LIHUE – Since the groundbreaking of the Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center in early January, progress has been made in road improvements and water lines.
A contractor to build the roughly 15,000 square foot facility is expected to be hired soon, with the anticipated completion and opening of the facility in late November.
“We have lots of public inquiries from the public from people needing treatment services or wanting to refer patients, and or employment,” said Life’s Choices Coordinator Theresa Koki.
Alcohol and marijuana are the most abused drugs on Kauai by adolescents, Koki said, because they are easily accessible and more available. But they are not the only drugs teens are experimenting with, she said.
“Adolescents, she said are experimenting with harder drugs that are more addicting such as prescription drugs that are not prescribed for them, cocaine and meth,” she said.
The county was awarded a $5 million Capital Improvement project fund for the construction of the facility and 5.8 acres of land was donated by Grove Farm Company.
The facility will include an eight-bedroom residential structure that may be expanded, with additional open space for recreational and agricultural healing activities.
There is no specific reason as to why adolescents turn to drugs, Koki said, but a few reasons based on research, include trauma, abuse, poor parental coping skills and parental substance use. Others include self-medicating, un-diagnosed mental health disorders, peer pressure and social norms.
Which is why the current administration pushed so hard to open the $5 million Adolescent Treatment and Healing Center, at the north end of Maalo Road in Hanamaulu.
Groundwork for the center began in 2002. In 2006, ground was broken for the facility near the salt beds in Hanapepe, but construction was halted due to what some said were negative environmental impacts a building such as that would have in the area.