Health & Wellness

Community Message: 6-24-22 Police Warn Public About the Dangers of Illicit Fentanyl

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From: Hawaii Police Department <>
Date: Fri, Jun 24, 2022 at 11:39 AM
Subject: Community Message: 6-24-22 Police Warn Public About the Dangers of Illicit Fentanyl

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Friday June 24, 2022, 11:38 AM

Hawaii Police Department

committed to preserving the spirit of aloha

Pictured: (1) Hawai‘i Police Department recently recovered fentanyl pills hidden in candy containers. (2): front and back of fentanyl laced oxycodone pill. Photo credit DEA. (3): Lethal dose amount of fentanyl on pencil tip. Photo credit DEA.

Community: 6-24-22 Police Warn Public About the Dangers of Illicit Fentanyl

  Hawai‘i Police Department
  Criminal Investigation Division – Area II
  Captain Thomas A. Shopay III
  Phone: (808) 326-4646 ext.263

Media Release

Hawai’i Island police are educating the public about the dangers of fentanyl after seeing an increase in the amount of fentanyl being recovered in conjunction with recent drug investigations. Hawai‘i Police Department is a member of a newly formed fentanyl task force and is providing information in collaboration with the County of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Island Community Health Center, and the Hawai‘i Health and Harm Reduction Center.

“We’re seeing more arrests and more fentanyl recovered,” said Captain Shopay, who oversees Hawai‘i Police Department’s Area II Criminal Investigation Division.

“Prior to 2020, annual statewide seizures of fentanyl were less than one pound, but from 2020 to 2021 Hawai‘i Island was responsible for roughly 30 pounds of the state’s overall 53 pounds of fentanyl seizures.

“The increase is troubling because very small amounts of the fentanyl, sometimes an amount equivalent to a few grains a salt, can be fatal.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can exist in various forms (e.g., powder, tablet, capsule, solution, or rocks). Although medically prescribed fentanyl has a legitimate purpose, illicit fentanyl, produced in unregulated and uncontrolled clandestine laboratories, can be deadly.

Illicit fentanyl production is not regulated and therefore there are no standards in production.  Because of this, concentration of the drug, even within the same lot can vary widely. This is of concern, since as little as two milligrams (about one grain of Hawaiian salt) of fentanyl can be fatal in a non-opioid-tolerant individual.

Drug traffickers will often try to disguise fentanyl as legitimate prescription pills in an attempt to reduce detection by law enforcement, but officers are also recovering fentanyl in powder form.

The powder form is more dangerous since it can easily aerosol if disturbed and when inhaled is rapidly absorbed into the body. Thus, personnel responding to a scene where powdered fentanyl is suspected may wear personal protective equipment while investigating the incident.

Be cautious of:

  • Unknown or unlabeled powders, solutions, or rocks.
  • Pills or capsules that may resemble actual medications, but their origin is not certain.
    • Did it come from a pharmacy?
    • Is it properly packaged/labeled?
    • Is there a medical prescription associated to it?
    • If the answer is no, do not touch.

What to do:
If you encounter prescription medication or drugs of unknown origin, don’t touch them. Try to determine the item’s identity by checking with people who could have placed it there. If unable to determine its origin and the drug-related item seems suspicious, notify police at (808) 935-3311.

Recognize fentanyl poisoning:
An individual experiencing fentanyl poisoning may exhibit one or more of the following:

  • Drowsiness or unresponsiveness
  • constricted or pinpoint pupils
  • slow or no breathing

If these signs are observed, contact emergency medical services at 911 and provide a description of the circumstances.

An option may be to administer Naloxone, if it is available and you have received training in its administration (Link below). Otherwise, follow directions from the dispatcher until emergency medical services arrive.

Below are additional resources available to help further your education on this topic:

Additional Resources:

Additionally, households with unused or expired prescription medication may dispose of them at drop boxes at Hawai‘i Police Department district stations, listed in the below link:

Register Today! Building Resilience and Lighting the Path Forward: A Caregiver Symposium

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The Alzheimer’s Association – Hawaii invites you to join us for a special virtual caregiver symposium scheduled for Wednesday, June 15 from 10 am to 2pm (Hawaii Time). Participants will learn how to cultivate hope, honor your needs as a caregiver, and build resilience. We have a lineup of experts presenting on grief and coping, mental health and building the foundations of self care, caregiver financial health, stress management, and Native Hawaiian healing practices. We will conclude with a caregiver panel.
CG Symp 2022
To register, please CLICK HERE or call the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.
We look forward to seeing you soon on Zoom and invite you to reach out if we can be of any assistance.
Mahalo nui loa,
Alzheimer’s Association – Hawaii | 808.591.2771

Prediabetes Screen Test

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On average, 1 in 10 people have some form of diabetes as many of you know.   Many folks don’t even know they have it!

The CDC and ADA provides a Prediabetes Screen Test that an individual can take to see if they are at risk for prediabetes:

This can be helpful for people as it can allow them to take action to reverse prediabetes or delay Type 2 Diabetes.

(Also available here: Prediabetes-Risk-Test-Final )


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Aloha Kākou,

Department of Health’s across the country now have this handy tool to help determine isolation/quarantine, when the isolation/quarantine ends, when you should test.

The Hawaii DOH has it on their website, and you can find it here:

With guidance changing frequently, let’s encourage our communities to use a reliable resource versus word of mouth based on an inaccurate social media post. 😊

Have a wonderful weekend!!!
Be well,
Vanessa Carlson
Program Manager
Project Director-Kuleana Health

P.O. Box 7158
Hilo, Hawaii  96720
Work:  808.756.9637
Mobile:  808.936.7427

Invitation to Participate in Survey on Health Messaging (Expires 28-Feb-2022)

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(Feb 11, 2022) The Office of Regional Health Operations (ORHO) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), is requesting your support in an important initiative aimed at increasing community knowledge and confidence in vaccines among older African American adults with a focus on community health workers (CHWs).  We would appreciate you disseminating this survey within your organization and networks, particularly among African American community health workers aged 50 and older.
Project Overview
ORHO connects people, convenes local partners, and establishes networks to promote and advance the public health and safety of the American people. Regional Health Administrators (RHAs) within each of the 10 HHS Regional Offices serve to foster coordination and collaboration across federal departments and HHS agencies and as extensions of OASH to ensure that HHS priorities are translated and implemented at the local, state, tribal, and national levels.
Recently, HHS released the National Strategic Plan for Vaccines 2021–2025, highlighting the specific need to “reduce disparities and inequities, increase access to and use of routinely recommended vaccines across the lifespan.”  Vaccine uptake for adults has been low, and disparities persist among racial and ethnic populations. To address these disparities and encourage vaccination among adults, promotional materials on herpes zoster (shingles) and pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccines were developed, with a specific goal of reaching African Americans aged 50 and older.
We would like to invite you to participate in a brief online survey specific to vaccine messaging and vaccine uptake. Survey responses will be anonymous and should take about 20 minutes to complete.   Your participation is important and will help ORHO to:
  • Assess the effectiveness of culturally appropriate promotional materials to increase community knowledge of and confidence in herpes zoster and pneumococcal vaccines among African American CHWs over the age of 50.
  • Assess perceptions of risk, barriers, and motivations related to general uptake of adult vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine.
Accessing the Survey
To access and complete the survey, please click on the following link:
This link can also be forwarded to individuals and organizations within your networks. We kindly request that the survey be completed no later than Monday February 28, 2022.
Thank you in advance for your participation. If you have any questions about this project, please contact Corstella Johnson ( If you are having technical difficulties completing the survey, please contact
Kay A. Strawder, JD, MSW
Senior Public Health Advisor – Region 9
Office of Regional Health Operations
Faafetai ma le fa’aaloalo lava,
Chantelle Eseta Matagi
State of Hawaii Department of Health
Community Liaison & Coordinator for the Immunization Branch
PH: (808)693-6427

Fentanyl summit for HI Island – Feb 22, 2022 – 10:00am-12:00noon

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Fentanyl is here – on Hawai`i Island. 

For summit registration: the virtual event will include a message from Mayor Roth and a panel of local leaders who will discuss the growing problem in our community. The panel includes representation from the police and emergency services departments; addiction and harm reduction specialists; and other important community leaders.

Please attend.

For more information:  

Fentanyl Summit Flyer