Across the islands of Hawaii, alcohol and drug use are problems, but the island state is working hard to assist addicts.
Residential and outpatient programs have been set up throughout the various islands. Therapy is even offered to students in their schools.
A Breakdown of Programs
Drug and alcohol treatment starts not with detox but with education. In an effort to prevent the beginnings of a substance abuse problem from becoming full blown addiction, early intervention is offered at particular centers. It is acknowledged by professionals in addiction therapies that some clients will realize they are traveling a dangerous path before they need to go through detox, and could avoid it altogether. This early introduction to counseling can prevent financial disaster, relationship problems, and tragedy.
Residential programs are the preferred means of assisting alcoholics and drug addicts whose lives revolve around their substance of choice: getting money for it, finding a supplier, and taking the drug. When they live in a facility for recovering addicts, individuals are removed from their normal environment; the environment which has enabled their substance abuse. Following medically supervised detoxification, Hawaii residents learn to live without booze, pain killers, heroin, or methamphetamine.
Intensive outpatient services are also offered in Hawaii. If residential treatment is ideal, this is the next best thing for someone who has managed to hold a job and put on ‘normal’ face while crumbling inside. Clients of these programs visit their care center most days for therapy at times which work around their daily schedules.
When clients have been through counseling or psychotherapy and are fully cleansed of the drugs which were ravaging their systems, they can move back to their homes. To ensure that they do not slip back into dangerous habits, however, it is strongly advised that they attend outpatient groups. They are offered by treatment centers, health centers, and community groups. At this stage in a recovering addict’s life, it would be helpful to visit one of these groups about twice a week, except for groups like AA and NA.
Then again, some clients know their limits and realize they will relapse almost as soon as they get home without a bit more education and assistance. For them, sober living follows rehabilitation. Participants move to a halfway house or transitional house where they live with other recovering addicts.
They take turns cooking meals, cleaning their home, and also take up regular employment onsite or outside of the center. They learn how to function in a normal environment among others who know what they have struggled through.
Divisions in Care
All individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol (or both) are unique individuals. Each one should seek care where they will be treated with respect and professionalism. Other than this, how does one choose a care facility for recovering addicts?
The most basic divisions run along the lines of age and gender. If you are over 65 and can find a center that runs regular groups for seniors, you might feel more comfortable. It can be hard to relate to people who are one or two generations younger than you are. Veterans also come to addiction recovery centers with emotional problems that civilians cannot usually imagine. Counselors must be ready to deal with issues, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, when working with military personnel.
Women and men often concentrate on recovery better if they are separate. Adolescents are also kept apart from adults when they are receiving treatment for addictions. Addiction counselors use different strategies for helping teens to open up about their problems.
They are also aware that teens are assailed by a particular set of generational issues which can cause problems in later life. Dealing with them in the early years could prevent behavioral and emotional dysfunction from settling upon a person in the long term.
Church groups will frequently deal with people on the margins, such as mothers and pregnant women who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, or homeless people with no money or insurance to pay for rehab. Whereas many individuals would judge mothers who exposed their babies to cocaine or heroin, counselors at these centers shield their clients from their glare, offering compassion.
A dual diagnosis complicates addiction. In this case, substance abuse was the means of relieving symptoms of depression, severe anxiety, or PTSD, for example. Treating addiction and these symptoms together requires a deft touch and specialist training.
Opiate abusers frequently respond well to methadone treatment. Using this drug, their bodies are weaned off of morphine, Vicodin, etc. Although it takes weeks or months to do this safely, the faster method of detox (which takes several days in some cases) is much more painful and can cause death if not supervised by a physician. In some cases, addiction to methadone is the problem. In this case, it is worth talking to a doctor to find out if he can help you go through a slow, medically monitored program at home.
Finally, if your cultural roots stretch back to Hawaii before it was an American state, you might appreciate a center which recognizes and honors your culture in the structure of their addiction programming. Culturally sensitive facilities and specialists have set up centers to address this need.