Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Yigo, Guam
Yigo, Guam, is the northernmost village in the territory and home to approximately 20,539 residents. Yigo is larger in land area than any of the villages to the south and also contains Andersen Air Force Base. Located in the Pacific Ocean, south of the Mariana Islands and east of the Philippines, the territory often suffers from the drug trafficking efforts of larger, neighboring countries. As such, a number of illicit drugs can be found on the island.
The most common substances of abuse in Yigo include:
Rapid rise in drug abuse on the island has been accompanied by an alarming rise in crime. The Yigo area (part of the Dededo Precinct), in particular, has seen more cases of burglary and motor vehicle theft than any other precinct.
Unfortunately, suffering from addiction puts people at high risk for criminal behavior. Drug-related crimes are often due to the need of individuals to maintain their addiction or to fund their lifestyle.
The “Ice” Epidemic
Since 2015, new felony drug possession cases have risen in Guam. Authorities report the majority of these cases can be attributed to increasing meth abuse in the Pacific. On the island, crystal methamphetamine (also known as “ice”) is the most common form and typically arrives via trade ship from Mainland China. Its effects include euphoria and a burst of energy that can last as long as 24 hours. However, meth can also cause:
- Violent behavior
- Rapid breathing and heart rates
- Increased temperature
- Weight loss
If you suspect someone you care about is using “ice,” law enforcement have reported paraphernalia such as simple, plastic pens; tin foil; glass vials; cellophane wrappers (such as those from a cigarette pack), and a lighter.
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Drug Abuse Statistics
Among high school students, 4.5% say they have smoked “ice” at least once; the US national average is 3%.
The youngest person receiving treatment for meth addiction in Guam is only 12 years old; the oldest is 56.
40% of Guam’s high school students reported that they had been offered, sold, or given an illicit drug.
Addiction Treatment In Yigo
Guam has prioritized recovery and treatment for individuals whose addiction has delivered them to the criminal justice system. Drug courts and substance abuse treatment services are available to residents the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center. For people in need of recovery, walk-in assessments are available and there is no cost for the services it provides.
Those individuals who need additional care, or would prefer to leave behind local triggers during their recovery, traveling for rehab may be the most beneficial option.
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Destiny Bezrutczyk is a Digital Content Writer from west Iowa. She earned a Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature from Texas Tech University. After working as a freelance script and blog writer, she began writing content for tech startups. Maintaining a passion for words, she took on a variety of projects where her writing could help people (especially those battling mental health and substance use disorders).
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- Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center. (2018). Drug & Alcohol Treatment. Retrieved on March 5, 2019 from http://gbhwc.guam.gov/services/drug-alcohol-treatment
- Pacific Islands Report. (2016). Guam Police Looks To 'Reignite Island's War' Against Methamphetamine. Retrieved on March 5, 2019 from http://www.pireport.org/articles/2016/11/23/guam-police-looks-reignite-islands-war-against-methamphetamine
- Toves, Jolene. (2018). Meth use among Guam’s high school students higher than national average. Retrieved on March 5, 2019 from https://pacificnewscenter.com/meth-use-among-guams-high-school-students-higher-than-national-average/
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2017). Guam Adolescent Substance Abuse Facts. Retrieved on March 5, 2019 from https://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/facts-and-stats/national-and-state-data-sheets/adolescents-and-substance-abuse/guam/index.html
- Pacific Daily News (2020). Tobacco use declining; report details substance use on Guam. Retrieved on January 14, 2022. https://www.guampdn.com/news/local/tobacco-use-declining-report-details-substance-use-on-guam/article_bc1e0eaa-c38f-5ebf-b0d2-500586549289.html