The Place of Change

Our average program population is around 100 residents. We are licensed by the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD) of the – State of Hawaii Health Department. Habilitat’s proven success rate is among the highest in the world. Habilitat is an alternative to the 12 step programs. We have understood for many years that a long-term drug treatment program alone is not enough to ensure long-term success. Graduation requires the completion of three mandatory phases. All phases are transitional. With advancement comes more privileges along with higher expectations.

Habilitat’s success rate is 3x the national average


Treatment Phase

“Treatment” is a highly structured phase where most of an individual’s inclinations, strengths, and weaknesses are established. Residents are also encouraged to get-to-know each other and establish healthy friendships. As the treatment phase progresses, time is consumed by regular job functions, academics, seminars and encounter groups; leaving no time for non-constructive endeavors. At Habilitat, residents learn hard, work hard and play hard. The Treatment phase provides the foundations of a new lifestyle, one focused on responsibility, self-reliance, self- awareness, confidence and commitment to change. Most prospective residents come into Habilitat because they lack purpose and meaning in their lives. They are often emotionally immature and cannot cope with day-to-day pressures, anxieties, and disappointments.

In the “treatment phase”, these residents are taught a new way to deal with their feelings. They are given tools and concepts, and most importantly, concern from others who understand. From the examples set by others, it becomes clear that a new life is possible for anyone who makes use of what is offered. This drug treatment program can work for anyone. Individuals will begin to develop regular sleeping and eating habits. Simple principles such as being on time, cleaning up after themselves and other seemingly simple tasks have to be relearned. The treatment phase is a phase of learning and growing. Residents who do not have their high school diploma or GED will be enrolled in our GED program and attend regular classes. It is our goal that everyone leaves the program with a high school diploma.

Re-Entry Phase

A resident advances to the Re-Entry phase of the program approximately six months after induction. At this stage much of the structure found in the treatment phase has been reduced and the individual is compelled to make gradual adjustments working toward self-reliance. In this phase greater demands are placed on the individual, starting with vocational training. Emphasis is placed on responsibility and accountability. At this point a resident is expected to cope with a normal workday agenda. From this point of the program residents are obliged to learn a practicable and marketable skill. They earn a normal stipend which they are taught to formulate a budget, as they would normally do in society.

Contact with people and elements outside of the program becomes mandatory; thereby providing the exposure needed while gradually re-entering society. The encounter group is still a part of their program. Played two evenings a week, it keeps individuals in tune with why they came to Habilitat and what they came to accomplish. After the   normal work day, re-entry residents are made to assume various responsibilities which include the filtering down of information to the younger residents. The act of “giving back what was given to you” is an important concept taught in our program.

Post Re-Entry

The post re-entry phase is designed to alleviate “culture shock” syndrome. Based on considerable past experience with residents who encountered serious problems after completing the program, gradual transition is necessary to increase the prospective graduate’s chances for success. It is in essence stepping down from the highly structured, controlled environment and beginning to enter society. There is a gradual winding down of clinical controls and residents make more and more decisions regarding their future goals, education and occupation. In the “post” phase, residents are encouraged and given more freedom to re-establish family bonds especially those with children. Habilitat provides a safe environment for families to interact and the needed support to help guide the residents.

In the post phase residents have earned a “day off” where they can engage in healthy leisure activities. There are a number of activities that Habilitat offers. Residents are also encouraged to find things off of the facility to do such as movies, beach trips, theater or partake in some of Hawaii’s historical activities. One of the most frequently asked questions in regards to the post phase is “Do you help people find a job when they are done with Habilitat?” It is our goal to get an individual to the point where they do not need help in finding employment. They have the confidence and skill set to “do for themselves.” We believe that without struggle there is no progress and the hardships endured after graduating are what lead to independence and maturity. The Habilitat experience teaches graduates many things about life and themselves. Whether it be the concepts of the program or vocational training, a resident embraces that one thing that later serves as the foundation of their new person.


 Elevating your level” is a common phrase at Habilitat, as we are more than just a drug treatment program. For many of our residents this means strengthening their education. For some it’s general health and wellness. We offer a variety of opportunities catering to the specific needs of the individual. We allow residents the time to brush up and further their education, health, fitness and restore their self-respect.

G.E.D. Class

All residents who did not complete high school are immediately enrolled in our mandatory G.E.D. classes. These classes are taught by a certified teacher and are held three times a week. Upon completion of the course residents will take their test and get to walk in our graduation ceremony provided they pass.

Basic Skills Class

The basic skills class is offered to individuals who have completed high school but could use a refresher course. The curriculum is geared toward reading, writing and mathematics. A certified teacher instructs the students during class time and assigns various homework assignments to be completed.

Computer Class

Computer class is an optional course we offer for individuals who show interest in learning or further developing their computer skills. The basic course covers Microsoft applications and basic computer functions. The intermediate and advanced classes are geared toward database creation and graphic design.


Our residents come from all over the world and all walks of life. Whether the problem is substance abuse, court pressure, or the need for a highly structured environment, our survival school meets the needs of individuals motivated to change. They enter fearfully, unsmiling, suspicious and generally unhealthy in appearances. Habilitat turns that around.

Habilitat takes a non-psychiatric approach on all levels. We employ a Registered Nurse that oversees and manages our resident’s minor health concerns. Habilitat consults with local primary care physicians to address our residents advanced care needs.


Before entering Habilitat, not many of the residents stressed daily physical fitness. Many of them came into the program undernourished, having neglected their bodies in favor of drugs and alcohol

Residents of Habilitat are afforded the opportunity of an extensive aerobic workout three times per week. Along with this, a fully equipped weight room, Jacuzzi and Sauna are available for elective use. At Habilitat, we stress physical fitness as well as emotional strength.


Habilitat places a special emphasis on nutrition within our resident population. Although it is left up to themselves to enforce self control when it comes to their own diets, if we notice that a negative or unhealthy habit is forming, we can intervene and redirect. Our nutritionist monitors our residents with special diet needs, and communicates and trains our Culinary Department on everything from portions to calorie intake.