drugs can be found on the island.
The most common substances of abuse in Yigo include:
In 2011, the number of drugs seized in Guam was about 4,957 grams. By 2013, that number had jumped to 39,670 grams–of which meth accounted for 24,922 grams. The rapid rise in drug abuse on the island was accompanied by an alarming rise in crime. The Yigo area (part of the Dededo Precinct), in particular, saw more cases of burglary and motor vehicle theft than any other precinct.
Unfortunately, suffering from addiction puts people at high risk for criminal behavior. Drug-related crimes are often due to the need of individuals to maintain their addiction or to fund their lifestyle.
Get Answers to Your Questions
The “Ice” Epidemic
Since 2015, new felony drug possession cases have risen in Guam. Authorities report the majority of these cases can be attributed to increasing meth abuse in the Pacific. On the island, crystal methamphetamine (also known as “ice”) is the most common form and typically arrives via trade ship from Mainland China. Its effects include euphoria and a burst of energy that can last as long as 24 hours. However, meth can also cause:
- Violent behavior
- Rapid breathing and heart rates
- Increased temperature
- Weight loss
If you suspect someone you care about is using “ice,” law enforcement have reported paraphernalia such as simple, plastic pens; tin foil; glass vials; cellophane wrappers (such as those from a cigarette pack), and a lighter.
Get Help During COVID-19
With just 30 days at a rehab center, you can get clean and sober, start therapy, join a support group, and learn ways to manage your cravings.
Drug Abuse Statistics
Among high school students, 4.5% say they have smoked “ice” at least once; the US national average is 3%.
The youngest person receiving treatment for meth addiction in Guam is only 12 years old; the oldest is 56.
In 2015, 34% of Guam’s high school students reported using Marijuana one or more times in their lifetime, compared to 20% of US high schoolers.
Addiction Treatment in Yigo
Guam has prioritized recovery and treatment for individuals whose addiction has delivered them to the criminal justice system. Drug courts and substance abuse treatment services are available to residents the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center. For people in need of recovery, walk-in assessments are available and there is no cost for the services it provides.
Those individuals who need additional care, or would prefer to leave behind local triggers during their recovery, traveling for rehab may be the most beneficial option.