I was just talking to a friend who provided a chilling insight into the ugly world of Oxycodone/oxycontin abuse on Kauai.
She experienced it first-hand when a 19-year-old woman she considers her hanai daughter fell in with the wrong crowd. The young woman thought she would be safe with this group, because they're church-going fundamentalist Christians, but within a very short amount of time, they were shooting her up with oxies.
The young woman ended up overdosing at a party, where she was abandoned by her “friends.” Paramedics managed to revive her, and though doctors advised disconnecting the life support system, the young woman eventually opened her eyes. However, she is now on the long road to recovery, which includes learning how to swallow, so she doesn't need a feeding tube.
The drugs are readily available because apparently there are a number of middle-aged and older men who have prescriptions for oxies, and they are buying bottles of 300 for a $5 insurance co-pay and then selling the pills for $20 to $45 each on the street.
The Kapaa “pill mill” that recently shut down was reportedly a regular supplier of these bottles.
Why is anyone allowed to get 300 pills at once? Surely abuse could be curbed by limiting the number of pills that can be prescribed at any one time.
But the street sales are only one part of the sad story. It seems these men with the prescriptions and steady supplies are getting young girls hooked so they can use them sexually. Once the girls are wasted, they're raped, often by several men.
The man who opened the Kauai “pill mill” and was recently arrested on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and money laundering related to a Florida “pill mill,” reportedly was throwing hot tub parties in Princeville where sexual assaults took place.
Meanwhile, my friend said, North Shore residents have repeatedly complained to police about houses where oxie sales are known to occur, and police responded by asking some of them to serve as confidential informants to set up busts. But the citizens didn't want to go along because they feared for their safety and felt it was up to the police to use their own personnel to conduct investigations.
And apparently, many of those who are abusing oxies are also smoking ice, for that “up and down” sensation that further wrecks their minds and bodies.
As we discussed the horror that's playing out on the scenic North Shore, and most likely elsewhere on the island, we couldn't help but wonder why, in light of this abuse involving pharmaceutical drugs, the Department of Public Safety is instead focusing its attention on trying to restrict access to medical marijuana.
Cause ain't none of this shit happening with cannabis prescriptions.