”Description of the Task Force on Ice and Drug Abatement”

At the close of the 2003 Regular Session
of the State Legislature, the Speaker of
the House of Representatives, Calvin K. Y.
Say and the Senate President, Robert
Bunda, recognized the need to address
issues relating to the manufacture, sale
and use of the drug crystal
methamphetamine, commonly known as
“ice.”

Communities throughout the State are
crying for help to eliminate the drug from
the marketplace, treat the individuals
addicted to the drug and the families torn
apart by the effects of this addiction and
ensure that our youth and adults do not
start down the road to addiction.
The leaders of the House and Senate
heard the cries from the communities and
named 18 legislators to the Joint House-Senate
Task Force on Ice and Drug
Abatement (Task Force). The Task Force
was charged with this mission:

*Go Out Into the Communities.

*Listen to the People.

*Search for New Ideas and Fresh Solutions.

*Rule Nothing Out.

The ultimate goal of the Task Force is to
bring forth legislation with a
comprehensive approach to the myriad of
problems associated with the ice
epidemic.
The members of the Task Force are:
House of Representatives
Rep. Eric G. Hamakawa, Co-Chair
Rep. Thomas Waters, Vice-Chair
Rep. Cindy Evans
Rep. Robert N. Herkes
Rep. Michael Y. Magaoay
Rep. Romy M. Mindo
Rep. Maile S.L. Shimabukuro
Rep. Colleen R. Meyer
Rep. Bud Stonebraker
Senate
Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, Co-Chair
Sen. Melodie Williams Aduja, Co-Chair
Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland
Sen. Willie C. Espero
Sen. Lorraine R. Inouye
Sen. Norman Sakamoto
Sen. Shan Tsutsui
Sen. Fred Hemmings
Sen. Bob Hogue

”Executive Summary”

The Task Force spent nearly 80 hours
collecting information and listening to over
400 persons. In addition, members of the
Task Force attended community and town
hall meetings sponsored by groups
organized to find solutions to the ice
problems within their communities. In
conclusion, the Task Force finds:
THE SOLUTION TO THE ICE EPIDEMIC
IS TO PREVENT
THE FUTURE GENERATION FROM
SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND CURE
THE PRESENT GENERATION
OF ICE ABUSERS.

Accordingly, the Task Force recommends
a comprehensive funding and legislative
package consistent with its overall
conclusion. The most important findings
and recommendations are:

*Ice usage has reached epidemic proportions. The ice epidemic is a public health crisis that must be cured.

*Safety of Hawaii’s residents is the most important objective. This means that the ice epidemic must be cured by treating the addicted and protecting against the spread of the disease of drug addiction. Enhanced criminal penalties are required to protect the public and send a strong message to drug traffickers who profit from the spread of the ice epidemic.

*Early intervention and treatment of adolescents is the highest funding priority. School based treatment programs should be expanded to the middle school level and efforts should be made to identify and treat adolescents who drop out of school. Treatment of adolescents will prevent the present epidemic from spreading into its third wave. Recommended funding: $4.5 million.

*Substance abuse prevention is the second funding priority, focusing on youth programs within and outside of the schools and families with children. Preventing the spread of substance abuse is a sound investment in the future. Recommended funding: $3.6 million.

*Coordination of community, government and law enforcement efforts to fight the ice epidemic is needed. The Task Force recommends that this coordination function be assigned to the Office of Community Services. Recommended funding: $200,000 per year for five years.

*Substance abuse treatment for adults is the third funding priority to close the gap between those who need publicly funded treatment and current resources available. The Task Force finds that treatment is effective to combat ice addiction. Curing the present generation of ice addicts will reduce future costs for public services in health care, welfare, child care and child welfare services. The Task Force recommends that women of childbearing age, pregnant women, parents of young children in the home and Hawaiians receive priority for treatment. Recommended funding: $10.7 million.

*Protection of the family is an important objective. In addition to its recommendation for funding for treatment and counseling services for the family (under adult treatment), the Task Force recommends legislation to (1) amend the civil commitment statutes to provide an expedited civil process for involuntary commitment to outpatient substance abuse treatment and (2) establish a task force to develop a drug endangered child protection program.

*Treatment for the first time, nonviolent drug offender as an alternative to incarceration is an 3 important objective, provided the offender does not pose a public safety risk or has a lengthy criminal history and can benefit from treatment. The Task Force recommends amending existing laws to permit court discretion in granting probation and the terms and conditions of probation, with referral to Drug Court for those who can benefit from supervision by Drug Court in order to maximize successful outcome in treatment. Avoiding incarceration for nonviolent offenders whose addiction drives their criminal activities can save millions of dollars. Recommended funding: $850,000.

*Expansion of Drug Court for the adult and juvenile drug offender and for families. The Task Force finds that Drug Court is an effective method of intervention and a good use of resources in lieu of incarceration. Recommended funding: $1.2 million.

*Partnerships with the business community are necessary to fight the ice epidemic. Since about 20 percent of the known admissions for substance abuse treatment are employed, employers are big stakeholders to ensure that the disease does not spread throughout the workplace. The Task Force recommends that employers offer mandatory drug education and awareness training for their employees and receive a tax credit for doing so. The Task Force also recommends that employers, in limited circumstances, be required to continue health insurance for employees who are terminated due to their addiction.

*Hawaii’s sensitive environment must be protected from the toxic chemicals produced by the manufacture or conversion of methamphetamine. The Task Force recommends that a study be conducted on the environmental effects of methamphetamine laboratories. Recommended funding: $300,000.

A complete summary of the Task Force’s
findings and recommendations is included
in this report. The recommended funding
totals nearly $21.6 million. A detailed
analysis of the facts and information
considered by the Task Force in support of
its findings and conclusions follows the
summary. The report includes appendices
that summarize the testimonies of
speakers, the community
recommendations and a list of
recommendations from individual Task
Force members.

The Task Force commends all the persons
in recovery, community members,
community organizations, treatment
providers, law enforcement officers, state,
local and federal government
administrators and employees for their
commitment to finding a solution to the
ice epidemic. Mahalo to everyone who
took time out of their busy schedules to
talk to the Task Force and share their
ideas and information.

”’To see the entire report in an Adobe Acrobat pdf version, go to:”’ http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/sessioncurrent/lists/ice_finalrpt.pdf

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