Sand Island Treatment Center Reviews, Cost, Complaints

Sand Island Treatment Center


sand-island-treatment-centerSand Island Treatment Center Review

During the 19th century, tiny Sand Islandan island located within Honolulu, Hawaiiwas known as Quarantine Island. Ships containing infectious passengers were quarantined there. These days, it is home to Sand Island Treatment Center, which, for more than 50 years, has offered treatment for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. The average stay is eight months, with comprehensive outpatient and aftercare programs that typically result in a two-year commitment for residents who take advantage of all these offerings. The rehab is operated by the Kline-Welsh Behavioral Health Foundation.

Accommodations and Food

Residents at Sand Island Treatment Center are housed in multiple large, dorm-like complexes. Though the program is co-ed, there are separate wings for men and women. For those seeking privacy, be warned: while some dorm rooms at the facility hold the traditional two residents each with twin beds, this rehab also has large cabins that house 15 clients in the same room. These “rooms” are best described as large, summer-camp style cabins with bunk beds and foot lockers at the end of each bed. Other rooms on the property house five, eight and 10 clients. Bathrooms are also shared in common areas outside the rooms.

Sand Island Treatment Center’s housing system is based on a graduation method; clients can work their way toward more private rooms and ultimately, a two-person room. The idea is that living in densely populated quarters encourages clients to move away from being self-centered and focus on the 12 steps. Those remaining at Sand Island Treatment Center for aftercare typically relocate to their own section of the compound.

The rehab also believes that a resident must shed all vestiges of their former livesincluding material attachmentsexcept for two weeks’ worth of clothing and personal hygiene items not exceeding 75 pounds. So chances are blow dryers and personal razors should be left behind. Don’t even ask about bringing a cell phone. All electronics are forbidden.

A staff chef works with a dietitian to provide cafeteria-style meals that are healthy and nutritious. Vegetarians and residents with special dietary needs are accommodated.


Face-to-face screening is required prior to admission, and top priority is given to pregnant clients as well as IV drug users. There is no medical detox offered at Sand Island Treatment Center, so residents are advised to take care of this procedure beforehand if necessary.

The intensive residential phase of the 12 step-based program lasts anywhere from six to nine months. A client receives an individualized treatment plan. Days are long and highly structured, with many group and individual counseling sessions as well as classes to address codependency, anger management, relapse prevention and more. AA, NA and other 12-step meetings are held on-site frequently throughout the week. “All or nothing” is the key here, and the rehab has “zero tolerance” for clients who relapse on the premises.

A spiritual meeting starts the day as early as 4:20 am (yes, you read that right). During the day, residents are assigned chores and often work in teams. The rehab is not unlike a commune where responsibilities, resources and spiritual support are shared.

After residential treatment, clients can continue living on the compound if they choose, scaling back on therapy to focus instead on finding employment. For those who need to truly rebuild their lives from the ground up, Sand Island offers aftercare and can help clients find sober living homes in the area.

While clients without insurance pay $6,000 for the first two months of residential treatment, the fee is negotiable based on need. After that, the rehab charges $3,000 for each successive month. The transitional care program costs $420 a month.

Sand Island Treatment Center employs a medical team including a physician and a psychiatrist who schedules appointments with clients on selected days. Other than that, there are also general staff available around-the-clock.


Because of Sand Island Treatment Center’s coastal setting, trips to the beach are frequent. Still, these outings are treated as a privilege, and residents can lose access to the beach for bad behavior. As far as on-site amenities, residents should not expect a high-end gym, though there are exercise machines for those looking to exercise.

In Summary

Sand Island Treatment Center has a huge waiting list and potential clients should note that they run a very tight ship. But those seeking long-term 12-step care in paradise with a high degree of aftercare support may find themselves at home here.

Sand Island Treatment Center Location

40 Sand Island Parkway
Honolulu, HI 96802

Sand Island Treatment Center Cost

$3,000 (30 days). Reach Sand Island Treatment Center by phone at (808) 842-7529. Find Sand Island Treatment Center at Google+

Do you have a complaint or review of Sand Island Treatment Center to add? Use the comments area below to add your Sand Island Treatment Center review.



  1. met many fine women and men at black experience aa group who had gone through ,treatment at sand island .most impressed 38 years sober would send grandkids there if need be pay exchange rate .i,m canadian .i really like us brand of aa and sand islands treatment program .i tell people i would send grand kids to sand island .gene

  2. They are most likely still raking in the cash from their unsuspecting victims. As with all scams, they have the public fooled.

  3. I was a client of Sand Island twice. The first time was in 1988. I stayed for 4 months and left the program early. I was able to stay clean for 11 and 1/2 months and relapsed. I returned in 1990. James Manuwa and Saunoa Asuega picked me up off the streets and brought me back for what was end up being my final attempt at sobriety. It’s been over 28 years. I’ve gone on to live a happy, successful and sober life. I have more than I ever dreamed possible. This is a tough place for people like me that simply could not stop drinking and using,. It’s not for everyone, but it was the only place for me. I am grateful to the State of Hawaii and VA for funding my treatment. I have worked hard every day to give back and repay my debt and I’d like to think I have. I’m now 58 years old. I own a home. I have been married for 23 years and we have raised two fine sons. I’ve earned two Masters degrees and I am now in a Doctoral program. I give back personally and professionally every day. Mason Henderson, James Manuwa, Saunoa Asuega, Brian Yaatame and Robbie Robinson saved my life. There are men who entered Sand Island during the same time period that remain sober and are my brothers. We still support one another. Yes, Kat. The Big Book and 12 steps are the answer, but I learned that at SITC. I think I know you. You probably know more about the inner dynamics than me, but I can’t forget where I came from. God Bless! I wish the best for all.

  4. Wow My daughter is there or was there. I don’t have to much contact with her. She ran away some years ago and once she was located by the state she was giving a choice go there are go to the big house. She chose there. At first there was some communication with the help of the staff. Known I don’t know what’s going on I sent a letter to my daughter, the letter was return to me. Know clear answer, only not able to locate. whose problem is it known. Should someone have contact the family? Well I can only pray she is safe.

  5. I considered myself lucky to get the opportunity to recover at Sand Island Treatment Center. If it were not for the staff introducing me to the Big Book I would more than likely be dead today. I have a disease, the obsession of the mind and allergy to the body, it’s progressive, fatal, and incurable. I didn’t know how to live without using substances to make me “feel” better. They gave me a design for living and for that I am forever grateful! Every staff member there was once a client there and before that the they were an intern. I wouldnt listen to the professional with BA in psychology, however I would listen to all the counselors, because they once sat in the same seats I was sitting in. When my insurance ran out, they didn’t kick me out, they let me stay. Most dope fiends don’t got insurance or got 1000s to spend on treatment. I live a good life today and I give majority of the credit to the team at SITC.

  6. They are a rip-off scam. The staff all drive high-end vehicles like Porches and Maserati. The administrator is a crook from way back who has hard-core felons working for him who have lots of experience working the system to extort money from the citizens of Hawaii, leading them to believe that because of his facility, the streets will be rid of drug addicts and drunks. What a crock of bull. His accountant is an embezzler convicted embezzler. Clients there are forced to undergo screening by a quack doctor who will automatically diagnose them to be depressed and addicted to a substance. That way, the state mental health administration will foot the bill for most of them. It costs about $9,000 per month for treatment there. There are over 150 clients there at any given time. That’sabout $450,000.00 a month for him. Where does all this money go? Certainly not to care and sefety of clients. They are housed in shacks built in 1940’s. It floods there because the land is below sea level.

    • AL and ASHLEY are both correct.
      If you want to get sober – the readings of the BIG BOOK is the answer. You have to look within yourself and the grace of higher power. SITC offers that _ just look past others bull and remind yourself you are there for you. Don’t let the dishonesty (greed) of Mason and his staff deter you from sobriety. Take the positive of SITC and grab hold _ get what you can from the BIG BOOK. Remember _ SITC isn;t the only one who offers support of the 12 steps _ there are numerous fellowship/AA meetings all over Oahu. Easy to google!
      Serenity prayer said daily helps to put things in to perspective. God-bless and good future to all.

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