Hawaiian Healing and Substance Misuse

March 26, 2022

The scenic aesthetic of the island is not the only thing that makes seeking addiction treatment in Hawaii highly desirable. There is much to be learned from the land, its culture, and from those who continue teaching the ways of their ancestors. When it comes to recovery from addiction, substance use disorder (SUD), or other co-occurring mental illnesses, the healings methods and the Hawaiian traditions can be very effective when implemented appropriately. Due to the increasing rates of addiction in recent years, the native Hawaiian community has created a movement employing spiritual practices to facilitate healing for those suffering from addiction and to improve mental health amongst Hawaiian communities. 

We at The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center can implement these spiritual practices effectively, as approximately half of our staff are native Hawaiians. Their understanding of the practices and guidance make for an even more effective treatment program for our clients. These spiritual practices are also holistic, which means they take recovery from a whole-person perspective. 

Not only will these spiritually healing practices help you to achieve recovery, but they will also help you maintain your recovery long term too. No matter where you are returning to upon leaving The Ohana, you leave with the support of our ohana and can take a little piece of Hawaii with you wherever you go.

What Is the Hawaiian Way?

The Hawaiian way refers to how the native Hawaiian community has come together to employ spiritual practices for aiding people suffering from addiction or other behavioral health disorders. This practice is referred to as ‘Imi Ke Ola Mau and focuses on bringing the past, present, and future together to achieve an overall improved sense of balance, harmony, and healthy within yourself. In terms of recovery, bringing the past, present, and future into treatment is an ingenious approach. Everyone in recovery needs to look to their past to understand where they are in the present and where they would like to be in the future. The Hawaiian way will allow you to do that while basking in the beauty of the island. 

In addition to the native Hawaiian practice of incorporating past, present, and future, this policy plan regarding ‘Iki Ke Ola Mau' emphasizes concepts that, when implemented into treatment, can also help tremendously. For starters, the policy includes the native practice of needing access to “a safe, healthy environment which includes all the natural elements such as ke kai (saltwater), ka wai (freshwater), ke ea (air, sky, and heavens), ka ‘?ina (land, soil) and all of the animate and inanimate aspects of nature which make up this physical environment.” 

The Ohana prides itself on implementing adventure therapy, ecopsychology, and other nature-based practices for this exact reason. These native practices also believe that to heal and make people better, more than just traditional Western methods are needed. In truth, a combination of both can produce much more fruitful effects than relying on just Western means of treatment.

How The Ohana Embodies the Hawaiian Way

For starters, implementing the Hawaiian Way into our treatments is simple when we are based on one of the planet’s most mesmerizing places. As far as natural elements go, the facility is surely surrounded by a lot of ke kai, ka wai, ke ea, and ka ‘?ina, and with the implementation of adventure therapy, clients are sure to reconnect with nature in a way they would have never imagined. Even for those who have never felt all that connected to nature, it is very hard not to be amazed by the daily watercolor sunsets, clear oceans, and black sandy beaches. Truthfully, there’s almost no better place to clear your mind and focus on your addiction recovery.

At The Ohana, we also believe that addiction stems from trauma. It’s only through finding the source of that trauma that people can begin to heal. To examine past trauma and understand the core of your addiction, you have to first examine your past, similarly to how native Hawaiians practice incorporating their past, present, and future into their healing practices. 

The Ohana also makes use of the native practices through our holistic treatment, specifically regarding mindfulness therapy and ecopsychology. Mindfulness therapy is implemented into group and one-on-one sessions, practicing yoga and meditation, and the many adventures you will take while on the island. If you or someone you love requires a combination of traditional and native treatment methods, consider a program with The Ohana. We can help you start your recovery adventure today.

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