NATIONAL METHAMPHETAMINE TRAINING & TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER
Pacific Regional Center
The National Methamphetamine Training and Technical Assistance Center created its first regional center in Hawaii to help address a unique problem with “ice,” the popular term for crystal meth in the islands.
The Pacific Regional Center has been operating for more than two years and in that time has helped facilitate cooperation and information-sharing between community groups, government and law enforcement.
Since 2008 more than 100 people from all the major islands have attended meth summits and meetings to share information on plans and programs already in place and exchange ideas for the future. In addition attendees have heard from several of the nation’s leading experts on community drug programs.
More regional organizational meetings have followed and will continue.
The national center recruited native islander Ed Gomes to coordinate activities in Hawaii. He is in touch with more than a dozen organizations in Hawaii and works to help bridge the gap created by the long, watery distances between islands.
Gomes says he sees longevity and connection to the community as keys to success in the anti-meth battle.
"We need to be seen as helping the fight for the long run," says Gomes.
We will be a partner for the fight, building connectivity between various
associations and officials."…
Ed Gomes, a native islander, is a full-time member of the Meth Center staff working as the coordinator for the Pacific Regional Center.
Meth Center photo
In addition to its Hawaii work, the regional center plans to reach out to other U.S. Pacific territories such as Guam and American Samoa which currently are seeing drug smuggling on the rise.