Department of Health and Governor David Ige celebrate National R - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Department of Health and Governor David Ige celebrate National Recovery Month

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

By: Taylor Preza

In 2014, just under 4,000 patients received alcohol and drug abuse treatment, according to a new service report, revealed Friday. 

More than half of those clients were of adolescents. Six months later, 99 percent of them were attending school and 69 percent of the adults were employed. 

In honor of National Recovery Month in September, Governor David Ige had joined the Department of Health Friday morning in a signing ceremony to recognize the individuals who have worked together to improve those numbers. 

National Recovery Month is a nationwide recognition of various alcohol and drug treatment programs and initiatives focused on recovery efforts. This year's theme is: "Join the Voices for Recovery: Visible, Vocal, and Valuable."

Key findings from a five-year study done by the Department of Health along with the University of Hawaii-Manoa Center of the Family, revealed that the treatment programs are keeping Hawaii's adults and adolescents from returning to drugs and alcohol abuse. 

"The majority of the adults and adolescents who participated in treatment programs did not experience arrests, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits since discharge," said Virginia Pressler, Director of Health. 

However, also found were devastating statistics. 

"The percentage of adults 50 years and older that reported methamphetamine as their primary substance has nearly doubled in the past five years," said Pressler.

Pressler goes on to assure that the Department of Health will be focusing on providing management cases to those specific clients as an additional effort to improve those numbers. 

Governor Ige acknowledged the hard work of the treatment programs thus far, but also recognized the unsettling numbers. 

"There is much more work to be done," said Gov. Ige. 

Since 2010, the Hawaii Department of Health has invested $17 million in state and federal funds each year to address alcohol and drug abuse. 

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