Meth problems highlighted with 3 fatal shootings - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Meth problems highlighted with 3 fatal shootings

The scene of the recent meth-related Waimalu shooting The scene of the recent meth-related Waimalu shooting
Cindy Adams Cindy Adams
Chuck Elliott (left) & Mike La Rose (right) Chuck Elliott (left) & Mike La Rose (right)
The scene of the recent Kalihi shooting The scene of the recent Kalihi shooting

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii's problem with methamphetamine continues to grow.  New statistics show 43 percent of Federal convictions in the state involve meth, which is why those that track the drug aren't surprised three suspects recently died over it.

The first fatal shooting happened on Kalani Street in Kalihi back in February.  Since then there have been two more high profile cases. One involved a crime spree throughout East Oahu and the other came after a robbing a massage parlor in Waimalu. The three cases were separate, but in each incident a Honolulu police officer shot and killed the suspects who were connected to meth.

"It demonstrates how strong the need for the drug is when they become addicted to it. How they will do almost anything to get more of this drug and how dangerous they can become when they're in various stages of using this drug to the rest of the community," said Cindy Adams, Hawaii Meth Project Executive Director.

Statistics from the Hawaii Meth Project are alarming.  Hawaii ranks fourth in the country for meth related crimes and fifth in the nation for meth use by people age 12 and older. The estimated cost of meth abuse in Hawaii is $500 million a year.

The crew at Creative Energy Productions is in the middle of shooting a new documentary about meth use in the state.

"It's been pretty crazy," said Chuck Elliott, Creative Energy Productions.

They say meth and its users are easy to find.

"Anywhere we go we run into somebody, anywhere we go," said Mike La Rose, Creative Energy Productions.

And they've met people that will do anything for the drug.

"A user is a selfish person they're only thinking about getting high, about themselves, they couldn't care less about anything else," said La Rose.  "Killing somebody is just, they don't care, it's part of getting high and staying high especially with meth. The brain is not functioning."

They plan to finish filming by the end of summer and hope the final product highlights the real life problems.

"A drug issue will never get better without aggressive measures," said La Rose.

"Overtime with prevention and educating teenagers we can help drive criminal activity down and I hope that's what we can end up accomplishing," said Adams.


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