Services expand at Hina Mauka
Hawaii's largest drug and alcohol treatment program is expanding to try and catch up with the "ice storm of 2003," says Alan Johnson, chief executive officer.
He was referring to the community outcry over increasing use of crystal methamphetamine, known as ice, the lieutenant governor's drug control summit that year and legislation for treatment programs, prevention and education.
"The needs are huge, and we're learning it's not just enough for us to treat addiction. We have to treat all the other issues that come with that. We have to treat the whole person."
Chief executive officer of Hina Mauka, Hawaii's largest drug and alcohol treatment program
Hina Mauka recently opened a new outpatient services building at its 48-bed residential facility at 45-845 Pookela St. in Kaneohe to reduce a usual waiting list of 30 to 40 people. The demand for services has increased as the stigma of alcoholism and addiction has decreased, Johnson said.
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Annex will have nine counseling offices and a group meeting and conference room with teleconferencing capabilities to Hina Mauka's other 25 sites.
The nonprofit organization served 2,241 clients last year -- 459 at the residential facility, 72 at the Institute for Human Services, 53 at the Women's Community Correctional Center, 988 at outpatient clinics on Oahu and Kauai, and 669 at Teen CARE sites at schools.
The new annex, funded with nearly $2 million in Community Development Block Grants and $480,000 from the Weinberg Foundation, will expand outpatient services to another 150 people annually, Johnson said.
A family counselor will be hired to start a family reunification program, he said. Families will be invited to begin repairing relationships toward the end of a client's treatment program.
"Often, family members are traumatized, too, by the addiction and all the suffering and drama that goes with that," Johnson said. "Clients will have gone through some sort of transformation, and now is the time to repair the relationship and rebuild it."
Johnson said many new drugs are being developed that can help the counseling process by reducing cravings.
"We have a psychiatric department, and we want to expand that so we're more involved in using these types of medicines," he said.
The facility is seeing a lot of post-traumatic stress disorder among veterans and women involved in abusive or domestic violence situations.
The new building provides better space for medical management and monitoring of new medications, he said.
"The needs are huge, and we're learning it's not just enough for us to treat addiction," he added. "We have to treat all the other issues that come with that. We have to treat the whole person."
Hina Mauka also is building a relationship with faith-based organizations, which represent "huge untapped support," Johnson said. He said the program is connecting with about 30 churches and developing a network for transportation, child care and spiritual guidance for clients.
"They're (churches) wanting to do this on their own," and Hina Mauka is encouraging them, he said. Increased understanding of drug addictions by church congregations also will help to reduce the stigma, he said.
Teen CARE services also will expand, with 10 trailers being placed at middle and high schools on Oahu and Kauai as "another classroom on campus," Johnson said. The governor recently released $675,000 appropriated by last year's Legislature for the project, he said.
Many Teen CARE sites have student waiting lists, he said: "They are quite popular. What's different today is 90 percent of the kids are volunteering. They are not convinced or induced into it. They're showing up."