Healing on Hawaii’s Big Island: Why Is Having a Safe and Comfortable Environment for Detox So Important?

Addiction Recovery Publishing Addiction Recovery October 19, 2023

Healing on Hawaii's Big Island: Why Is Having a Safe and Comfortable Environment for Detox So Important?

The Hamakua Coast on Hawaii’s Big Island is one of the most breathtaking places on the planet. With the green-speckled mountains rising over the Pacific Ocean’s horizon line and the green sea turtles swimming up to the beaches that reflect rays off the crystal blue waters, there is no other place like it. This is also why the Hamakua Coast translates to “the breath of God.” Not only is it breathtaking, but it is also an incredibly safe and comfortable environment for detox.

The Importance of Detox at the Start of the Recovery Journey

Relapses happen a lot more than many people may realize in the U.S. According to Current Psychiatry Reports, “Addictions are among the most prevalent psychiatric disorders in the world…The chronic, relapsing nature of addictive disorders is a key factor contributing to high disease burden. Although we have US Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for nicotine, alcohol, and opioid addiction, more than two-thirds of individuals are known to relapse after initiating treatment for substance use disorders.” This relapse reality is one of the reasons that detox is so important at the start of recovery. Also, not just a detox but a safe and customized detox.

An effective detox is crucial because it starts the recovery journey off on the right foot. The physical, mental, and emotional self must be in the right place if an individual is going to be in the optimal shape that is needed to heal on the cellular level. Of course, the first step is getting into detox.

Helping a Loved One Get Into the Right Detox Program

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we understand how scary entering a detox can be. Many of us on staff have gone through it ourselves and come out stronger on the other side, with the primary purpose of helping others get through detox and recover as well. 

We also understand that many times, it is not the individual who needs the help that seeks out the help. This can often fall on the shoulders of friends and family, and this can be, understandably, challenging. But there is help and hope out there to get loved ones the help and detox that they need.

One of the most effective ways of getting a loved one struggling with addiction the help they need is by staging an intervention. This can be an intimidating prospect. However, there are many professional detox specialists that can help make this happen. At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we employ some of the best interventionists in the industry to help friends and family get their loved ones into detox. They are also there to ensure that the person struggling has a safe journey into detox.

Ensuring a Safe Journey Into Detox

Part of helping get someone safely to a detox is having everything planned and everything they need ready to go. Yes, this even includes having their bags packed with everything that they may need as they head to the safe and comfortable environment for detox that is Exclusive Hawaii Rehab on that Hamakua Coast.

It is also important that professionals lead a person struggling into detox because even being away from substances without medical attention early on can be dangerous. This is especially true with alcohol.

Many people would probably be surprised to find out that alcohol is actually one of the most dangerous substances to detox from. This is most likely because people see alcohol as legal, affordable, and essentially permeating every part of the social landscape. But, alcohol is not wholly harmless, and detoxing from it haphazardly can be dangerous.

According to the peer-reviewed article, Complications of Alcohol Withdrawal: Pathophysiological Insights, “Disease processes or events that accompany acute alcohol withdrawal (AW) can cause significant illness and death. Some patients experience seizures, which may increase in severity with subsequent AW episodes. Another potential AW complication is delirium tremens, characterized by hallucinations, mental confusion, and disorientation.” Also, “Psychiatric problems associated with withdrawal include anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance… [and] alterations in physiology, mood, and behavior may persist after acute withdrawal has subsided, motivating relapse to heavy drinking.” This gets back to the relapse reality of addiction and the importance of an effective detox program.

What Does an Effective Detox Program Look Like?

The interesting thing about effective detox programs is that no two of them should look alike. Yes, they will have many universal characteristics, but effective detox programs should always look specific to the individual.

An effective detox program will take into account the time an individual has spent in active addiction, as well as how severe (or how late stage) their addiction is. It will also look into what type of substances that a person needs to detox from. While this may seem obvious, many people have co-substance addictions, and all of them need to be addressed (not just the primary one).

An effective detox will also be monitored by the caliber of addiction and mental health specialists capable of determining and diagnosing comorbidities. A dual diagnosis can be crucial to how the recovery road is going to look moving forward after detox. This is because treating all of the issues of addiction and mental illness at the same time is critical for healing at the cellular level. 

The last aspect of what an effective detox looks like is the personal life aspect. Every part of a person’s life should be taken into account during detox. Where are they from? What is their family life like? Do they consider themselves a spiritual person? How stressful is their work and/or school life? What are their recovery goals? There must also be a safe and comfortable environment for detox to ultimately be successful. 

The Importance of Having a Safe and Comfortable Environment for Detox

There is already so much going on, and specifically so much going on in someone’s head during detox, that a negative environment should be the last thing that they have to deal with. A comfortable environment for detox is also crucial for making someone feel safe and secure.

Also, a comfortable environment for detox can help ensure that an individual stays for the entirety of the process. Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we are blessed to have an environment that helps people stay for the duration of their detox (and beyond). In fact, not only do clients stay for their entire detox, but they generally extend their residential stay beyond a 30-day treatment to 90 days. 

The benefits of the Hamakua Coast on Hawaii’s Big Island are hard to ignore. But the comfortable environment for detox is not the only thing that helps people to stick around. It is also the world-class staff of some of the most highly regarded mental health and addiction professionals. This includes our medical director and licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) Bryce Healy.

How Can a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor Help With the Detox Process?

Many people are unfamiliar with what naturopathy is and what NDs do. According to the peer-reviewed article, Naturopathy, and the Primary Care Practice, “Naturopathy is a distinct type of primary care medicine that blends age-old healing traditions with scientific advances and current research. It is guided by a unique set of principles that recognize the body’s innate healing capacity, emphasize disease prevention, and encourage individual responsibility to obtain optimal health.” Also, “Naturopathic treatment modalities include diet and clinical nutrition, behavioral change, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, botanical medicine, physical medicine, pharmaceuticals, and minor surgery.”

Our medical director, Dr. Bryce ND, helps with the detox process by utilizing information taken from bloodwork and other testing to ensure that our clients are in optimal shape as they continue their recovery journey after detox.

Using Gathered Information to Make Responsible Recovery Assessments

Ultimately, the naturopathic goal of Dr. Bryce is to get clients away from pharmaceuticals and into holistic healing as soon as it is safely possible. To do this, he first needs to determine what types of nutrients are required to make their way toward cellular healing.

Many people don’t realize how nutrient-deficient people often are upon arriving to detox. Years of active addiction can strip many of the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed to live a healthy and functional life.

According to the clinical article, Mechanisms of Vitamin Deficiencies in Alcoholism, “Chronic alcoholic patients are frequently deficient in one or more vitamins. The deficiencies commonly involve folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A.” These vitamins and other nutrients are replenished in three ways at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab: nutrition therapy, pharmaceutical-grade supplements, and Concierge IV infusions.

The Benefits of Infusion Therapy

Infusion therapy can be much more effective at delivering the essential nutrients required during and after detox because the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants are delivered directly into the bloodstream for quick and complete absorption. Some of the more effective infusions are offered directly on our property on the Hamakua Coast. These include Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) IV infusions, Myers cocktails IV infusions, and Glutathione IV infusions.

Now, while all three of these infusions offer unique and beneficial opportunities for root/core recovery, glutathione infusions can be especially helpful for detox. According to Dr. Joseph Pizzorno (an authority on the subject and other forms of restorative medicine) and his article, Glutathione!, “It is hard to overstate the importance of glutathione… It plays a crucial role in shielding cellular macromolecules from endogenous and exogenous reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. While it directly quenches some free radicals, of perhaps greater importance is that it deals directly with the causes of oxidative stress such as mercury and POPs [persistent organic pollutants].”

Now, while receiving infusion therapy is an exceptional way to heal during, and after detox, it becomes even sweeter when experienced in the paradise that is Hawaii’s Big Island and its Hamakua Coast.

A Safe and Comfortable Environment on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island

There is an ancient Hawaiin proverb that is still used on Hawaii’s Big Island. It goes “Aloha Aku No, Aloha Mai No.” This translates to “We give our love to each other, and they then give their love to us.” This also applies to what the land gives to us on the Hamkua Coast.

The land replenishes us, and in turn, we treat it with love and grace. We surf its waters, pray and meditate on its beaches, and work the soil with our bare hands. This latter one we do via horticulture therapy.

A Comfortable Environment for Detox: The Benefits of Horticulture Therapy

While it is one of the lesser-known experiential therapies, horticulture therapy can be highly effective. On Hawaii’s Big Island, it also adds to what makes the Hamakua Coast a comfortable environment for detox. 

According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “Horticulture has been long used as a therapeutic activity for people with mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and depression [3,4]. People’s interactions with plants, through goal-orientated horticultural activities in the form of active gardening, as well as the passive appreciation of nature, could be therapeutic to people with mental disorders in many ways.” It also offers many of the benefits that can be critical for people trying to heal at the cellular level both during and after detox.

The journal continues, “First, horticulture could have emotional benefits, such as reducing stress, reducing psychiatric symptoms, stabilizing mood, and increasing the sense of tranquility, spirituality, and enjoyment. Second, it could help people to reduce fatigue and restore attention and cognitive ability. Third, it could increase self-efficacy, self-esteem, and quality of life.” Also, there is no better place for horticulture therapy than at our 30-acre luxury recovery center on the Hamakua Coast.

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we have a saying, “Food is medicine,” and we grow some of the best organic “medicine” right on our property. Our clients can get their hands dirty while cultivating some of the very foods that will sustain them. On our property, our clients tend to vines of Lilikoi fruit, rows of citrus and longan trees, pineapple patches, guava bushes, and many more exciting and unique local fruits and vegetables. This is just one more of the many ways that make Exclusive Hawaii Rehab a safe and comfortable environment for detox. However, it is not just the land that offers comfort on Hawaii’s Big Island; it is also the sea.

A Comfortable Environment for Detox: The Benefits of Surf Therapy

The Hamakua Coast offers some of the best surfing in the world. Also, many people may not be aware of how therapeutic surfing can be. It actually has its own therapeutic distinction: surf therapy.

Surf therapy can be highly beneficial for those in recovery. According to Frontiers in Psychology, “There is increasing evidence suggesting that participation in action and adventure sports, such as surfing, is meaningful and life-enhancing. Participating in action and adventure sports is said to create opportunities to foster positive psychological outcomes such as resilience, self-esteem, positive affect, and relatedness.” Also, ”A growing body of evidence worldwide has validated the use of surfing as a therapeutic mediator to achieve positive change such as increased well-being.” 

Just a mere 15-minute walk from our recovery center doors is one of the best surf breaks on Hawaii’s Big Island. The locals call it Honoli’i. Here is truly a place to contemplate the next steps for recovery. Whether riding the waves in or mediating as green sea turtles swim beneath, it truly offers a sense of peace that few other places can.

A Comfortable Environment for Detox and the Importance of Aloha at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

The Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island truly stands up to its meaning. Here, we can truly feel “the breath of God.” We also understand the challenges of detox, which is why we chose to soften the experience by locating ourselves in a safe and comfortable environment like no other. 

Many people only know Aloha as hello. But it also has many other meanings, one of which is unconditional love. This is also what we offer here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab. We are here to love our clients until they recover and learn to love themselves. They deserve it.

Detox can be one of the most crucial parts of the recovery process. At least this is certainly true of the early recovery process. Also, it is important to remember that experiencing quality detox will pay dividends down the road when it comes to engaging in therapy and avoiding relapse. Ultimately, choosing to detox at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab is the right choice for many reasons. One reason is simply our wholly unique environment. Simply being located in such a serene setting on the Big Island of Hawaii can be helpful upon arrival for detox, during detox, and recovering at our 30-acre luxury recovery center afterward. For more information on safe detoxing, please contact Exclusive Hawaii Rehab today at (808) 775-0200.