As the United States responds to a growing heroin epidemic and widespread abuse of prescription drugs, the role of drug rehab centers becomes more important to our society with each passing year. Unfortunately, many well-intentioned drug rehab centers are struggling with frustrating rates of addiction relapse and treatment dropouts. Tucked away in beautiful Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, one rehab center is gaining attention with its, particularly high success rates, even among participants with dozens of failed recovery attempts in other treatment centers. Hawaiian Island Recovery (HIR) boasts a 70% success rate and was recognized as one of the top ten alcohol treatment centers in the United States by Now, many other organizations are looking to the small recovery center for clues to stopping the cycle of addiction relapse and replicating these results.

Addiction Relapse

Many new residents enter HIR skeptical and discouraged after multiple relapses and incomplete treatment attempts. HIR’s Residential Manager Bria Hicks, alumni of the program, understands the struggles of bouncing around from one center to the next.

She explains,

“I have been in and out of treatment centers since I was 13 years old. I started asking for help at 17. I was 36 when I arrived at HIR, and I had well over 20 inpatient detox and treatment attempts. I am 41 years old now and have been clean for four and a half years.”

HIR credits its remarkable success to several components:

While some treatment centers aim to serve as many people as possible, casting a wide net can make it easy for residents to slip through the cracks. Participants may quit programs prematurely or graduate without being fully prepared to re-enter society, ultimately leading to relapse. At HIR, only eight beds are available to residents, allowing the staff to offer a fully personalized treatment experience. Hicks explains, “That is what I needed to not get lost in the shuffle, as I had at other treatment centers that had a lot of clients.”

Certified staff use evidence-based therapies, such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)  to address both addiction and dual diagnosis issues. Hicks reflects, “I had great therapists whom I trusted. The staff at HIR treated me with love and patience. They focused on my mind, body, and spirit.” Residents often experience life-altering moments when they participate in the program’s unique Wild Dolphin Assisted Therapy program. Hicks cannot forget how her wild dolphin encounter shifted her perspective and strengthened her for the difficult journey to recovery, explaining, “The first awakening of my spirit was while swimming with the dolphins.”

Wild dolphin encounters are just one of the ways that HIR uniquely strives to make rehab a fun experience that graduates can remember fondly. The center proudly shares their favorite quote from The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on its website,

“…we aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life.”

Residents explore waterfalls, go snorkeling, and watch the sunset over the beautiful island together. These experiences provide graduates with a sober community as an alternative to the unhealthy relationships that may have encouraged or enabled their addiction in the past.

As the United States feels the increasing pressures that drug and alcohol addiction place on society, HIR’s ability to stop the cycle of addiction relapse holds extreme value for the nation at large. Hicks hopes that sharing her story will inspire those who are struggling with relapse—or have family and friends who are—to not give up on their journey to recovery. She recalls,

“Every time I checked into a treatment center or detox prior to HIR, I felt just as desperate—but I could rarely make it through the detox, and I did not know how to surrender. Thankfully, something clicked at HIR for me. Five years ago, I was able to choose to do
the work it takes for recovery, and HIR helped that process tremendously.”

About Hawaii Island Recovery

Hawaii Island Recovery is a residential substance abuse rehabilitation facility for adults, offering a comprehensive treatment program in a tranquil and healing environment. Providing the best evidence-based treatments, medically supervised detox, and holistic and experiential therapies, Hawaiian Island Recovery combines the most effective treatment modalities with a low client-to-staff ratio in order to support long term sobriety and break the cycle of relapse. Learn more about Hawaii Island Recovery by calling (866) 491-8009.