$4 Million In New Federal Funds To Help Hawai‘i Respond to Meth Crisis, Opioid Misuse

“ICE” Methamphetamine crystals with pipe. PC: File US Drug Enforcement Administration.

The state of Hawai‘i will receive more than $4 million in new federal funding to help respond to methamphetamine and opioid misuse. This is the first year that this grant has allowed the flexibility to address stimulants, including meth. Previously, this grant could only be used to respond to the opioid epidemic.

The new funding and increased flexibility comes after US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) called for more federal resources to respond to the meth crisis in December 2019.

“Meth misuse and addiction has been a serious problem in Hawai‘i for decades, but recently the meth-related death rate has skyrocketed,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This grant will help us put critical resources towards saving lives and combating this crisis.”

In 2016, Hawai‘i had 6.8 meth-related deaths per 100,000 residents — three times the national rate of 2.4 deaths per 100,000 people. According to Sen. Schatz, meth-related deaths on the islands have outpaced opioid-related deaths for each of the past five years.

The grant comes from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and will help fund prevention, treatment and recovery support services.

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