Hawaii doesn’t seem like a prime suspect for a state with a drug problem. Most outsiders imagine a gleaming paradise like the one we’ve all seen in movies. Surfing, fishing, volcanoes, jungle—we think we know all about it. The truth, however, is that Hawaii has a drug problem just like most other states.

First off, some criminals will try to take advantage of the fact that tourists will often be looking to buy drugs once on the island. They can’t bring drugs on the plane ride over, so they’re looking to buy “local” product on arrival. Most Hawaiians, however, don’t want to live in a state with rampant drug use. Most will want to do something about it.

Hawaii Drug Facts and Statistics

The state of Hawaii has had its drug abuse struggles with two main drugs; marijuana and methamphetamine. These two account for the most widely abused drug as well as the ones sending the most numbers of people to treatment. In fact 43% of admissions were for marijuana and another 42% were for methamphetamine and other stimulant drugs.

Recent news from Hawaii News Now indicates that the state is also struggling with a prescription drug problem similar to the national problem. To curb this Hawaii just held its 7th Annual Drug Take Back day where residents can safely dispose of addictive prescriptions. Some of the primary prescriptions that are being abused are opiate painkillers like Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Hydrocodone and prescription stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall.

The following are the basic drug facts and statistics for the state of Hawaii:

  • Approximately 9.69 percent of Hawaiians identified themselves as having used drugs in the past month. This was higher than the national average of 8.82 percent of Americans.
  • Being isolated on an island may limit the quantities and varieties of drugs that are actually available (and this may be a good thing.) Currently, the drugs meth and marijuana are far more popular than any other drugs.
  • 148 people died because of the illegal drugs they were using during 2009. This was compared to 121 deaths from auto accidents and 47 from firearms. Compared to these, drug-induced deaths are still higher. Seeing as they are completely preventable deaths, Hawaiians can work on reducing those statistics immediately.

Hawaii Drugs of Abuse

The following is a breakdown of the different drugs abused by Hawaii residents:

  • Cocaine continued to drop to almost nonexistent levels of usage and treatment admission rates in the state over the last decade. While the drug once took up over 20 percent of admissions, the rate is now so low it’s hard to read off of a graph.
  • The same trend is true for heroin. It was once popular among drug addicts, but it has steadily been declining in use as well.
  • Stimulants such as meth climbed all the way till about 2004 and then started dropping again. Seeing how powerfully dangerous meth is, we can only hope that these usage rates continue to drop.
  • The only drug that is currently steadily going up is marijuana. Despite a brief, one-year dip, overall the drug is becoming more and more popular, and more and more Hawaiians are seeing professional drug rehabilitation or treatment as a result.

Finding the Right Hawaii Drug Treatment Program

Due to Hawaii’s natural beauty and serene environment, the state is a destination area for many luxury drug and alcohol treatment programs. It’s important for anyone who is looking for treatment to explore all options and do research to find the right type of rehab that has a high recovery rate for sobriety.

Sources & Resources for Hawaii Drug Treatment

WhiteHouse.gov – Hawaii Drug Control Update: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile_-_hawaii_0.pdf

Hawaii News Now – Hawaii Prescription Initiative on October 26: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/23712390/national-prescription-drug-take-back-initiative