Not Crystal Clear - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

August 2, 2010

Not Crystal Clear

Back in mid-December, I spoke glowingly, but cautiously, about reports indicating an apparent lessening of the crystal meth problem here in Hawaii. Well, apparently the good news was short-lived, as more arrests and people testing positive at job screenings indicates that this scourge is still hanging on and making an unwanted comeback throughout our state.

Certainly the hard economic times are a factor, and we must keep the numbers in perspective- 1.2% of people tested positive for amphetamines at the state's largest drug-testing firm in the 2nd quarter, and that's up from a 0.7% positive reading last year, April- June. Small numbers, relative to the whole, but any time you see any kind of upward curve in drug usage, it's a disturbing sign of the times. Meth-related arrests have also risen quite a bit so far this year after an increase in 2009 over previous years.

And since even occasional drug users must have a clue that they are going to be drug-tested before being handed a new position, it is a sad sign that people are spending some of their unforced idle time in the horrible downward spiral world of getting high with a drug that cause instantaneous and possibly permanent brain damage. Between family and peer pressure and social services, we cannot afford to back off awareness, cut back funding, or take a casual approach to any kind of increase in this wrong-headed form of escapism. Think about it…

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