TINAILAYI: LOCAL PLAY TO HIGHLIGHT PROBLEMS OF 'ICE' ABUSE
Anna Marie Kenny spent seven years of her life homeless and in and out of jail because of her addiction to crystal methamphetamine.
"I wanted to stop, but I was so addicted," she said, adding that she knew if she wasn't in jail, she'd be back on the streets or in a bad relationship. "It was like a revolving door. There was no way out and no where to go for help."
Kenny, 48, said she became addicted to crystal methamphetamine, also known as "ice," several years after she moved to Guam from New York City in 1990. She said she would do anything at the time to get the drug.
"However, ice makes you lose everything. I lost my family, job, home . I survived only by getting the drug," she said.
Kenny is one of many on Guam who had struggled with crystal methamphetamine.
After receiving help, Kenny has been clean and sober for the past three years and is now the resident manager of Oasis, a resident alcohol/drug treatment facility for women that opened in 2004. Kenny said of Oasis' 50 clients seen in the past year, about 75 percent of them have been admitted for ice addiction.
At the Salvation Army's Lighthouse Center, which provides residential recovery and treatment for men suffering from alcohol/drug problems, about 90 percent of the clients come to the center for ice addiction, said Lou Cruz, the center's office manager.
Both facilities have six-month programs where clients can reside in a safe environment, take classes and recover from their addiction.
Sanctuary, Inc. has a similar program for teens.
Because of the serious problems associated with ice affecting all ages and nationalities on Guam, Sanctuary Inc. and the Pacific Daily News have teamed up to present the play, "Tinailayi," about the harmful effects of the drug.
Tinailayi, which means evil or disrespectful in Chamorro, is written by local playwright Peter Onedera and directed by Peter Jon Duenas.
The play is a dramatic, emotional and powerful story about a Chamorro father and husband, his abuse of the drug ice and how it affected him, his family and his life.
George Salas, development director at Sanctuary and the lead actor in the play, said the purpose of the production is to promote awareness about drug prevention.
"We want people to learn that there is always a negative outcome when it comes to taking drugs," Salas said. "On Guam drugs and alcohol are a problem, but it's not cool to do drugs because the outcome can destroy you."
Because of the dramatic nature of Tinailayi, there is some material considered unsuitable for young children, including violence, profanity and sexual situations. However, Salas says it is suitable for older children to attend.
"There are some scenes in the play that are a little bit inappropriate (for children)," Salas said. "But it educates and shows what happens when people do drugs."