Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui County will hold a Crystal Methamphetamine Prevention Seminar on Friday, May 22, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) Family Center Classroom located on the first floor of the MEO Building at 99 Mahalani St. in Wailuku.
The seminar will feature an informative compilation of prevention, treatment and law enforcement presentations by leading experts from across the state. Specifically, the Crystal Methamphetamine Prevention Seminar will address how drug use affects families, schools and keiki.
The all-day seminar will feature a lineup of noteworthy guest speakers, including Laulima Hawai‘i President Gary Shimabukuro, Maui County Councilmember Gladys Baisa, officers from Maui Police Department and several others. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui will also present an overview of its “Meth360” program that has been established for families and educators across Maui County.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters has long recognized the epidemic proportions of substance abuse among our youth, including tobacco, alcohol, prescription drugs, cocaine, methamphetamines and marijuana,” said Executive Director Melissa Ross. “Being around kids on a daily basis, we hear and see what they feel is normal. It’s time for Big Brothers Big Sisters to educate ourselves and pull in the best partners we can, to be able to tell our kids that crystal meth use is not normal, or cool.”
Last summer, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui County partnered with The Partnership for a Drug-Free America to develop the “Meth360” Program, tapping into a national, media-based education campaign to reduce illicit drug use in Maui County.
The “Meth360” program was initiated as a response to the changing nature of drug use and threats that are even closer to home, such as abuse of methamphetamine. In a media-saturated society, parents and children are inundated with media messages about drug use among celebrities and major sports figures. The “Meth360” program is designed to counter those negative messages with positive prevention strategies by channeling the talents and technologies of professionals in the local community into effective messages through print and broadcast ads.
“Launching a partnership with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America underscores Big Brothers Big Sisters’ commitment to combating the scourge of drug use in our community,” said Ross. “It’s important for parents, teachers, and leaders to tell young people that drugs are bad, but it’s just as important that the truth about drugs finds its way into the important cultural subtexts… what we learn from conversation, TV, movies, the Internet and popular music. These messages do that.”
Local solutions almost always prove to be the most effective. Big Brothers Big Sisters has achieved this by being “on the ground,” working hand-in-hand with youth and their parents and providing support and assistance as part of its long-term commitment to the community.
Since the launch, the “Meth360” program has grown rapidly, helping many Maui County residents. The organization is now prepared to share what it has accomplished and learned thus far, as well as educate and support concerned parents, teachers and community members.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui County is a nonprofit organization that reaches out to at-risk youth on the islands of Maui, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i. With a committed staff and talented volunteer base, the organization promotes positive youth development through a series of broad-based programs and provides the only professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring program on Maui. These programs include after-school programs and “Big and Little” mentoring programs, which provide invaluable services to many high-risk children and holistically address the issues of juvenile delinquency, substance abuse and teenage pregnancy prevention.
There is a $15 participation fee for the May 22 seminar; light breakfast, snacks and beverages will be provided.
For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui County, contact the Wailuku Mentoring Center Office at (808) 242-9754. To register for the Crystal Methamphetamine Prevention Seminar, call (808) 242-9754, ext. 204.