Drugs, Alcohol and Mental Health

The abuse of drugs and alcohol, especially when combined with mental health challenges, is the primary driver of both crime and homelessness.

A vast majority of both property crimes and violent crimes are driven by addiction.  Criminals commit crimes to pay for drugs or commit crimes under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  Many of them are so intoxicated when they commit their crimes that they don't remember the events that resulted in incarceration.

Homelessness is similarly adjacent to drugs and alcohol.  Even homeless individuals with sever emotional or mental disorders almost always struggle with addiction issues as well.

We cannot reduce crime and eliminate homelessness unless we address the underlying addiction.

How Core '24 Addresses Drugs, Alcohol and Mental Health

Our efforts to address drugs and alcohol addiction fall under our law enforcement plan.  This is because peace officers are almost always on the front line when it comes to these issues.

These efforts include the expansion of drug and alcohol treatment programs and mandating participation for criminals convicted of substance adjacent offenses.

On the mental health front, Hawaii County will expand funding for both community and in-patient mental health treatment with a goal of creating enough capacity so that there are always beds available when community members need them.