Guam child researches and presents ‘thesis’ on harms of drug abuse

Chloe Chargualaf

Chloe Chargualaf, a nine-year-old girl originally from Guam, who is a fourth grade student in Hawaii, researched, wrote, and presented her findings about illegal narcotics use in Hawaii, and how drugs tear apart families and the community.

“Fifty percent of all suicides, and over 50 percent of all violent crimes are caused by alcohol and drugs,” Ms. Chargualaf read from her research to an audience of the collegiate level Keiki Advocacy Program, in which she participated in a summer research program. “Eighty percent of all domestic violence reports also involves alcohol and drugs.”

“Chloe spent 8 weekends dedicated to researching a topic she was passionate about, the illegal drug epidemic in Hawaii,” her relative, Jay Chargualaf, said. “She presented her thesis at a community event at Key Project where after she was recognized by the [Hawaii] House of Representatives of the 32nd legislature for her dedication to researching and sharing social justice issues in her community.”

“Drug use upsets me,” Chloe said to her audience. “It ruins our world. It ruins relationships, people, and can even kill you.”

Jay Chargualaf said the program Chloe enrolled in accepts children between the ages of 10 and 17, but accepted Chloe because “they saw how determined and mature she was. We are all so proud of her!”

“The purpose of this speech is to get people to stop making and using drugs. Drugs are not an escape,” she said, “they’re a trap.”

The speech, focused on Hawaii’s drug problem, is reminiscent of Guam’s battle with crystal methamphetamine, or what’s also known as the drug ‘ice,’ as it also is known in Hawaii.

“Illegal drugs are smuggled into Hawaii from Mexico through California,” the young girl said. She explained that in 2021 alone, law enforcement in Hawaii confiscated more than 1,200 pounds of meth, which contributed to 226 meth overdoses that year.

“Drugs leads to making bad decisions, creates unhealthy living situations, and contributes to crime in our communities,” she said. “The scary thing is that kids and teens try drugs to fit in or they’re curious.”

Watch her five minute speech here:


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