Substance Use Rises as Pandemic Continues

Wake Up 2day

The ongoing distress and uncertainty of COVID-19 have led to mental health struggles in the community. Many Hawaii residents are now turning to alcohol or substance use to cope with depression, anxiety, and financial uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. Dr. Katherine Knezek May, PsychD, Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, and Behavioral Health Director at the West Hawaii Community Health Center and Alysa Lavoie, Behavioral Health Programs Manager at WHCHC, joined us this morning with details on Take2.

The Hawaii Department of Health and UH Manoa School of Social Work and Public Health created the CARES line at 1-800-753-6879. The line was the crisis line of Hawaii, but now people can call if they are in mental health crisis or wanting resources to substance use treatment. The services are offered 24 hours a day and people will get immediate support.


For those struggling with opioid use disorder or pain issues, there is a great resource put forth by the Hawaii opioid initiative that can be found at https://www.hawaiiopioid.org/.


West Hawaii Community Health Center and UH Manoa developed a website that can be used as a resource for people who are interested in learning about local treatment resources, recovery support groups, alternative pain treatments, and access to Narcan, a lifesaving opioid overdose reversal medication. Visit https://sites.google.com/view/whchc-sud-help-guide/home.

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