Thwarting meth use is goal of project


POSTED: Saturday, June 06, 2009

Oahu Family Court Judge Michael Broderick says he is convinced methamphetamine addiction is the greatest issue facing Hawaii because of the health, economic and social consequences.

;[Preview]    State Meth Project Under Way

The Hawaii State Meth Project brings a highly graphic campaign to drive home its message: “;Meth not even once.”;

Watch ]


Meth use dominates every court calendar he has, including paternity, domestic abuse and Child Protective Services, said the lead judge of the Special Division.

He spoke at the launching yesterday of a statewide Hawaii Meth Project aimed at preventing teens and young adults from experimenting with meth—an addiction costing an estimated $500 million a year in Hawaii.

Business and community leaders, supporters and some Farrington High School students attended the kickoff event at the Kalihi YMCA.

Bebi Davis, Farrington chemistry and physics professor, was there with 12 members of her robotics team. She said she asked them to spread the message to their classmates.

Broderick said he is convinced the meth project will make a difference because it had dramatic results in Montana in two years.

“;'Ice' makes you walk away from everything you cared about in your life,”; he said, describing the horrors of cases he sees every day in court.

Eight out of 10 Child Protective Services cases are drug-related, mostly to ice, he said. He has about 50 domestic abuse cases a week, and 25 percent involve ice, he said.

It is a fallacy for someone to think they can try meth once and stop as though it was a beer, he said. “;Once you start it's almost impossible to stop.”;

The campaign expects to reach about 80 percent of the teen population four times a week with messages via TV, radio, the Internet, newspapers and posters, said Cindy Adams, executive director. Education and outreach efforts also are planned statewide.

Brandon Hind, 17, said he bought some meth at age 12 to help a friend who needed money. “;I thought I could just do it when I wanted to,”; he said.

He saw what the drug was doing to friends who used it, “;but I didn't really pay attention to it,”; he said. “;I loved it. It made me feel good.”; He felt confident, in control of his life, but in a month “;my life was out of control,”; he said.

He dropped out of school and was living on the street and stealing money to pay for the drug. He was arrested more than 20 times and was in and out of hospitals, the detention home and Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, he said.

He ran away from the Bobby Benson Center once but is back there now and has made 400 days, he said. “;I'm getting discharged soon, and I have good plans and goals for the future.”;

If he had seen the ads rolled out yesterday for the meth project before he tried ice, he probably would not have done it, he said.