Friday, February 10, 2012

Musings: Oxies in "Paradise"

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.


Anonymous said...

Mel Rapozo, here is a clear health and safety issue. Please my vote for you depends on it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, again, Joan on some incredible reporting.

Anonymous said...

So when can we expect to see this pervert familyʻs home and assets seized?
I wonder.

Ahh. And people wonder why the scuzzy transplants are so detested and despicable and especially the north shore variety. I rest my case.
So if the silicone pumped, viagra junkies, estate dwelling, letchy old men, swinging couples and the rest of these sleezebags arenʻt ʻearningʻ their fortunes walking around naked or performing in front of a home webcam...then theyʻre molesting the innocent local kids through drugs?

I think I got the picture.

Mel Rapozo said...

"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."

Please have your friends forward their information on "drug houses" to me and I will make sure that it gets serious attention. These types of information do take some time to develop but I will make sure that it gets into the right hands, whether local, state or federal. I can be reached via email at or at my office at 245-3539. Callers can remain anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Right on, Mel. Gee seems like youʻre having to shoulder this whole damn countyʻs responsibilities.
Since this county admin now appears to be a one-man team, why donʻt we just fire the clowns and keep Mel. He can keep their salaries too.
Joan and Mel for the County of Kauai.

Anonymous said...

Since this has been going on for some time, the neighbors complaining, I guess the cops had dirty hands.

Anonymous said...

It was wise for the residents not to agree to be informants because what these cops do is use the informant to the point where they canʻt quit and then the cops threaten to rat out the informants if they donʻt continue to help them.
That is a true story.

Anonymous said...

7:58 PM what dirty cops, AGAIN? That sucks!

Anonymous said...

These foreign influences must be kicked off our island. These are truly "haole" and do not belong on our Island.

Anonymous said...

As a long time advocate for chronic pain patients and a supporter of the state Pain Patients' Bill of Rights I am outraged by the broad brush and blanket condemnation of anyone who must take opiate pain medication. Articles like this insure that these patients will have sometimes insurmountable difficulties in finding a physician to prescribe the medication they need just to perform the activities of daily living the rest of us take for granted. You also have become complicit- along with the Garden Island newspaper- in the death of some these poor souls who choose to end their lives rather than suffer because doctors are too fearful to prescribe opiates- yes sometimes up to 8-10 a day- in sufficient quantities to manage their intolerable physical pain. Next time I hear of a family who has to deal with the suicide of a loved one I will refer them to you to explain why their mother, father brother sister auntie or uncle is dead because the press has falsely painted them as "drug addicts."

Anonymous said...

1. We should raise our children to know not to take an unknown pill from anyone - even a "Christian".

2. While the pill mill guy certainly created more addicts, the law-enforcement side of the government once again half-assed this, in failing to implement any sort of plan for dealing with the addicts once clinic was shut down. They are suffering, with no clinic willing to assist them in withdraw, no rehab on island. A reckless recipe for additional crime on Kauai (maybe the botched ATM theft?).

Anonymous said...

Asking citizens to put themselves at risk, instead of protecting us, is ridiculous.

Do your jobs, quit asking citizens to expose themselves to a huge risk.

Anonymous said...

There are better choices for pain management than prescribing pills of any kind. Oxycontin is very addicting, probably more so than smoking opium.

It may take the physician longer to create a pain management program which may include other modalities such as acupuncture and herbal pain and anti-inflammatory medications which are non addicting.d But they will not do so because they are too busy and not interested. Giving out pills is the lazy doc's way.

The general pubic is being brainwashed into believing TV commercial that promise a pill for every ill.

Because our health providers do not take the time or interest in alternative methods of pain control and management, the drug companies who make these addicting drugs, are the winners....customers who are "enslaved" to their "legal" drugs.

As our troops come home from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the middle East...this problem will only escalate. Be prepared.

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment that this article has contributed to legitimate pain-patient suffering by jumping on the drug-war bandwagon. And with the post that says someone should have planned for the patients before taking this guy down.
I tried to fill a legitimate prescription for opiates the other day and the nasty pharmacist at Kapaa Foodland treated me like a criminal.

Anonymous said...

Joan - stay on this topic. It will take several and repeated stories, posts, blogs, phone calls, etc. for the local officials to address this issue. The demand side is harder to address, but the supply side seems within reach. Address the prescriptions (300 at a time??), crack down hard on the sellers and providers (this seems to be a foreign concept with Kauai judges and prosecuting attorneys) and continue to plaster the faces of the monsters engaged in these activities as a deterrent for others. Take their home, cash, etc and assume all of it was ill-gotten. The laws are on the books but the application of them is appalling.

Anonymous said...

Thank you 8:38 AM. And 10:23 AM...I hope you "get this".

Anonymous said...

The problem has been going on for years. The Piligers (rx drug dealer and abuser) have had the means to get unbelievable amounts of oxys for years before this pain clinic was established.

The DEA should investigate the records of all patients who have received large quantities of opiates.

These Piligers are receiving tax payer funds to get their fix and also sell for profit to poison the island of Kauai residents. Its like the problem that was discovered about food stamps for the exchange for drugs. Only now they use their EBT or SNAP card to exchange groceries for drugs.

Its a sick epidemic and we treat marijuana users worst than ICE , Piligers or on this island murderers (it all depends who u know). I think green harvest helicopter is really a way that KPD can stop their competition.

Anonymous said...

February 12, 1044 am comment: 100 percent correct, the reason is "It's who you know on Kauai"

If you recall a few years ago there was over 100 people that was participants in illegal cock fighting and how many arrests were made??? 0

KPD cannot and will not arrest their criminal family members. The prosecutor will not prosecute the good ol boys and gals.

If you are related and have a good relationship with our top dogs- you are good to wateva u like, no fea, no scade, respect da locals

Together We Can! Auraiii

William C said...

As a frequent visitor to Kauai, another issue that grips the rest of the island has to be the meth problem that is seen sporadically in the shadier places on the island. The bumper sticker "Cook rice not ice" remains a constant reminder as a something you would see driving through the smaller towns on the north shore, and while I know it isn't a constant threat to visitors, it is important to realize that it is a pressing issue on the island.