Hawaii Alcohol and Drug Use Statistics
Beyond the picturesque beaches and lush greenery of the Aloha state lies an alarming rate of substance use disorders. Hawaii has one of the highest rates of illicit substance use among youth populations in the nation.1 A 2020 survey conducted by the University of Hawaii Department of Psychiatry for the state’s health department has revealed the following facts and statistics about Hawaii’s youth population:1
The statewide ratio for middle and high school students with a substance use disorder is 1:10.
At 24.4%, gender-diverse middle and high school students are more likely to have a substance use disorder.
While 11% of students likely have a substance use disorder (SUD), an additional 14% were at risk of developing SUD.
Most students in this age group reported drinking as early as eight years old, with use peaking between 13 and 15.
The other most used substances for Hawaii’s youth include marijuana, methamphetamines, opioids, heroin, and prescription medications.
Substance use disorders that become prevalent in youth populations almost always translate into lifelong use.1
How Much Does Drug Rehab in Hawaii Cost?
The cost of rehab in Hawaii depends on several factors, including the type of facilities available at the time and the type of program you enter. The best way to prepare for the potential costs is to think about the following:
The type of treatment program you need, i.e., inpatient vs. outpatient care.
Whether it offers luxury-style accommodations or basic amenities.
The duration of treatment needed could range from 30 to 90 days.
Whether or not you have health insurance.
Whether or not you’re eligible for special financing or government funding.
The location of the facility.
Of course, you don’t have to worry about not being able to afford alcohol or drug rehab in Hawaii. While there are indefinite costs, like room and board, several options exist to meet your income level.
For instance, health insurance can help with a large portion of your rehab costs. You’ll just need to make sure the facility you choose is “in-network” with your provider. If you don’t have insurance coverage and aren’t able to pay out of pocket, you’ll have to look for state-funded programs. State-funded programs often offer free treatment for those who meet the criteria. They also offer special financing and scholarships based on individuals’ financial situations.
Where Can I Find Low-Cost and Free Rehabs in Hawaii?
Low-cost and free rehabs are the state-funded programs mentioned above. These facilities receive funding from both the federal and state government. They also receive support from local governments who receive funding from insurance programs like Medicaid, special grants, and even donations.
These types of rehabs work just like any other rehab facility. For instance, they typically offer medically assisted detoxing, outpatient care when rooms are unavailable, transitional and recovery housing, peer support groups, mental health care, and even telehealth options.
To receive free or low-cost drug and alcohol rehab in Hawaii, you’ll need to meet specific criteria, such as:
- You must be a U.S. citizen.
- You must have proof of low income.
- You must have proof of a lack of health insurance.
- You must be a tax-paying resident in the state of Hawaii.
Does Insurance Cover Drug Rehab in Hawaii?
Under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008, all states, including Hawaii, require that healthcare providers offer plans that include mental health and substance use disorder benefits.2
This means if you currently have health insurance, then you have some sort of coverage for Hawaii drug rehabs and alcohol rehabs. Let’s look at all your insurance options:
Medicaid is a program funded by the state and federal governments, offering healthcare coverage to low-income families. Regarding substance use treatment, Medicaid will cover the basics, such as:
- Initial screenings
- Intervention assistance
- Inpatient and outpatient care
- Medically assisted detox
- Addiction treatment medications
- Mental health services
However, not all Hawaii drug and alcohol rehabs accept Medicaid as a payment form. You’ll need to verify with each facility before making any treatment arrangements.
Medicare is a federally funded program designed for seniors 65 and older and individuals with disabilities. Unlike Medicaid, Medicare plans are associated with a monthly premium that is based on your income. That means individuals with lower incomes will pay lower premiums.
As for rehab coverage, Medicare is divided into four categories which are “Parts,” A through D. Each part covers specific treatment benefits, for instance, Part A provides coverage for up to 60 days of inpatient treatment, and Part B provides coverage for up to 80% of outpatient care.
Under the MHPAEA, private providers must include some coverage for substance use disorder treatment and mental health disorders. Some of the top insurance providers that offer coverage for rehab include United Healthcare, Humana, COBRA, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), COBRA, and Aetna.
The extent of your treatment coverage will depend on your provider and insurance plan. Therefore, you’ll need to verify with your provider exactly what’s covered and what you’ll have to pay out of pocket. You’ll also need to verify which facilities are in-network to ensure coverage before making treatment arrangements.
Popular Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers in Hawaii
There are a lot of drug and alcohol rehabs in Hawaii, which can make finding the right one overwhelming. To help you get started on your search, we’ve put together a short list of some of the best care facilities in the state:
Aloha House in Makawao, Maui
The Aloha House offers a CARF-accredited inpatient treatment program in a private setting that’s backed by a high rating. Their treatment program includes health care, individual and group therapy, mental health services, case management, addiction recovery education, and discharge planning. They also offer specialized programs for men, women, and youth programs.
The facility also offers outpatient treatment for individuals in need of less intensive care.
The Exclusive Hawaii Rehab in Hakalau, the Big Island
The Exclusive Hawaii Rehab offers inpatient care that embraces a holistic treatment approach for substance use disorders. The facility comes highly rated, is CARF-accredited, and offers a medical detox program, dual diagnosis treatment, mental health treatment, and all the necessary amenities of a luxury and executive rehab facility.
Habilitat in Kaneohe, Oahu
Habilitat is a very structured residential treatment facility offering long-term residential treatment. The facility is licensed by the Hawaii State Health Department and is unique in that, aside from its regular evidence-based treatment, it also encourages residents to participate in everyday job functions, academics, seminars, group therapy, and more.
It’s also set on a serene and private oceanfront and offers yoga classes.
Hawaii Island Recovery in Kailua-Kona, the Big Island
The Hawaii Island Recovery facility offers residential treatment for men and women. It has dual accreditation through the Joint Commission and CARF and has a LegitScript certification and licensing through the Hawaii State Department of Health. It’s also a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).
Here you’ll find treatment programs that include medical detoxing, individual and group counseling, aftercare planning, outpatient services, and more.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab in Hawaii
Inpatient rehab refers to residential care, where you’ll be admitted to a facility and live there for the duration of your treatment program. These programs range from 30 days to 90 days, depending on the severity of your substance use disorder and needs. Since you’ll be living at the facility, you’ll be provided with a room with a bed, meals, and other amenities, depending on the type of facility.
Outpatient rehab refers to treatment programs that don’t require you to live at the rehab facility. However, you are required to show up for the required amount of treatment and therapy hours dictated by the healthcare professionals managing your case. There are also three different types of outpatient programs, including partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), intensive outpatient programs (IOSs), and standard outpatient programs. Each will vary in its intensity regarding treatment hours and typically require you to attend peer support group meetings outside of your usual therapy.
Each type of rehab program comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, those advantages and disadvantages really depend on everyone’s situation.
Pros of Inpatient Addiction Treatment
The primary advantage of inpatient care is getting to take a break from all the stress in your life and focus solely on your recovery. Other advantages include the following:
- Living on-site with certain amenities, including meals
- Receiving round-the-clock care (including a medically assisted detox)
- More supervision to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone there
- Receiving support with basic functions, such as taking medication, personal hygiene, etc., if needed
- Living in a more stable environment for those with co-occurring mental health disorders
Cons of Inpatient Drug Rehab
The disadvantages of inpatient care include the following:
- Inpatient treatment programs are often more expensive and only partially covered by insurance.
- They can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days, which means time away from work, school, or family, which can be difficult for some.
- Transitioning back to “normal” life is often challenging as it involves coping with stress and triggers.
- Families and friends don’t always understand how to offer support once individuals finish their inpatient care and return home.
Advantages of Outpatient Drug Rehab
For those new to the world of drug and alcohol rehab in Hawaii, the concept of outpatient treatment may seem odd. However, it has its advantages, such as the following:
- It’s more affordable than inpatient treatment.
- It allows individuals to continue with their work, education, or family care.
- It offers multiple levels of care, depending on the individual’s needs.
- Transitioning back to normal life is less of a struggle since individuals don’t have to leave.
Disadvantages of Outpatient Addiction Treatment
Outpatient care won’t work for every situation as it does come with several disadvantages, such as:
- A lack of medical detox programs
- Individuals still must deal with everyday stressors and triggers since they’ll remain at home.
- There’s less supervision since individuals are only required to attend meetings and therapy for a certain amount of time each day.
- It requires a lot more family support and involvement.
Types of Drug and Alcohol Rehabs in Hawaii
Hawaii drug and alcohol rehabs all operate differently. While many follow evidence-based methods, each has its own treatment philosophy and setting, and many cater to specific populations.
Here’s a brief look at the various types of Hawaii alcohol and drug rehabs:
Holistic rehab programs focus on healing the mind, body, and spirit in addition to substance use recovery. Many of these programs don’t use traditional methods like the 12 Steps. However, they do typically offer medically assisted detoxes and a range of other therapies, including meditation and yoga.
Holistic rehabs emphasize spiritual healing, and the goal is to get individuals on the right path through organic diets, wellness activities, complementary therapies such as acupuncture, creative therapies, and more.
Christian and Faith-Based Rehab
Christian and other faith-based rehab programs are based on the belief that an individual isn’t just suffering physically but spiritually and emotionally as well. These types of rehabs encourage their patients to form a connection with a higher power for their recovery. This connection is meant to give them support when recovery becomes challenging.
Luxury rehab centers are significantly different from the typical settings of most programs. These types of facilities focus on privacy and often embrace a holistic approach to recovery, with an emphasis on comfort and relaxation. They also put an emphasis on customized treatment plans that cater to the individual’s situation and needs, which means counselor-to-patient ratios are typically lower.
Because privacy and comfort are emphasized, luxury rehabs are also typically set in more secluded areas, such as lakeside, on the beach, or in the mountains.
Executive rehabs are designed for business professionals. They’re tailored to the high-level and busy professionals who require more flexibility, privacy, and additional resources that are conducive to a working environment. Therefore, these types of rehabs offer amenities such as private conference rooms, access to computers and Wi-Fi, travel support for work trips, private rooms, and most importantly, discretion.
Dual Diagnosis Rehab
Dual diagnosis refers to co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Individuals often use substances to cope with underlying mental health disorders, which only makes the problem worse. That’s why dual diagnosis rehab focuses on appropriately diagnosing an individual’s mental health condition first so they can get to the root of the substance use issues and treat them properly.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a type of substance use treatment designed to support recovery and prevent cravings and their subsequent overdoses. MAT uses FDA-approved medications in conjunction with behavioral therapy and counseling to provide a “whole-patient” approach.3
Research shows that MAT treatment programs come with clinically proven success in treating substance use disorders involving alcohol, heroin, and other opioids and sustain recovery.3 This is because the medications used work to balance brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of substances, and relieve the psychological cravings to bring the body back to a normally functioning state.3
How to Get Methadone at a Methadone Clinic: Methadone is an FDA-approved synthetic analgesic that’s used to help treat substance use disorders involving heroin and other opioids.4 It works on the brain’s opioid receptors to minimize pain and withdrawal symptoms, staying active in the body for up to 36 hours.4
Since methadone is highly regulated, there are specific guidelines for its administration through methadone clinics. Individuals must meet specific criteria to be granted admission into a methadone clinic, involving a physical exam and providing blood and urine samples. They’ll also have to provide their history of substance use and any known mental health conditions. Some programs even have an age requirement.
A physician will also determine a person’s level of substance dependency based on various factors to evaluate their needs for methadone. Those factors include withdrawal symptoms, overdose risk, failed attempts to stop using, and even what friends or families have to say about the individual’s substance use disorder.
Depending on the severity of the case and location, individuals may be admitted immediately or put on a waitlist.
Finding a Suboxone Doctor: Suboxone (also known as buprenorphine) is a prescription opioid medication that blocks the effects of opioids, including pain relief. It can be prescribed alone or with other medications, and it’s usually prescribed for substance use disorders involving short-acting opioids. This would include heroin and prescription painkillers.
Suboxone is also highly regulated, making it virtually impossible to get without a prescription. This can also make suboxone clinics and doctors difficult to reach, especially since providers prescribing the medication must have special training and be registered with the DEA.
Your first step in finding a suboxone doctor would be to check with your primary care doctor to see if they’re able to prescribe it, are willing to get the waiver required to prescribe it, or can refer you to another doctor or clinic. Another option is to investigate the methadone clinics in your area to see if they offer suboxone, or you can check the SAMHSA’s Physician Locator5 to find the right doctors.
Naltrexone for Alcohol or Opioid Addiction: Naltrexone is an MAT option used to treat alcohol and opioid addiction. It can be prescribed and administered by virtually any doctor and comes in pill form or as an injectable.6 However, injectables require a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) to ensure that the benefits of the medication outweigh the risks.
Naltrexone blocks the sedative and euphoric effects of opioids and alcohol by blocking the brain’s receptors to minimize cravings. The medication is non-addictive and is not an opioid or an opiate.
Therefore it’s not considered to have overuse or withdrawal potential.
Naltrexone is often prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that typically includes an entire rehab program.
Antabuse (Disulfiram) for Alcohol Addiction: Antabuse was one of the first medications prescribed for alcohol use disorder. It works by blocking the enzymes the body uses to process alcohol and can cause some nasty side effects if alcohol is consumed after it has been taken. This would include chest pain, nausea, dizziness, elevated heartbeat, thirst, and flushing.
This medication is only prescribed for individuals with chronic alcoholism and cannot be taken if an individual has consumed alcohol within the past 12 hours. It also cannot be taken if you’ve taken cough medicine or have eaten any food or desserts with alcohol—including vinegar.
Antabuse is not a cure for alcohol use disorder as it’s only meant to dissuade individuals from drinking with its unpleasant side effects. Therefore, it should be used in conjunction with a rehab treatment program for a positive outcome.
Acamprosate for Alcohol Use Disorder: Acamprosate is another prescription medication used to help curb alcoholism. It comes in pill form and is typically taken up to three times per day with food. The medication works to restore the natural balance of the neurotransmitters in the brain to reduce cravings helping individuals to abstain from alcohol use.
It should be noted that acamprosate does not alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and it is not a cure for alcoholism. Therefore, it’s typically only prescribed for individuals seeking treatment.
Should I Travel to Hawaii for Alcohol and Drug Treatment?
If you’re wondering whether you should travel to attend one of the various Hawaii drug and alcohol rehabs, you’ll have to first assess your needs. Sometimes a fresh start is best for recovery, whereas traveling for treatment to be closer to friends and family can also make things easier.
Whether you’re traveling to the Aloha state from afar to get peace or staying local for support, you’ll want to consider the actual setting of where you’ll be and how it’ll affect you.
Regional Considerations in Hawaii
Hawaii is unique in that it’s made up of a chain of five islands: Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai. Each island is further divided up into regions, counties, cities, and neighborhoods. All are home to beautiful nature scenes with mountains and beaches, so you really can’t go wrong with the location you choose.
If you’re looking to find peace and be surrounded by lush greenery, Kauai is the island you’ll want to be on. Of course, if you’re looking to stay in the more populous areas, the Big Island, Maui, and Oahu will suit you better. Of course, the most important thing is that you choose a rehab facility that suits all your needs—the location comes second.
Drug and Alcohol Laws in Hawaii
To help its residents, the state of Hawaii has written several pieces of legislation into action to protect and support them and promote healing. Here are some of the most recent laws to be aware of:
The Good Samaritan Law
Like most states, Hawaii has its own Good Samaritan law. That law states that anyone acting in good faith to help another individual or themselves during an overdose-related emergency will not be prosecuted—regardless of whether the individual in question has paraphernalia or illicit substances on their person.
The Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) Program
To help people ineligible for drug court, the HOPE program offers an intensive recovery program for the offenders that are most likely to violate the conditions of their probation due to having a substance use disorder.
Individuals in the HOPE program are required to call a drug testing hotline every weekday to see if they need to report to the courthouse for a drug test. As time goes on, they’ll be called less and less. However, individuals who do not comply are sentenced to jail time.
The Hawaii Opioid Initiative (HOI)
The Hawaii Opioid Initiative is a statewide collaboration between private and public sectors to address opioid misusage and coordinate an action plan to keep residents safe. With the objective of preventing overdoses, for example, the HOI has made Naloxone (Narcan) available over the counter.
They’re also currently working to create legislation revolving around public health and public safety needs, such as access to treatment and an integrated healthcare system that minimizes addiction risk through pain medicine prescribing.
- Hawaii Department of Health (2020). Hawai’i Student Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use (ATPD) Survey.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2021, November 10). Mental Health and Substance Use Insurance Help.
- SAMHSA (2021). Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
- SAMHSA. (2021, June 8). Methadone.
- SAMHSA. (n.d.). Buprenorphine Treatment Practitioner Locator.
- SAMHSA. (2020, September 15). Naltrexone.