Nonprofit Firing Back Against Ice Epidemic

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - April 07, 2010
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Caroline Chapman

The National Institute for Drug Abuse reports that the number of young adults using crystal methamphetamines, aka ice, in the United States in 2007 was 1.3 million. In addition, the Hawaii Meth Project reports that 7.3 percent of 10th-graders in Hawaii have tried meth, an increase of 87 percent from 2005 to 2009.

Which is why Kapolei resident Caroline Chapman created the nonprofit organization Families in the Fire.

The current Miss Ko Olina 2010 (she previously was Miss Kapolei 2009, Miss West Oahu 2008 and Miss Honolulu 2007) founded the nonprofit last September after learning that a close relative became addicted to meth the previous year.

“As my mom and I were looking for support, we found that there was little to nothing out there,” she said. “I said ‘Why don’t we start our own?’ My mom had a blog called Families in the Fire, and I thought that would be perfect for the name of the organization.”


Chapman facilitates meetings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at Mililani Waena Elementary School (94-380 Kuahelani Ave.) to help families with loved ones who are addicted to meth. During the meetings, she and her mother, Laura, talk about their outreach activities to get the word out and educate the community about ice, while families share their stories of what they’re going through.

One of the messages that the organization emphasizes, the college junior said, is to stop enabling the loved one who is using the drug.

“Ohana is such a strong essence of our culture,” she noted.“No one would think to say ‘no’ to your family member who is hungry or needs money. When the loved one is addicted to crystal meth, it’s different and you need to realize, the second you continue to feed, clothe and give money to that loved one, you’re enabling them. It has to hurt more to use the drug (before they can) get off of it. That’s when they will decide to get help.”

One upcoming outreach is this Friday and Sunday at the Family, Friends and Community Rewards Weekend at Ward Centers, where they will have a booth to educate shoppers about their mission.

“Being able to relate to others going through something similar, it brings healing and helps you deal with your emotions,” she said.“If people can get past their pride and share with others how they feel, it helps them to help their loved ones.”

For details, call 783-6990 or log on to

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