Efforts outlined in war on drugs

Keeping children and residents away from the industry that cultivated roughly $8 million-worth of marijuana on-island and thousands of grams of hard drugs is their chief task.

And outlining how it plans to continue to face that challenge head-on, leaders of the Community Drug Response Plan explained their plans to quash drug use in a presentation to 140 residents this week, a goal for which they’ve created an individualized approach for each region of the island.

According to Sgt. Mike Contrades, spokesman for the group’s enforcement committee, the Kaua‘i Police Department seized 7,671 marijuana plants in 2006.

Had the plants been allowed to fully mature, their potential street value would have been $7,671,000.

Also seized this past year were 3,015.3 grams or 6.6 pounds of processed marijuana, 383.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 5,700.2 grams or 12.5 pounds of cocaine, 92 prescription pills, and 1,084 milliliters of steroids.

Those involved include prevention, treatment, integration and enforcement committees.

“We believe this was due to several factors — strong enforcement efforts by federal, state and local law enforcement, harsher penalties, and stricter regulations on cold medicine products that provide the basic ingredients for manufacturing methamphetamine,” Contrades said in a press release.

Bridget Arume, speaking on behalf of the prevention coalition, explained how the CDRP comprehensive goals have been modified throughout the county.

For west Kaua‘i, tobacco, alcohol prevention and anti-drug efforts are underway, while progress made so far has included parent project classes, new parent classes, drug-free radio advertising, family outings sponsored by Nana’s House, YWCA’s Girlz Zone camps, ‘Ohana Night activities at the Boys and Girls Waimea clubhouse, Waele A Ola Hou — Kaua‘i’s version of Weed and Seed — and a drug perception survey.

Interfaith and interracial activities for youths is one mission, while identifying with the community as a family has been a theme in an effort to reduce alcohol and drug use by residents of all ages.

Region-specific efforts for the Lihu‘e/Kapa‘a area have included a parent and child fair — that drew more than 700 participants — and programs such as Motheread/Fatheread, Loving Solutions, and the Choosing Success/Choosing Life Program.

The East Kaua‘i Prevention Coalition will continue in its stride against drug use by zeroing-in on the homebase to garner support for the front lines, using the idea that a strong family is key to combating peer pressure.

Highlights of east Kaua‘i’s anti-drug efforts include the annual family summit, which drew more than 3,200 people, tutoring low-achieving elementary school students, the Aloha Peace Project, a methamphetamine awareness workshop — that had more than 100 participants — and the Mentor ‘Ohana, Tutu and Me and Loving Solutions programs.

Rebekah Reid, spokeswoman, said in a press release that the committee’s primary goal for the second year of its drug-response plan was on-island treatment facilities and communication.

Other goals included gathering financial assistance, education, expanding treatment services within Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center and providing detoxification services within a continuum of care.

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