Former journalist Moyers to recall addiction at benefit


POSTED: Friday, October 30, 2009

William Cope Moyers says he did not know what it meant to be addicted when alcohol became his “;new best friend”; as a college freshman and he began using other drugs.

“;And when I finally realized it, I was too ashamed to admit it,”; he said in a telephone interview. “;For many years I languished in the dark shadow of shame and utter fear of what would happen if I asked for help.”;

On Oct. 12, 1994—which he calls his “;sobriety date”;—his father, renowned journalist Bill Moyers, and a hired intervention team got him out of a crack house and into treatment.

He hadn't “;shaved, showered or eaten in four days,”; he wrote in his book, “;Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption.”;

“;I had already given up on myself. But the good news is my family, my employer and the community had not given up on me,”; he said.





Operating with a budget of $7.9 million in 2007-08, Hina Mauka provided drug and alcohol prevention, treatment and recovery services to 1,774 adults, 733 adolescents and 211 in a family program.


The nonprofit provider operates:
        » A 48-bed residential program and outpatient clinic in Kaneohe.
        » An adult outpatient clinic in Lihue.
        » An outpatient program for the homeless at the Institute for Human Services in Honolulu.
        » An outpatient clinic in Waipahu.
        » A therapeutic community, Ke Alaula, housing 50 women at the Women's Community Correction Center in Kailua.
        » Teen CARE programs at 21 high and middle schools on Oahu and Kauai.
        For more information, see www.hinamauka.org or call 236-2600.


Moyers will be keynote speaker at a benefit dinner for Hina Mauka, a Kaneohe-based nonprofit program offering comprehensive alcohol and drug prevention, treatment and recovery services. The event, titled “;Rebuilding Hope,”; will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Tapa Ballroom.

Dr. William Haning, director of the Addiction Psychiatry and Medicine Department of the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine, will receive Hina Mauka's Andy Anderson Award for Advocacy. Fern Kappelle will receive the Harry and Mary Lake Award for Compassion.

M.P. “;Andy”; Anderson stepped down as Hina Mauka's chief executive officer in 2006 after developing treatment and prevention programs for 40 years as a recovering alcoholic. He continued doing advocacy and fundraising for Hina Mauka, but is retiring and moving to Arkansas.

“;He is a giant,”; said Moyers, vice president for external affairs and executive director of the Center for Public Advocacy at Hazelden, the renowned treatment center based in Minnesota.

Moyers was an award-winning journalist at CNN, the Dallas Morning News and other publications while struggling with substance abuse. He said he had “;incredible support”; from his parents, Bill and Judith Moyers, but he cut off his journalism career because he was “;wary about going back into a profession that ... was so clearly dominated by my father's success.”;

Both he and his parents have been honored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and Legal Action Center for their advocacy efforts.

“;The war on drugs must start in the home, with parents and grandparents leading the charge,”; Moyers said. “;It's never too early and it's never too late to talk about addiction.”;

He said his story is one of hope, healing and inspiration, which Hina Mauka has provided for 40 years.

But Hina Mauka has been “;severely impacted by the recession”; with more people than ever seeking help and fewer resources, said Chief Executive Officer Alan Johnson. Tickets for the benefit dinner are $125, with table sponsorships starting at $750. Call 236-2600.