Frequently Asked Questions

  • Sadness that won’t go away
  • Feeling anxious/nervous
  • Depressed and feeling hopeless
  • Thoughts of harming self or others
  • Uncontrolled crying
  • Lack/increased appetite/sleep/weight
  • Hearing/seeing things that aren’t really there
  • Manic
  • Bursts of anger
  • Avoidance of family and friends
  • Isolation

The complex relationship between addiction and mental illness has multiple causes:

  • Drugs and alcohol can cause some forms of mental illness.
  • Alcohol and drugs are used as a form of self-medication to cope with their suffering.
  • Substance abuse can hide the symptoms of mental illness.
  • Psychiatric symptoms can be triggered or aggravated by substance abuse.

Without a thorough assessment, it is not always possible to determine whether a mental illness precedes a substance use disorder, or vice versa.

Po’ailani Inc. has greater than 40 years’ of experience and expertise helping individuals who are 18 years and older struggling to overcome substance use and mental illness

Po’ailani Inc. has a dedicated multi-disciplinary team of professionals.  The team includes certified substance abuse counselors, master’s prepared professionals, registered nurses, registered dietician psychologist, psychiatrist, and a variety of support staff.

Consequences of undiagnosed, untreated, or undertreated co-occurring illnesses lead to a higher likelihood of experiencing personal relationship issues, employment problems, medical illnesses, homelessness, incarceration, suicide, or even early death.

Addiction causes problems on every aspect of one’s life.  Addiction is more destructive when compounded with a mental illness or vice versa.  Mental illness makes the course of addiction worse. At the same time, a mental illness makes the process of recovering from addiction all the more challenging.

Recovery from the coexisting illness is a deeply personal, unique process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals and skills.  Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in the clients’ life as the client moves beyond the challenging effects of major mental illness and substance abuse with the hope of dual recovery.  The recovery model that Po’ailani Inc. incorporates is client oriented with the focus on active family and community involvement and to give each client skills to regain hope, self-esteem, self-respect, pride, dignity, and meaning.


Every individual, regardless of the severity of his or her mental health issues or drug/alcohol addiction has the potential for recovery from substance use and mental illness.

Online Resources

A list of 12 questions to help determine when drinking is becoming a problem. (

From the National Institute on Drug Addiction, a list of the most commonly abused drugs and description/side effects/research on each.

Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics AnonymousR is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

If you consume alcoholic beverages, it’s important to know whether your drinking patterns are safe, risky or harmful. Answering these questions will take only a few minutes, and will generate personalized results based on your age, gender and drinking patterns.

Aloha United Way
AUW continues to raise money, but also serves as a leader in bringing communities together to build partnerships, forge consensus and leverage resources to make a measurable difference on Oahu.

Coalition For A Drug Free Hawaii
The Coalition for a Drug-Free Hawaii provides innovative programs and services that help keep Hawaii children and families healthy, strong, and resilient against drug and alcohol abuse.

Hawaii Department of Health
The mission of the Department of Health is to protect and improve the health and environment for all people in Hawai`i .

Hawaii Department of Health, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Division
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD) is the primary and often sole source of public funds for substance abuse treatment. ADAD’s treatment efforts are designed to promote a statewide culturally appropriate, comprehensive system of services to meet the treatment and recovery needs of individuals and families.

Hazelden Foundation
For individuals, families, and communities struggling with addiction to alcohol and other drugs, Hazelden (a nonprofit organization) helps people transform their lives by providing the highest quality treatment and continuing care services, education, research, and publishing products available today.

Narcotics Anonymous in Hawaii
Narcotics Anonymous is an international, community-based association of recovering drug addicts with more than 33,500 weekly meetings in over 116 countries worldwide. (There are over 100 meetings within the State of Hawaii and the island of Guam – Ed.)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has established a clear vision for its work — a life in the community for everyone. To realize this vision, the Agency has sharply focused its mission on building resilience and facilitating recovery for people with or at risk for mental or substance use disorders.

Web of Addictions
The Web of Addictions is dedicated to providing accurate information about alcohol and other drug addictions.