Meth Project Hosts Community Forum
Former meth users stood before community members last Thursday night and shared how the drug affected them, what led them to recovery and how they are working to reduce the drug’s presence on Molokai.
Georgianna Decosta of The Hawaii Meth Project said she used meth until Honolulu police arrested her in the mid-1990s. Now she goes to schools across Hawaii, educating youth about the dangers of using meth, even just once.
“We’re all about the kids and saving the next generation from this horrible drug,” Decosta said about The Hawaii Meth Project. “When you do this drug, people are left to die.”
Decosta spent Thursday at Molokai High School, presenting information to students, stressing the message “not even once.” That evening she offered the presentation to adults, sharing what they tell youth and explaining the organization’s mission.
She also shared public service announcements from The Hawaii Meth Project. TV spots were made nationally, but the radio ads were produced in Hawaii, with teenage meth addicts sharing their struggle. Many of the addicts shared that their biggest regret while using meth was getting others to use it too. They said did this both for company and for money, adding that the more users they knew, the more money they could make by supplying – money they could use to purchase more meth.
Decosta said keeping adults informed is one way to protect the next generation.
“The youth need this safety net,” Decosta said as she looked around at the attendees of the meth information night. “So we support the safety nets of the kids.”
Brent Nakihei of the Molokai Community Health Center also shared his struggle with meth and offered tips on how to handle a loved one’s meth addiction. He encouraged families to offer love to someone addicted to meth, adding that sometimes this means tough love.
“You’re not ratting them out,” he said. “You’re saving their life and your life.”
Nakihei, a certified substance abuse counselor, said the community has to work together to fight the meth problem on Molokai.
“The police cannot do it by themselves,” he said. “It’s a community effort, and it takes family.”
The event also included a screening of the locally produced 2009 documentary “Molokai Meth,” which features first-hand accounts of meth addiction on the island.