Habilitat Inc. Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Habilitat Inc.


Habilitat, Inc.Habilitat Inc. Review

Habilitat Inc. was founded in 1971 by Vinny Marino, a native New Yorker and former heroin addict. The facility was originally in Kailua, Hawaii, with room for only eight residents. Marino died of cancer in 2000, but not before exponentially expanding Habilitat’s capacity and treatment capabilities. Today, Habilitat sits on one-and-a-half acres, houses up to 200 addicts and has developed a mostly positive reputation for its unusual and highly immersive treatment.

Now located on the beachfront of Kane’ohe, Hawaii, Habilitat calls itself a “School of Survival” rather than a rehab. While it may seem a laid-back paradise of sun and sand at first glance, treatment at Habilitat is actually more like a boot camp that requires a solid commitment from residents. Unlike most 30 day rehabs, graduating from Habilitat takes two-and-a-half years and forces clients to change their lives dramatically.

Habilitat’s 12-step alternative approach goes against the grain by tackling addiction as a choice, not a disease (though it does require attendance at AA or NA  meetings during the final treatment phase). For the most part, its goal is character building through total immersion in the Habilitat community, which serves as a microcosm where addicts can build confidence and life skills through behavioral therapy and vocational training; the mantra is “build better people, not better prisons.”

Accommodations and Food

Habilitat is a large, oceanfront compound just 20 minutes away from world-famous Waikiki Beach. To reinforce the sense of community, women live in a building with their other “sisters” while men live with their “brothers.” The women’s building overlooks the water, with basic dorm style housing with four to five girls per room sleeping in bunk beds; likewise with the men’s housing.

The dining situation has a similar philosophy, and requires everyone to eat together in the dining room. Cuisine is healthy, fresh and served buffet style. Residents have access to both the hot line (often serving pork, beef and rice) and the salad bar. On holidays, Habilitat brings in special dishes, such as crab or steak.

Upon arrival, each resident is allowed to write one letter to a family member or approved contact. After that, no one is allowed to speak to anyone in the outside world for two months (emergencies aside). All outgoing mail is screened, and only immediate family members or approved contacts (which excludes boyfriends and girlfriends) may contact residents. Phone calls are allowed after four months but must be earned and are also screened. Habilitat permits in-person visitation after roughly six months.

Treatment and Staff

Since the medical side of the program is slightly limited, Habilitat also doesn’t offer detox; similarly, residents won’t find standard CBT, DBT or one-on-one psychotherapy here. Instead, Habilitat focuses on overall lifestyle restructuring in three phases.

Phase one is treatment, a six-month period where residents go through a full schedule of social and work-related obligations. Each resident is assigned to a “work-crew,” and is given daily tasks to complete. Other daily events include a morning meeting (a casual time where residents sing or put on skits to encourage bonding), daily seminars with guest speakers and other recreational activities.

Residents without at least a GED must also attend regular classes to receive their diploma during this phase. To that end, Habilitat offers gen-eds on basic math, reading, writing and computer skills. GED or not, all residents are encouraged to take educational classes of some kind throughout their days.

Because Habilitat is reluctant to label addiction a disease, it treats it instead as a side effect of other behaviors and thought processes. These negative tendencies are treated with frequent group therapy sessions which involve engaging in psycho-therapeutic verbal and nonverbal interaction. The general intention is to increase awareness of self and sensitivity to others, and to improve interpersonal skills.

Phase two is re-entry, which involves residents enrolling in a vocational skill track. The various programs include construction, administration, medical assistance, sales and marketing, culinary, clinical (basically social work) and property maintenance. Everyone also receives a stipend during this phase for the work they do, and are taught to budget their money as they would in the real world.

While they still live under Habilitat’s roof and are still closely supervised to prevent relapse in phase two, residents are also encouraged to start interacting with the local community to ease the transition back into the real world; giving back by offering guidance to new inductees is also encouraged.

The final phase is post re-entry, which addresses the difficulties found in returning to normal life. Habilitat tries to ease this shift by offering a full day off every week where residents can explore the island or re-acquaint with family (if family is local or can afford to visit). One-on-one meetings with staff and regular attendance at AA and NA meetings are required here, as Habilitat considers residents the most vulnerable during this phase.

Overall staff presence is surprisingly limited, with only about five program employees on-site on any given day (although many past graduates of the program return to volunteer frequently). Habilitat has an on-site nurse for emergencies, but most other staff members are graduates of the program rather than licensed or credentialed professionals.


Habilitat has an impressive gym with plenty of equipment and a jacuzzi, as well as aerobics and kickboxing classes (optional, with no extra fee). There’s also the option to participate in outside activities like sailing or hiking trips. Other on-site services include a barbershop, a library, a game room, a computer room and a pier with a fishing boat rentals.

In Summary

Habilitat is even strict after graduation. If the program finds out that ex-residents are even associating with old substance-abusing friends (or even others who dropped out of the program), Habilitat will forbid them from associating with Habilitat’s alumni network of graduates, employees, or current Habilitat residents in any way. To be sure, this program is only for those prepared to completely disassociate from their old lives.

Habilitat could fit those looking to build the confidence and skills to succeed in sobriety, and those looking for an alternative treatment program light on formal treatment. Still, the time commitment and complete alienation from the outside world may be too much for many (as evidenced by varied alumni and community opinions). While some swear by Habilitat, prospective clients should definitely consider whether or not this seems the right fit for them.

Habilitat, Inc. Location

Habilitat, Inc.
45-035 Kuhonu Pl
Kaneohe, HI 96744

Habilitat, Inc. Cost

Habilitat Cost: $2,000 + intake fee (30 days). Reach Habilitat by phone at (800) 872-2525. Find Habilitat on Facebook and Twitter

Do you have a complaint or review of Habilitat to add? Use the comments area below to add your Habilitat review.



  1. This place only has 4 people in it at any given time, and I have heard through nephew who went there said it’s just a poorly run facility with a staff that doesn’t have the credibility to run such a facility, and left after two weeks. Stay away.

    • Sturgus Green on

      First of all there are way more than 4 people in the program I spent 2 years there in the 80’s it saved my life. It is not an easy program but if you work it all the way through there is a good chance you can change your life. If your nephew stayed 2 weeks and left it means he couldn’t cut it. I can understand that. I saw grown men choose to go back to the penitentiary cause it was easier than challenging yourself to change. This is probably the only program that I would recommend. It takes more than 30 days to become an addicted person and a lifetime to fight it. Habilitat gives you the tools and knowledge for the fight.

  2. Please read the next few paragraphs if you are currently struggling with where to turn & how to find help for someone whom you care about with Drug/Alcohol addiction……

    6 years ago I walked in your shoes….My 22 year old intelligent & personable son was cross addicted to Alcohol/Opiates. His journey was gradual into this obis…….

    Our family was supportive through a 3 month well know Rehab program, thinking this would be the wake up he needed.

    He relapsed within 6 months.

    Many crisis’ later our family was at a loss of how to save our son’s life.

    Then we were referred to Habilitat. The staff was direct & informative with a “no nonsense” approach. Their program reinforced the morals & ideals that we strived to teach through our my son’s life….Hard work, Respect, Honesty & Accountability….Habilitat teaches self respect through accomplishment…Habilitat teaches a whole new way to live…..

    Habilitat’s program is non-conventional…But it works!

    Every families journey through addiction is different. But the goal for everyone is usually a happy, healthy, self sufficient loved one….I am immensely proud to say that my son is all of the above for over 5 years …

    Habilitat has the ability to take many broken pieces and help to make a new whole….

    Habilitat’s program achieves success!

  3. My Son attended a “world renown” program for 90 days. Great staff, great facilities, great medical team, and very expensive. I know this program has had tremendous success stories, however my son relapsed a year later therefore he had not made the life changes necessary to be a healthy productive citizen.

    Habilitat’s long term program saved my sons life. Accountability, hard work, sweat equity and looking in the mirror and realizing the solution is staring at you in the face is what I believe Habilitat taught my son. Clean for 5+ years!

    Thank you Habilitat!!!!

  4. I was there in the early 80’s. All I have to say is it saved my life, It’s no cake walk and has changed over the years. It’s not for everyone but if you want to change your life it may be the place. I will always have a place in my heart for Habtlitat. Guys don’t worry about the negative comments, maybe they couldn’t cut it. Thanks for saving my life.

  5. DONT EVER GO TO THIS REHAB! I went there and its beyond fucked up the way they treat you and its not about you Addiction at all, they think it’s a choice. And the punishments are insane, like shave your head in front of everyone and make you stand all day on almost no sleep, scrubbing garbage cans. You can’t laugh, can’t smile, can’t talk to anyone, and this punishment could last for weeks on end. And half the day you spend cleaning the facility. Literally cleaning all day everyday. No TV, no contact with the outside world. And the staff will humiliate you any chance they get. Its behaviour modification at its worst. I hope you read this Jeff Nash, Jimmy, Ben, fu#! All you guys, your all ricks. This is a real review. Literally no one in the program wants to be there. Don’t be fooled by the YouTube videos, or bullshit on their website. They try and make it sound nice when really you’ll hate your life even more when you go there. I can’t stress enough no to go to Habilitat, STAY AWAY! At all costs


      Anyone reading this dont listen to this ignorant idiot. Yes its not easy but addicts are weak and they cant take the simplest critisism. Everything they do is for a reason, unfortunately you obviously didnt stay the whole 2 1/2 years. I can guarantee Jordan is back on drugs. If you are serious and sick of living like a piece of shit this is the perfect place. They strengthen you and make sure you are ready to leave and live a successful life. I am still in contact with atleast 10 of the people that I went through the program with. They are still sober after 10 years

  6. Nicole Salinsky on

    I entered Habilitat on January 8th, 2008. This would be the day that I would be saved from myself and my demons of addiction. I had attended at least other treatment program no avail. They were shallow attempts that gave me no tools for the life I was desperately seeking. I was lost in a world of emptiness, lies, disappointment and sadness. My choices were not only hurting myself but my friends and family. Habilitat is not a drug rehabilitation program it’s a life rehabilitation program. I did not learn not to take drugs i learned how to live as a productive human being. One who was honest, hard working and used coping skills instead of drugs to mask my problems. Habilitat saved my life, my family and my relationships both current and those I would have in the future. I have since graduated from college and started a career and have a beautiful home and even more beautiful life filled with meaningful relationships. I’m not saying life hasn’t had its hard times because it has, but it’s those times that show me how far I’ve come and the mature women I have grown into. I will be forever indebted to Habilitat and Jeff Nash for their patience and support through my darkest times. They gave me my life back and a life I never dreamed possible. For those who have negative things to say about this life saving organization its because they are looking to blame others so they can continue to abuse drugs. There is no place out there doing what Hab is going, trust me I looked and failed. I thank God everyday for leading me to Habilitat and saving me from myself. Shame on you whoever you are for taking negatively about Hab, but I’ll pray you because that’s what Hab taught me, to be humble and understanding in everything I do.

  7. Have you ever seen those “crazy druggies” wondering the streets, talking to themselves and behaving abnormally? And you just know that those people are a lost cause, that there is nothing that can be done for them except getting them professional psychiatric treatment. Well, at 22 years old, I was that “crazy” person. My brain was clearly damaged by the effects of crystal methamphetamine. Whenever strangers would find me wondering the streets or resting in bushes, I’d get sent to the psychiatric wards. I was a “frequent flyer” who would be discharged shortly after displaying good behavior on all the psych meds being administered, only to fall back into the same cycle of drug use.

    11 years ago, Habilitat entered the picture and never left my side. I could’ve been an unfortunate statistic, a young female locked away in a state mental hospital, as a result of her psychiatric problems. Luckily, the Habilitat staff opened their arms to me and believed that they could help me. I entered into the program, without any prescribed psych meds, and began on my road to recovery. It took an entire year, off of meth, for my brain to function normally and finally recognize what was reality again. During my time in the program, I was given the tools needed to build a better version of myself. I am more resilient to the hardships of life, more aware of how my actions affect those around me and overall, more happy and positive.

    The Habilitat staff are some of the most compassionate and dedicated people I have ever met. They enforce TOUGH LOVE on all the residents who set foot onto the facility seeking help. And honestly, if I were to have children of my own, I would use a lot of the techniques Habilitat used on us to groom us into successful members of society. There will always be those former residents who will look at what the program is about from their level of perception and from their negative core. Those are the ones that are not candidates of change. Habilitat teaches grown adults to act and operate like adults. And that means taking responsibility for your choices and attitudes in life. I am proud of the person I have become and can credit this program greatly.

    Since graduating from Habilitat, I enrolled back into college to continue pursuing my nursing degree. While working a fulltime job, I was able to graduate with the academic distinction of Summa Cum Laude and as a member of a national honor society. In addition to that, I received the prestigious Leadership award and Academic Achievement award of my graduating class. I am a valuable employee of the medical field and will continue achieving my goals and making a difference in society.

    Jeff Nash is a dear friend outside of the program and someone I continue to seek direction and clarity from about life’s obstacles. He stands firm with what he believes in and teaches and is a true role model and inspiration. Sometimes I think to myself, how nice it would be to live back on the facility and brush up on some of those skills taught to us!

  8. Dr. Gary G. Smith - Professor, Higher Education on

    Habilitat: Review Introduction

    As known, addiction is a complex personal, family and societal issue. Biologically, besides negatively affecting the brain, it can destroy other life sustaining organs. Coupled with the psychological, legal and financial costs of being addicted, the reality is that effective treatment is necessary if those addicted are going to get their lives back and become the people they were meant to be. Following is my review of Habilitat and why its effectiveness in addiction treatment is so pronounced. It must be stated, too, that Habilitat and its approach is not for everyone but that’s true for any program. Some people will not be able to handle the structure Habilitat has designed as part of its treatment strategy nor is everyone ready to do what he or she needs to do to change as they enter treatment. Some potential residents of Habilitat will not do well with the personal accountability factor. Many people see the lengthy time frame as too long. But, let’s dig deeper so that the value of Habilitat becomes apparent.

    Habilitat, historically, has been an effective long-term, therapeutic community treatment program for addictions, and it continues to exemplify effectiveness in its approach. From examining Habilitat from inside to exploring it from outside, I find the following strengths in the program, which has made it, and continues making it, an outstanding option for many addicted people.

    Holistic Approach

    First, Habilitat’s program addresses multiple problems of its residents, through focusing on their personal, social, vocational needs, as well as the need to alter their lifestyle. This represents a holistic strategy, which is key to treating addictive individuals because the whole person is being assisted. Fun activities such as offsite hikes, picnics, beach visits, and bike rides are included as important aspects of Habilitat’s approach. These events offer a balanced experience between treatment and down time.

    Treatment Timeframe

    Second, since Habilitat’s model is long-term, residents have the opportunity to stay in treatment over an adequate period of time. Time in treatment is a crucial factor to successful addiction treatment. Since teaching about and working with addictive individuals for a number of years, I have observed that without sufficient time for attacking addictive behavior, programs have less positive outcomes and their participants have a greater likelihood of relapse.

    Program Structure

    Third, Habilitat incorporates a structured environmental setting, which teaches the importance of using the mind before acting, good decision-making, accountability, and healing family relations. New ideas for living without substances, and within the confines of personal self-discipline, are critical outcomes from this well-regulated surrounding.

    Therapeutic Approach

    Fourth, Habilitat utilizes various group and behavioral therapies in its treatment through which it reinforces residents’ motivation for change, development of skills for problem solving, and, so important, stressing a life of purpose. Knowing people, personally, who have graduated Habilitat this reviewer has seen the foregoing in action over significant timeframes. Further, having carried out a recent informal study of Habilitat program graduates who are now staff members there, the preceding observations were reinforced by the study participants. Additionally, during the 2016 spring term, graduate students of mine at the university where I teach conducted a project in which they compared and contrasted Habilitat’s model of treatment with other programs. They reported that Habilitat addresses more of the strengths that make treatment programs effective than many of the other programs they reviewed.

    Individual Treatment Plans

    Fifth, Habilitat creates individualized treatment plans, which are assessed and modified as necessary over the duration of a resident’s stay. This ongoing process helps residents maintain the changes necessary for positive results.

    Substance Free Zone

    Sixth, unannounced drug testing is conducted on all residents and staff as part of Habilitat’s plan for maintaining a substance-free facility.

    Visionary Leadership

    Seventh, and last, I’m impressed with Habilitat’s leadership in that they are constantly looking to improve their strategies, enhance involvement in the local community, address the unique needs of resident from all ethnicities being admitted for treatment, and strengthening their graduates for the next step after program completion. Given my belief in Habilitat, I continue referring people to the program.

    Dr. Gary G. Smith
    Professor, Higher Education,
    Trainer, and Consultant

  9. Susan Hollenbeck on

    I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, in Salt Lake City, Utah and I have a daughter who graduated from Habilitat.
    From the age of 15 yrs on she struggled with her self esteem and started drinking and eventually began smoking Heroin. After a couple of attempts to help her through withdrawals and find treatment she relapsed. In 2006 she had been living with some friends, who were aware of her problems, and they promised me they would call me if she relapsed. Well she did! They wanted her out of the house and asked me to come and get her. So on a Sunday afternoon I got in my car to bring her home. I was driving to get her and prayed out loud, “Heavenly Father, I know you love her more than I ever could! Please tell me what to do! The next thought was Habilitat!
    I grew up in Hawaii and was aware of Habilitat and had some friends go there. My family was close to the the executive director so I called my sister and told her what was happening. She called Danny for help. Before I even got to her house my sister called me back with a confirmation that they would accept her.
    My daughter was admitted and had a difficult time acclimating to the therapeutic community philosophy which Habilitat prescribes. She tried for months to “fly under the radar” and all that did was keep her from progressing and not deal with her issues and problems. Jeff Nash called her on her behavior! Something she needed to get her attention!
    I told Jeff Nash that I would support his decisions, about her care, and he was supportive and brutally honest with me. He guided me in making the best decisions to help her and establish healthy boundaries.
    She graduated from the program in December 2008 and continued to stay in Hawaii for another eight months. She found a job, rented a room, got a bus pass and a bike. She got herself to work and managed her finances. Something she hadn’t done prior to going to treatment.
    She came home in August 2009. One day we were driving to the mall and she said to me, “Mom, I still have nightmares that I’m at Habilitat.” I kept driving and didn’t respond knowing that I couldn’t say anything. She then continued, “I think it was the only place that could have gotten my attention.” I thanked my Heavenly Father!
    As a mother and a therapist I have supported many young people get to Habilitat. I’ve sent clients and have had many mothers call me for help. I did not send my daughter to Habilitat and hide her addiction. I invited family and friends to be honest concerning her struggles. Because of that, many mothers have called me for support and Utah has sent many of our children there. Some stayed and some left. A couple of them have even returned for more help.
    I have seen the lives of these graduates change and thrive and my own daughter is happy, in a loving relationship, and thriving. I thank my Heavenly Father every day for the people at Habilitat. I support their fundraisers and continue to be an avid supporter!
    I believe that my Heavenly Father guided me, that day. and because of Him we have been able to get amazing people help for their addictions and save their lives. I love the people at Habilitat. I have met some amazing people who are now drug free and advocating for the lives of others.

  10. I have worked in the social service world, (specifically in Hawaii), in one capacity or another for over 20 years and I am very familiar with Habilitat. It is important to know that one set methodology or modality of treatment is not the answer for everyone. The world of treatment has many different theories and Habilitat is one of those options. They make no apologies for their techniques and they have proven to be effective for many attempting to recover from addictions. Like any form of treatment, you will have success based on many factors. First and arguably one of the most important factors is the individuals desire to make a change.

    Habilitat is a highly structured long term treatment program that teaches an individual to take responsibility for his/her life while fostering an environment of building bonds with others that potentially can last a lifetime. It is accurate to say that the behaviors of program participants are challenged in a very candid, confrontational way by peers and staff in a “fish bowl” environment. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the candid way clients are made aware of their missteps, the reality of this type of treatment is that it has been proven to work for some, but of course not all (which can be said of all forms of treatment).

    It is also important to note that the food and accommodations far surpass treatment centers that are serving like clients of similar socio-economic backgrounds. In addition, Habilitat serves individuals who do not have the finances to support the cost of their treatment. These are factors that are easily overlooked but should not go unnoticed. Although the program generates revenue for their organization through their client’s vocational training endeavors, it is the same revenue used to sustain operations and support the full cost of the entire residential facility.

    Habilitat does not pretend, or claim, to be the answer for all who seek help. They are honest about what they stand for and what is expected from all involved. Self-reliance, honesty, vocational training, and alternatives to drug use is the goal. There are many different ways of achieving these goals for those seeking help and Habilitat is one of those ways, usually for those who have attempted other methods.

    I have seen Habilitat grow over the past 20 years and they have become more inclusive of adopting some aspects of clinical practices that historically were not a part of their program. They will never be a mainstream provider beholden to funders because their modality of treatment does not adhere to those standards. What they do offer is a way to change your lifestyle.

    To sum up, I would recommend Habilitat to someone suffering from addiction. If there is a clear understanding of the expectations of this long-term program, and the individual is willing to accept this form of treatment, I would recommend it as an option. It is one approach, and one of many choices, when seeking treatment. And, obviously, after over 45 years of helping people it was the right choice for many.

  11. Kim Woodworth on

    We have always been a very structured and loving family for our 2 sons. Our oldest son had a drug addition problem. We dealt with all of the issues that comes with that for many years…..jail, theft, hospitals, lies, arrests, visitations, rehabs, illness, abuse, sadness, anger, fear and many other emotions that come with being a parent of a drug addict. It has been rough to say the least. I can count as many as 7 treatment he has been through over the years. The ONLY program that helped him come to terms with behaviors and mind sets ….was Habilitat. It wasn’t about money or insurance, it was about healing and fixing the problem. We were a loving family but drugs has played a devastation role in our lives. This happens to a lot of families, some of which contribute to the problem. We were asked to attend parent meetings where we were informed and could ask questions as well as being given many suggestions as to what to do. Habilitat staffers are informed and familiar with the many problems of addiction….we as parents were not. With the structured environment and constant support, we saw our son come out of treatment with manners, work ethic and a smile. He learned self-reliance and respect of others (even though we tried to provide that to him all his life). We could not be more grateful to everyone at Habilitat for being tough on him, he needed it. No more babying, no more excuse, no more enabling…….just live life clean and happy!!! Work hard and play hard and no longer worry about breaking the law or if the next call is from the hospital or police. Thank you
    Habilitat…..without your knowledge and skills, we may have lost our son. Mahalo

  12. Kendra Kanoa on

    I am a proud graduate of Habilitat! I have been in and out of jails, as well as other treatment centers. Habilitat by far got me to open my eyes that; 1) I do not have a disease; 2) I need to stand accountable for my actions and stop playing victim. I HAD CHOICES!. And lastly; I needed to stop being selfish and look at the people I was hurting because they were innocent! My 6 kids didnt deserve to be in CPS and taken away, my mom didnt deserve to be stolen from or lied to! My sister and her family didnt deserve to stop their lives so they could take in my children that I was supposed to be the mom. This place saved my life and many others that I know and I am very grateful. Alot of people will never understand how or why this program works and thats fine because with words you really cant. To understand you need to endure. Habilitat will take all those outter things away so, you have nothing. I myself use to hide behind my makeups or materialistic things, I didnt get it in the begining. Like why cant I call my mom. And then when I thought about it…how many times did I call her from every program telling her the same lie. Im done, this time Im going to do it…and then she would get a call again saying…Hi, your daughter left the program. So, outsiders wont understand why we Habilitat is the way it is, but we do. And I can tell you today Im not on drugs, I am a active with my family, I am now a CNA and working at a elderly care home. I am also not on probation either. And I owe this to Habilitat and all the staff, as well as my brothers and sisters who are my peers!

  13. Judith Bobalik on

    I am a proud graduate of Habilitat! I had been in several programs before my 3 years spent there Honestly I didn’t want to leave I had gotton all they could give & it was time to enter back into society Which I have done successfully You have to fully grasp the program or you will fail Addicts don’t get there overnight We spend years of all types of problems that lead us to a place like Habilitat It takes time there to back up see & recognize where we went wrong & them retrained with life skills they offer to get back on track It’s about trusting the process & doing the work Habilitat offers every facets of what you need to get there They became my family! My life today has been so regained! I am a proud graduate of Habilitat becauce I choose to trust, hang on & go for it! Don’t get me wrong I was a handful They didn’t give up on me or I on them It’s a 2way street I’m Blessed to choose their street Thank You “HAB” For all you are!

  14. I was a resident a Habilitat for well over 2 years. The Habilitat program saved my life! The program, as I discovered, is not designed for people who want to change based upon their own personal belief system. The program is based upon the premise that the individual who needs help is willing to do whatever it takes to change. Habilitat is different than most rehabs and therefore it is not easy. The program has a structure and it is challenging. I had a very difficult time while I was there and had the opportunity to experience almost all of the program tools to their fullest extent. Those program tools helped me! Those tools allowed me to grow up and take responsibility for myself. Those tools allowed me to forgive myself and move forward with my life. Those tools helped me become: a father, a son, a husband, an employee, and a recovered productive member of society again!!! Although I had to leave the program early due to medical complications I got what I needed. I am grateful for the founders and the Staff at Habilitat for giving me another opportunity at a great life. I would recommend Habilitat to anyone who needs to recover permanently. Its a sacrifice of time but a huge investment in ones self!!

  15. Habilitat changed my life. From 2000 to 2007 I was using heroin and cocaine to the point that I lost my family, my job, and I was homeless. I went to Habilitat to escape my life in Utah to be honest, and to start a new one.
    It was tough. I was used to everybody saying it was not my fault. I was an addict, I was depressed etc. Jeff and the staff were holding me responsible for my actions, not giving excuses for why I was behaving the way I was. I was still stuck in my old thinking and almost left. I am so happy I did not. I had decided, more than anything, that I was not going back to that lifestyle. So I got involved. I stopped undermining what was being said to me and started listening and participating. I went through surgery to remove my gallbladder, I had to go through treatment for Hepatitis C, I almost had to have my Thyroid removed, but through it all my Habilitat family had my back.
    The last day I used heroin was November 26 2007. I have my life back. I learned I was worth something. I have my family back. I am living a life right now I never thought was possible. I owe all this to Habilitat for showing me how to live a healthy, honest life. Teaching me to take responsibility for my actions and stop making excuses gave me the power to change my life.

  16. Nicole Jordan on

    I graduated Habilitat in 2012. Since the day I stepped into Habilitat I have been a new person! They taught me everything I needed to become the successful mother and hard working woman I am today! I had been to numerous 30/90 day rehabs and they were basically a joke to me just another place to find a new connection. Habilitat teaches you self worth, integrity, responsibility, and so much more! Everyday I continue to use the tools they left with me and I often give advice to friends and coworkers that I was given by Jeff and the rest of the staff! Yes it’s hard and scary and far from home, but you become a family and one day realize that they care about everyone and just want to provide people a chance to get their old selves back! I appreciate everything they did and will continue to recommend Habilitat to anyone in need!

  17. After reading some of these reviews, I felt the need to at least add my experience for others to read if they are in need of help or know someone who is. For anybody reading this, it is important that you know that I am a Habilitat graduate. I say this because how else can you form an honest opinion about something if you haven’t been through the entire experience. At Habilitat, honesty is the number one concept in everything you do. So, let me be honest. When I first got to Habilitat, it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced and like most drug addicts, I wanted help the way I wanted it. Not necessarily the way I needed it. I just didn’t understand why they did things the way they did. Let me tell you, everything thing that is done there is done for a reason. Of course the program is designed in Phases but without completing all of them, it is almost a certainty that one will not achieve the desired result they hoped for. One huge thing that was different for me was that there was very little talk about drugs at all. They focus more on the underlining causes of drug abuse more than anything. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Not only not being on drugs but also learning how to be a decent, responsible and honest person for the first time in my life. The director “Jeff” will give you what you need. You may not like it at the time but closer to graduation, everything starts to make sense and becomes more natural. Personally it took me a life time to become the shadow of a man I was entering the program and about 2 1/2 years to acquire a fighting chance to live a happy and productive drug free life. 2 years later, it was the single most important and life changing decision I’ve ever made going to Habilitat. I’m extremely happy and have nothing but gratitude.

  18. My name is Rodney Sanchez and I am a proud graduate of Habilitat. I ended up going to Habilitat because of countless attempts to change my life. I served 10 years in prison prior to me going into Habilitat. A couple of years after I maxed out I got into trouble and I was facing 105 years in prison, not only because of my past record but because of the charges. Habilitat literally saved my life. The judge that took a chance with me knew nothing about Habilitat and today I am his success story. I graduated Habilitat on Christmas Day 2014. Because of Habilitat’s guidance today I’m am nolonger under the court system. I have two good jobs and I am a Father to my kids and a Husband to my wife and most of all I am sober. I am so grateful for Jeff Nash and the rest of the Habilitat staff for guiding and teaching me what I know today. I highly recommend Habilitat for any of you that seriously wants to save and change their lives.

  19. As a graduate of the Habilitat program in 2007, I proudly share my experience having been a resident at Habilitat for 2.5 years.

    Habilitat is an inpatient rehabilitation program for those seeking to restore a quality life free from addiction. Habilitat takes a therapeutic approach to accomplish this goal. The “addiction” itself is NOT the focus. The program believes that success in ones recovery lies in assisting an individual with internal issues, flaws, ego, personal images and problems that LED to the addition. I agree with the adage learned while at Habilitat, “You take away the drugs, you still have a very broken human being.”

    Through tough love, they take away the exterior crutches in life that we’ve come to depend upon, that made us feel good. Instead, they instill in us a desire to feel good about who we are. They help us to build confidence, self-esteem and learn how to create our own happiness. Habilitat equips one with healthy coping skills to deal with adversity and life’s challenges. They teach us to learn how to live life and to have fun without the use of drugs. But most important, they teach us to have respect for others and ourselves.

    Vocational training is also incorporated into the program once you reach the 2nd phase. At this stage, they teach exceptional work skills and inspire high work ethic.

    Habilitat helped me to find confidence and belief in myself and define my values and goals in life. They taught me to have respect for myself. When I entered the program in 2005 I was a broken young woman, addicted to meth. I graduated two in half years later in 2007, a whole new person. Not only, did Habilitat save my life, but my parents got their daughter back. They could not be more proud of me for finishing the program. In addition, my sister who also battled an addiction graduated the program shortly after me. She is a role model, doing exceptional and leading a very successful life today.

    Today, I am a mother of a beautiful daughter. I currently work as a Certified Nursing Assistant in a hospital and recently graduated with my Bachelor’s of Science in nursing degree with a minor in Psychology. I was incredibly honored to receive an invitation into one of the most prestige organizations, the Honor Society of Nursing: Sigma Theta Tau International for academic excellence and leadership. I also graduated as a member of the Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society and a member of the National Student Nurses Association. My goal is to eventually land in the ICU, taking care of critically ill patients. It has always been my dream to be in the medical field because I love helping people and today I am pursuing my dream BECAUSE of Habilitat. My sister also completed her nursing degree and is currently working in the medical field. I am forever grateful for all they have done for my family and I. I have MANY friends who have completed the program and are continuing to lead successful lives. Habilitat saved my life and my sister’s life.

    Habilitat is a rehab program that I HIGHLY recommend and from personal experience I am a FIRM BELIEVER in what they teach their residents. Jeff Nash is one of my mentors and I am forever grateful for him. He is TOUGH but extremely PASSIONATE about what he does. They say the BEST teachers and mentors are the ones who have been through the SAME experiences. Well the proof is in the pudding!

  20. Habilitat isn’t your run of the mill treatment center. Its a highly structured long term program. After trying many other short term programs my son finally got clean here and has been working and doing well on his own for several years now. I am very grateful to the people at Habilitat for working so hard to help him. Now if we could just get his brother to go get help. I have visited the facility and never experienced anything but good manners and friendly staff. My son and I have a very different outlook than the one negative review I’ve read here. I suppose its not for everyone. In our case nothing else worked. Habilitat gave me my son back.

  21. Will Johnson on

    Fascinating, I’m taking a trip down memory lane looking at what has become of Habilitat. I went there in 1988 (for 6 months) and 1990 (again for 6 months). I did leave both times after I was in the “re-entry” phase. As Kay Bee stated above, it has its good points as all places do. I was fortunate enough to be there when Vinny Marino was still there (lived at 1 1/2, for those that remember that). Vicki and “Lil” Vicki still walked around pretty much daily. As Kay Bee also stated, the “cultishness” of Habilitat has always been a reputation of theirs due to many little things they do, and believe in, but as I grow older, I realize its not really who they are. That reputation comes usually from people that come and go, and have something that they didn’t agree with. I don’t know this new Director Jeff Nash. The only name I recognize is the chairman of the board, Danny Katada. As for religion, I don’t remember anyone ever denouncing religion while I was there, but if I’m not mistaken, the one thing they will definitely do is “test” how well that works for you. (considering if your there to begin with, it didn’t work) Over all, I was there when I was 18, and for a short period of time, but it changed me as a person as I never lost the “no excuses” attitude. I didn’t stay clean and sober (but who does that young), but I definitely did much better during the course of my life after I left there, it changed me forever. I looked at their website, and I got to say it definitely made me laugh. They portray the “country club” facility complete with Jacuzzi, yoga, yadda… yadda, but its truly more like a 2 and half year boot camp. Don’t get me wrong though, they do have all those things there (Arnold Schwarzenegger I believe donated some of the equipment there, and Vicki Marino pretty much ran the Aerobics class), but this is NO COUNTRY CLUB. I was there in 1988, so of course its likely very different (nothing is constant but change). Overall, it is a GOOD place, but it is definitely not for everyone. From what I saw on their website, it does look as if they are maintaining the core program as it was when I was there long ago. (encounter groups, morning meetings, etc, etc) Overall, I’d recommend it, but its not an easy program, besides, if your going to a rehab, I don’t think you have much to lose.

  22. This is where all the locals from Honolulu jail ( OCCC ) or the Federal Inmates op to go to “Get out of Jail/Prison ” early. I was there for 6 months and left. I also stayed on Island after though for 3 years after and saw countless “Graduates ” relapse. I even hired one to work for me and ended up firing him due to coming in and shooting up. This place is anti religion and does not allow you to practice or even talk about your outside faith or read a bible. Jeff Nash, the program director is very vocal about how he thinks Christians are believing in a quote, “fairytale”. That was my last straw and why I left ,besides them taking my cigarettes away too. There are plenty of other things and reasons I can honestly give people if they want to contact me directly….here is my email…[email protected]…I will give you a complete rundown of the place. It had its positives of course, all places do, but the negatives far outweighed them. They also are actively taking reviews off of here it looks like, not sure though. Kinda funny there aren’t any, think about that one. Anyhow…the one bonus was that I stayed clean for the 6 months I was there and that’s about it, plus I met some really good people. I am clean and have been for last 3 years so I can give a clear headed and honest review if you want, just email me. I honestly would avoid going here though, it’s very cultish.

    • All four of my children were born in Hawaii during the course of my 41 years in residence. HABILITAT was well-known to me by stand-out reputation, although it never occurred to me that “my life” would ever be affected by drugs. Coming out of a strong family background growing up, and dedicated to continuing that tradition for my own children, the threat of drug addiction was not something I even imagined. That changed when my teenagers entered the Hawaii public school scene and overnight drug issues seemed to loom everywhere, and some in my family couldn’t handle it. As a parent who wants to fight it you try everything, and essentially make every amateur mistake as the situation gets away from you. With the urgent case of one son in trouble, I at least knew enough to approach HABILITAT for professional assistance. From my first contact with HABILITAT, walking up to the gate to ask for help, the entire strength, purpose, logic, dedication, and effectiveness of that organization started to sink in. With zero personal experience, I could not know at that moment that I had engaged an institution that would have such a vital corrective impact on our family situation. HABILITAT immediately educated me to what they were about, what they could do, and how they would do it. At their core was what they stood for, their independence from external bureaucratic resource leverage, and their technical approach to how they would put an incoming resident in charge of his own choices: no exceptions, and no short cuts to the long term residency commitment.
      I remember the then Program Director telling me that the “Resident’s Bill of Rights” was: Do what we say or get out, and the gate is open if you want to walk. Then he told me that if I wanted to help, it was time for me to get out of the way. It was at that point that I knew I had come to the right place. Thankfully my son walked in the HABILITAT gate and stayed. He made mistakes. He screwed up. But again, thankfully, he reached down deep enough to do it the HABILITAT way for the long haul. He succeeded. He graduated out of his residency. He has made himself personally and professionally successful and responsible in his life, stayed strong, and stayed aware and grateful for what HABILITAT truly accomplished with and for him. What a gift to my family.
      HABILITAT is the best. I am still unable to fully comprehend how they can achieve such results against such a ferocious threat a drug addiction. But they do. If you approach HABILITAT you better mean it, whether you are a family member looking for help or a would-be resident: because if you don’t man-up to the drug reality that is in your face, it will defeat you. I have kept in touch with HABILITAT in the years since: the finest “action organization” addressing a problem I have ever encountered in the field.

    • Judith Bobalik on

      Reply to Kay Bee I can understand why you think the way you do Christian came up I am & was will always be aChristian Sure I wanted my Bible But A True Christian knows God is always there! HAB isn’t a Cult It’s an opportunity Why run to God when He was always there Who do you think got me thru 150 year sentance for Herion Cocaine sales CPS taking 7 of my children from 4 ,different dads all dealers & abusive FYI God got me thru Habilitat Gave me the strength & opened my eyes Habilitat is a gift you choose not to open As a Christian you should know Forgiveness is the greatest as far as your experience with people who went through Habilitat that were not good It was your choice People make mistakes not everyone can be a winner God Bless You

    • Habilitat was…is…. and always will be the last chance for anyone with problems who sincerely want help. It saved my life 40 years ago and I never looked back until my only child got involved with drugs. Nothing worked. She hit her rock bottom and I didn’t know where to turn. She had no idea of my past. God stepped in. I looked up Habilitat on line and there it was still standing on Kaneohe Bay! Not much had changed in 40 years. Once again, the program, older and wiser, taught a troubled lost soul how to step up to the plate and play the game called life and transferred her into a young woman who is now living a clean well balanced life. Habilitat taught her no one could – that she was fixable and how to forgive herself. Vinny Marino was a guy who rose from rock bottom and dedicated his life to helping others, the no frills way. Work hard, play hard. Anyone who states negative comments about the program are doing what they do best, blaming others for their failure to change. The concepts Habilitat believe in are values to prepare an individual for life after graduating the program. Habilitat works if you do the work. Anyone who has negative comments about Habilitat is reflecting their own disappointment in themselves, not the program. The program works for those who want to change their life. It’s the hardest journey one takes when they go through the complete program with the same energy and desire they use to set forth when on the dark side of life. Graduates enter the real world and react to adversity without negative vices, whether it is drugs, stealing, drinking, gambling, etc. because of their journey in Habilitat. Change … the choice is yours. The Place to help you is Habilitat.

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