Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr. announced on Tuesday that the State of Hawaii will provide more than $8.3 million to the four counties, including $2,103,140 to Hawaii County, to reduce and prevent underage drinking in Hawaii.
The Big Island is recieving nealry as much money as Honolulu ($2,310,502) and nearly double the amount of Kauai ($1,237,824) and Maui ($1,464,732). The amounts were determined by a funding formula that was reviewed and approved by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), according to the state.
The money comes from a 2006 federal grant, secured by the Lingle-Aiona Administration under the direction of the Lt. Governor. In turn, the state committed $10.45 million over five years to address the public health concern of underage drinking.
“We’re using the best available data to build capacity and structure at the community level where we can address the greatest needs to curb underage drinking,” said Lt. Governor Aiona in a media release. “Underage drinking is a public health concern that requires active community involvement and evidence-based prevention programs. We have aggressively pursued this funding to enhance our prevention efforts.”
Sixty percent of Hawaii high school students have consumed alcohol, and 15 percent binge drink, according to a 2007 statewide survey. Hawaii ranks fourth in the nation for alcohol-related motor vehicle deaths, according to a 2008 study.