Beyond the influence

With the use of strong youth, adult connection and communication emerged a very special group on the island of Kauai: the KaWise Leaders.

This is a youth-led, adult-supported group with members from all over the island who use environmental strategies to prevent alcohol and drug use for the youth of Kauai.

The KaWise Leaders consists of adults who share their knowledge about the dangers of drug use and youth who convey their concerns about the rising drug trends among their peers.

The KaWise Leaders have joined together in completing projects for the prevention of underage drinking, such as the Kapahi Menehune Food Mart and Kujo’s Store Makeovers and the “Wasted: Time is Always Wasted if You’re Wasted All the Time” video with funding from the County of Kauai, Life’s Choices Program.

Emma Tokioka is a KaWise Leader entering her freshman year at Kaua’i High School, who enjoys reading and photography. Emma would like to share her worry about a dangerous fad that is becoming popular among Kauai youth.

Snorting and smoking Smarties is a rising trend in our schools. Children are crushing them and inhaling them through their noses and pretending they are cigarettes and smoking them.

There are many dangers in inhaling and smoking Smarties that children should know.

One, you could get an infection inside your sinuses or lungs that could lead to coughing and wheezing or even respiratory arrest.

Two, maggots could feed on the sugary powder inside your nose.

Three, a Smartie that was not finely crushed could get stuck into the nasal cavity and would have to be removed by a specialist.

Four, it could be a gateway to using other drugs or smoking cigarettes. 

Although there is nothing addictive in Smarties, the habit itself can become addicting.

The smoking and snorting of Smarties is progressing in schools. Kids are posting videos to YouTube and Facebook.

I think they do this to try to fit in or look cool, but it’s not. They are giving an example to the younger generation that it’s OK to do those things and then they end up wanting to try it, too. We should all try to prevent this kind of behavior in our schools.

• Kyara Bunao, Life’s Choices Kauai, Administrative Clerk

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