Youth Program Supports Addiction Recovery and Prevention
Kauai's Keala Foundation helps kids live a drug free lifestyle
The Keala Foundation on Kauai provides kids and teens with a drug-free environment. Co-director Rory Zambard explained that its mission is to "create community and equip people with the tools to be successful and overcome any challenge."
Youth in Hawaii can be vulnerable to the influence of drugs and alcohol, Zambard said. This could be due to drugs becoming normalized in the culture, adult figures in children's lives doing drugs, or boredom.
Children usually to go from "home to school to 'question mark,'" she said. "We fill in the question mark with the healthy environment."
The foundation picks kids up after school so they can participate in activities and eat a healthy meal before being dropped off at home.
"We provide a consistent touch and access point for kids to be a part of everyday," Zambard said. "This is a living and breathing environment that they can go to any time or day of the week where they can create relationship with adults and other kids."
Kauai offers addiction youth programs, but adolescent treatment centers are scare in the state.
The Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration's facility locator lists only 10 addiction treatment centers on Kauai. These are often filled to capacity with patients referred to them from other states.
Keala founder Aaron Hoff plans to open up an outpatient program within the year. Government officials also are laying groundwork to establish an adolescent treatment center in the fall.
The Keala Foundation hopes to expand to other Hawaiian Islands in the near future.