News

Episode 1: "45 Patients A Day"

May 25, 2016
Noah Matteucci

Dr. Daniel Chang estimates 45 patients a day come to the emergency room at Queens Medical Center for some type of methamphetamine-related complaint. The use of crystal methamphetamine is a medical, legal and social crisis that has now entered its third generation in Hawaii.

A dozen years ago, Congress held hearings on the topic, calling them "The Poisoning of Paradise." But despite a dip in publicity, meth hasn't left the islands.

Noah Matteucci
Noah Matteucci

A week ago today, two men pleaded not guilty in the largest bust ever involving crystal methamphetamine on Kaua‘i. Police say they found seven pounds of meth—worth $1.6 million.

It’s the latest reminder that crystal methamphetamine remains a devastating problem around the state. 

Noah Matteucci
Noah Matteucci

45 times a day.

That's how many patients Hawaii’s largest emergency room admits with an issue related to crystal methamphetamine—one of four patients it treats.

Several decades ago, Hawai‘i was the first place in the United States that crystal meth landed — and today it’s a problem that stretches across three generations. Users are not just toothless addicts, but also high-functioning individuals whose chronic health problems turn up years later as heart and kidney issues. Many wind up in prisons and jails.

The Council on Revenues tweaked its state revenue forecast downward today despite numerous economic indicators pointing to an upward trend.  HPR’s Wayne Yoshioka reports.

Kauai Fire Department
Kauai Fire Department

Officials are investigating the cause of a fiery plane crash on the south shore of Kauai that killed all five people on board. 

The crash happened at Port Allen Airport shortly after takeoff in Hanapēpē. Sarah Blane, a spokesperson for the County of Kaua‘i, says the plane, a single engine Cessna, is owned by the company Skydive Kaua‘i.

Four of them were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. One adult male was transferred to Wilcox Memorial Hospital, where he was then pronounced dead.

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