East Hawaii News

2015 Alcohol, Drug Treatment Services Report Released

September 11, 2015, 12:17 PM HST
* Updated September 11, 12:18 PM
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The Hawai’i State Department of Health has recently published the 2015 Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services Report, released to coincide with National Recovery Month.

The report, which included extensive research and analysis, was commissioned to the University of Hawai’i’s Center on the Family by the DOH. National Recovery Month is a nationwide recognition of various alcohol and drug treatment programs and initiatives that focus on recovery efforts. It follows the 2015 theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, and Valuable!”

Among the major findings in the report were that more than half of the adults and adolescents who participated in a substance abuse treatment program and who completed a six-month follow-up survey have remained clean. In follow-ups, the participants had remained clean for at least the 30 days prior and had managed their lives without arrests, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits after being discharged for the treatment programs.

After six months, almost all adolescents were attending school and nearly 70 percent of adults were employed.

“One of the Hawai’i Department of Health’s foremost priorities is to make the recovery efforts visible, give a voice to those who have recovered, and inspire others in the community to see how valuable these programs have been,” said Virginia Pressler, M.D., director of the DOH. “We may all know a friend, neighbor, or relative who may be bound by alcohol and drug abuse. These are encouraging statistics for all of us in Hawai’i.”

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According to the DOH, the success of these statewide programs is likely the result of collaboration with the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division of the DOH, the primary source of public funds for prevention and treatment services in the state.

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Between 2010 and 2014, an average of $17 million a year in state and federal funds have gone to address alcohol and drug abuse. Last year, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division provided funding to 24 agencies at 52 sites for the treatment of adults. Funding was given to 10 agencies at 107 sites to offer services for adolescents in 2014.

“There is still much more work that needs to be done in our community in terms of prevention and treatment,” said Alan Johnson, chief executive officer of Hina Mauka, Hawai’i’s largest alcohol and drug treatment program that has provided recovery treatment and ongoing support for adults, teens and families for more than 40 years.

Not all of the numbers in the report were positive. Some of the negative statistics include the percentage of adults 50 years and older who reported methamphetamine as their primary substance. The five-year study statistic showed a number that has nearly doubled in the past five years.

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According to Dr. Pressler, 28 providers across the state focus on meth treatment, and the DOH’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division funds 28 providers who focus on meth treatment. Those programs will continue to be supported.

The Department of Health’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division currently funds 28 providers statewide who focus on meth treatment and plans to continue supporting programs and services to treat meth users, Pressler said.

The Hawai’i State Department of Health is in the planning stages for the transition and case management services as a next step in the treatment and recovery process to fill the community’s need. In 2006, the department will issue a request for those services, with plans to start in 2017.

To review the full DOH 2015 Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services Report, visit the DOH website.

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