Hawaiʻi Meth Project educates at Fair


Photo by Gabrielle Constantino

Kekoa Ostermiller outfits a young fair goer with an anti-meth sign for a photo op during his shift at the Hawaiʻi Meth Project booth at the 93rd Maui Fair, which ran Sept. 24-27.

KAHULUI–Many teenagers enjoyed fair rides and food with their friends until closing, but several Kamehameha Maui High School students took the opportunity to work at the Hawaiʻi Meth Project booth.

People of all ages gathered outside of Baldwin High School to enjoy the 93rd Maui Fair from Thursday, Sept. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 27.

“As volunteers, our job was to pass out wristbands and other merchandise to event-goers, encourage people to sign a pledge to stay away from methamphetamine, and tell people about the dangers of drug use,” said Justin Shiffler II, teen advisor council member of the Hawai’i Meth Project.

The Center for Disease Control Online reported that 4,545 high school students in Hawaiʻi have used meth in their lifetime.

To keep others from adding to those numbers, volunteers worked 3-hour shifts. The crew was made of students from Kamehameha Maui High School, King Kekaulike High School, Seabury Hall, Baldwin High School, and Wailua High School.

“I’m working because I like to give back to my community and help people out in the struggle of getting over the addiction of meth,” Kamehameha senior Kekoa Ostermiller said.

According to the materials distributed, methamphetamine is the greatest drug threat to Hawaiʻi. Hawaiʻi is the number one state in the nation for meth use, while Native Hawaiians and Native Americans are the number one ethnicities in the nation to be most at risk for meth use.

These are some of the statistics that encouraged the students to volunteer to make a difference.

“Since it’s inception, the Meth Project’s prevention program has demonstrated significant results in changing attitudes about meth use in the state,” said Georgianna Decosta, executive director of the Hawaiʻi Meth Project.

The Hawaiʻi Meth Project’s goal is to educate the youth of Hawai’i while sharing the spirit of aloha.