Serving the People of Hawaii Since 1960
A Simple Truth About Addiction
Addiction is a painful and degrading condition which yields a high rate of recovery when treated appropriately and adequately.
Relapse, rather than being a common feature of recovery, is all too often the result of a shallow or biased assessment process resulting in patient placement at an inappropriate level of care and/or intensity of services.
This practice, in almost all cases, leads to insufficient treatment support and a blandly superficial treatment experience. As a result of this clinical failure to identify and legitimately address other highly individualized contributing factors in the addictive disorder the patient is left functionally unmoved, unchanged and unprepared to sufficiently value and protect abstinence.
The nature of addiction is to impoverish in mind, body, spirit, and resources. In many cases a family will have been brought to the point of hopeless disoriented anguish before the addicted person agrees to commit to recovery.
When any treatment agency or professional attempts to assist under such circumstances special care must be exercised to ensure that the actions taken are fueled solely by a genuine desire to see those lives made right again by the most direct supportive and effective means possible.
A Message from the Director
The Increasing Risk of Old-Timey Spin-Dry Treatment
"When it was just booze, marijuana, maybe some Quaaludes, LSD or cocaine the community seemed willing to accept cyclical short-term spin-dry drug treatments and their subsequent relapses. Even though a staggering number of innocent victims were generated during these "acceptable" relapses, the community seemed to be able to turn a blind eye to that suffering and, by so doing, avoid the need to confront the spin-dry treatment experts and agencies about the cost, both human and material, of their 30 year pocket-lining jaunt through the field of structured abstinence assistance.
Unfortunately, all across the country, we're seeing a sharp rise in the violence that routinely marks the psychotic conduct of the ICE user. Meth-addled maniacs are inflicting incomprehensible acts of mayhem upon their own loved ones and too many other innocent hard-working citizens are being deprived of peace, safety, their property and their lives. This problem will only worsen, if the public doesn't rouse itself and become more aware of failed treatment policies and their costs. The taxpayer, at some point, must demand that real treatment be provided to the people who need it.
You see, ICE has done that which is in its' nature to do; it has exerted tremendous pressure exposing flaws and weaknesses within individuals, communities, the treatment industry and the way in which our elected officials are pressured to respond. ICE has shattered that which we once believed to be solid and substantial, but it's critically important that we acknowledge and understand that the flaws were there all along.
If one can put aside, for a moment, the tragic and frightening aspects of this latest wave of drug-fueled chaos we’re provided with an opportunity to examine past efforts at helping our fellow citizens move beyond addiction. When one views the past as prologue it’s easy to understand how, and why, we have allowed ourselves to be maneuvered into this untenable position and that which will be required in order for us to work our way through it.
Before coming to the field of Addictions Treatment I had already experienced a measure of success as a martial arts instructor and as an Instrumentation and Automatic Controls Technician in the nuclear field. These two prior careers had several important common elements. In martial arts, and in working with radioactive materials, situations involving considerable risk and the potential for danger sometimes arise. When these types of situations arise they are real world problems, not subject to intellectual debate or elaborate theoretical constructs based upon dubiously commissioned research. They are real problems that, in most cases, require a swift and accurate real world solution.
Another point of commonality is in the mindset required to effectively address these types of issues. When situations become most intense and fraught with danger the martial artist and the nuclear technician are trained to become calm and centered, see the problem clearly and then address that issue in the most elegant and economical manner possible. The final way in which these two careers were similar is in the requirement that the damage done to, and suffering experienced by, others be strictly controlled and limited.
With the exception of military service, during the Vietnam era, all of my work has been in the private sector. I was raised under the influences of the United Mine Workers union (UMW District 17) and have been a dues paying/card carrying member of the Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers union (OCAW Local 3-689) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union (IBEW Local 25).
For 25 years I've directed this agency in its' efforts to help Hawaii citizens get off drugs and establish balance and harmony in their lives. My purpose for sharing this information is to assist the reader in understanding our orientation toward the problem of addiction, the human impact on our fellow citizens and the issues we see as being important if we’re to manage and control the Ice Epidemic.
The Sand Island Treatment Center was the first Licensed Special Treatment Facility in the State of Hawaii, holding license number S.T.F. 0001. In continuous operation since October of 1960, the Treatment Center has helped many thousands of Hawaii’s Citizens regain their ability to live satisfying and productive lives. The administration of the Treatment Center has historically focused on serving the most damaged, difficult and desperate of our fellow citizens.
Since the early '90s we have devoted more and more of our resources to assisting Hawaii Citizens suffering from Co-Occurring Disorders, this being a substance related disorder and a co-occurring mental disorder such as schizophrenia, personality or adjustment disorder. Cases involving PTSD, major depressive disorder and Bi-Polar disorder are also routinely seen. We have also provided training to other state and private sector agencies on structuring treatment services for Hawaii Citizens suffering from Co-occurring Disorders.
Our Medical/Psychiatric unit has grown over the years and we now have a total of (6) doctors on staff. Our psychiatric unit includes Dr. Matthew Ikeda, Dr. Toshi Shibata, Dr. George Makini and Dr. Peter Rudlowski. Dr. Chang D. Lai has been our Medical Director for over 14 years as well as one of the leading Gastroenterologists in the State of Hawaii. In addition, Joyce Ingram-Chinn PhD provides guidance in the areas of Program Development and Quality Assurance.
The Treatment Center is fortunate to have the longest serving staff of line counselors in the State. The average length of service for our counseling staff is in excess of (10) years with the program. The average for our senior counseling staff is around (18) years. (7) of the top (10) positions, in terms of length of time with this agency, are held by line counselors, the people who actually do the work.
In 2001 we became the first agency in Hawaii to be nationally accredited to provide Residential, Partial Hospitalization and Day Treatment Services for Alcohol and Other Drug and Mental Health problems. In 2003 our treatment planning process was described as “brilliant” by one of the internationally recognized Monitors appointed by the Federal Court to oversee the re-alignment of Hawaii’s Mental Health System.
We feel that nearly 50 years of continuous service to the People of Hawaii, coupled with seasoned experience in the treatment of co-occurring disorders, uniquely positions our staff and agency to be in the forefront of a reinvigorated response to the challenges presented by Crystal Meth. Dependence, and the many other damaging health-related lifestyle issues impacting our fellow citizens.
Based upon principles established by our Founders, the Kline - Welsh Behavioral Health Foundation has never engaged in overt advertising of its' treatment programs; it has been repeatedly shown that those in need of our help will find us.
The purpose of this website is to attempt to dispel some of the rumor and myth surrounding the treatment of drug disorders. It is absolutely essential that the addicted person, and their loved ones, get the straight facts so that very important, lifesaving, decisions can be made.
No family is immune to, or untouched by, the pain and suffering associated with this devastating condition. For this reason we feel the consuming public must learn to demand treatment services that genuinely and effectively address the severity of the problem being experienced by the individual, as well as the full range of issues contributing to the addictive disorder, rather than meekly accepting levels of care or a standardized content of programming reflective of economic or philosophical biases within a treating agency.
To mislead misdirect or under treat based upon financial considerations constitutes the most despicable form of exploitation possible of the addicted citizen and their loved ones."
A Final Point to Consider
In the early 80's the treatment industry began offering workshops to educate short term treatment providers on the most effective way to talk to insurance companies, and other sources of funding, about the widespread issue of relapse for people participating in their funded programs. Having identified long-standing high rates of relapse in all-volunteer community-based support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, the treatment industry sought to turn, to its' advantage, this unfortunate characteristic of recovery situations which in many cases were also characterized by inadequate individual support as a result of the unmonitored, uncontrolled and terribly garbled communication of recovery principles offered in environments that, in many cases, reeked of unethical and exploitative interpersonal conduct.
The point of these trainings had to do with self-serving attempts to establish, in the mind of funding agencies and the general public, that alcoholism and other addictions, were "relapsing" conditions. To make this ploy work, the treatment agencies would carefully avoid mention of the many inherent shortcomings of all-volunteer services which had actually led to the majority of those relapses. By so doing they would be able to deflect criticism away from their very expensive, and very superficial, attempts to address the disorder.
The question no one asked, for fear of offending, was "why anyone should be willing to pay to emulate statistically undesirable rates of recovery that were already being provided, at no cost, by all-volunteer groups within the community. The answer is simple; If the blame for failure could be shifted away from the inherent shortcomings of the funded short-term programs, payment for services could continue, regardless of treatment outcomes, and a perpetually refreshing revenue stream could be established.
The shameless and cynical attempts to perpetuate this clinical deception, by comparing alcoholism/addiction to hyper-tension (high blood pressure) and diabetes, continues to this day.
I would ask you to consider if the general public's current lack of interest in the patient-centered and relatively socially benign impact of relapse in other people's diabetes and hypertension would change if that relapse also carried with it the devastating explosion in carnage and criminality that has characterized 30+ years of superficial, blink-of-the-eye, "For God's sake, don't dig too deep." short-term treatment of addictive disorders.
Try to imagine entire communities terrorized and held hostage by marauding bands of whacked-out, hell-bent diabetics and hypertensives. My gut says, if that were the case, society would likely be a lot less accepting of relapse for diabetes and hyper-tension. I also believe society would make sure that genuinely effective treatment approaches were made available and then demand that persons suffering from these conditions demonstrate discipline and responsibility from the very start.
What do you think?
Mason Henderson CSAC, CSAPA
Chief Executive Officer of the Kline - Welsh Behavioral Health Foundation
Clinic Director of the Sand Island Treatment Center
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