Hawaii is the ideal epitome of paradise. The state is known for its warm tropical climate, breathtaking natural scenery, and abundance of beautiful beaches that make it a popular destination for tourists from across the globe. But like the rest of the U.S., as well as of other countries, Hawaii isn’t free from troubles. It’s not free from illicit drug use and addiction problems that impact social functioning in the family, school, and workplace.
According to the Hawaii’s drug use statistics, thousands of Hawaiian teens are also exposed to different banned substances, such as methamphetamine, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and club drugs. An alarming number of youth also use prescription drugs for non-medical purposes.
Studies conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicate that marijuana is the most commonly used drugs by about 10,000 Hawaiian adolescents, compared to the 6,000 teens using some other illicit drugs.
Approximately 2,000 males and 3,000 females reported using pain relievers non-medically in the 12 months prior to being interviewed for the studies.
In terms of alcohol use, about 14 percent of adolescent males and 19 percent of adolescent females have reported drinking alcohol, with 10 percent of males and 12 percent of females engaging in binge drinking.
Data from the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), an annual 1-day census of clients in treatment, found that adolescent males accounted for 55 percent of the 6,734 adolescent substance abuse admissions in Hawaii on the day the study was performed. Of the total male admissions, 22 percent were due to drugs only, 67 percent were due to combination of alcohol and drugs, and 10 percent were due to alcohol only.
Of the adolescent female admissions, 17 percent were due to drugs only, 68.9 percent were due to combination of alcohol and drugs, and 12.5 percent were due alcohol only.
Among adolescent admissions, marijuana and alcohol were the most prevalent substances abused. Of the total male admissions, 77 percent (2,827) reported alcohol use and 87 percent (3,178) reported marijuana use. Of the total female admissions, 81 percent (2,493) reported alcohol use and 81 percent (2,465) reported marijuana use.
In the recent years, Hawaii officials have been vigorously promoting several drug prevention guidelines to reduce the number of teens and adults who experiment with drugs. In addition, Hawaii employers are starting to have increased awareness about the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace that a growing number of them are implementing drug testing policy, particularly to those in safety-sensitive occupations.