Methamphetamine Abuse in Hilo, Hawaii
Methamphetamine is the most commonly-abused illegal drug in Hilo and throughout Hawaii. Adolescents in Hawaii abuse methamphetamine more often than any other substance besides alcohol. Although drug traffickers first imported methamphetamine into United States territory from Asia through Hawaii, most methamphetamine which is trafficked into Hilo today comes from Mexico. Since methamphetamine is highly addictive and contributes to violent crime, authorities in Hilo are working to arrest methamphetamine traffickers and confiscate supplies of the drug. Police in Hilo seized 458 grams of methamphetamine during one arrest in early 2018. In the same year, Hawaii County police arrested two people in Hilo and seized from them about 575 grams of methamphetamine.
The Opioid Epidemic in Hilo
Although methamphetamine remains the largest source of addiction and drug-related violence in Hawaii, the opioid crisis in Hawaii is becoming increasingly serious. While the number of fatal drug overdoses in the United States rose by 37% from 2006 to 2014, the number of overdose deaths in Hawaii increased by 83% over the course of the same years. Most drug overdoses in Hawaii involve at least one opioid, often hydrocodone and oxycodone. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid which is even more lethal than heroin, is present in Hilo and throughout Hawaii as well. Police in Hawaii have discovered fentanyl on almost every island, including in Hawaii County. In 2017, 77 people lost their lives to an opioid overdose in Hawaii, where opioid overdoses have surpassed car accidents as a leading cause of death.
Many Hilo residents who begin to use prescription painkillers often try heroin, a dangerous and illegal drug which carries a substantial risk of overdose. In Hawaii, heroin abuse is becoming more prevalent among young adults as well as among older members of the middle class. Addiction to heroin as well as to opioids affects people of all ages and income levels in Hilo.
We see a wide range of individuals, from the younger generation to the older generation. It affects everybody, from people that have no money to people who have a lot of money. To be honest, we see a lot of middle upper-class people in our community with the opioid issues and addiction.
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Binge Drinking in Hilo
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 20% of adults in Hawaii are binge drinkers. In Hawaii, the average binge drinker has 107 drinks every year. Binge drinking poses risks to a person’s physical health and safety as well as to their mental well-being, since binge drinking may result in alcohol dependency and addiction. Binge drinking also contributes to fatal traffic accidents. According to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, 35 people died in Hilo and Hawaii County in 2017 as a result of car accidents, the majority of which involved alcohol.
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Finding Help in Hilo
Substance abuse and binge drinking are serious challenges and moving forward can seem impossible, but if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you are not alone and there are options for support in Hilo and throughout Hawaii. Contact a dedicated treatment professional today to get more information about how to start the recovery process for yourself or for a loved one.