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Treatments For Both Alcoholism And Depression in Hawaii

  • By John Burke

  • May 25, 2022

Did you know that alcoholism and depression are the two most common diagnoses in the country? And unfortunately, these two also often occur together. Those who have depression are also more likely to become addicted to alcohol. This is because many depressed people turn to alcohol to numb their pain. Therefore, treatment must not be limited to just one or the other. Instead, we should address alcoholism and depression at the same time. Doing so will ensure a lasting recovery.

Depression and alcoholism treatments in Hawaii

Treating both alcoholism and depression in Hawaii can seem challenging, maybe even daunting. Fortunately, there are tried and true treatments designed to address both disorders and have proven highly effective. In fact, in this study published by the National Institute of Health, evidence showed that when simultaneously treating depression and alcoholism in patients who had these cooccurring illnesses, the recovery outcomes were far better than those who did not receive treatment for depression.

So what does an effective, integrated treatment for alcoholism and depression look like? The treatment plan might include:


This is the first step in the recovery process for alcoholism. Detox helps the patient withdraw from alcohol safely and comfortably. For people seriously addicted to alcohol, it is advised that they undergo a detox in a professional medical environment where they can receive the highest quality care, ensuring not only their safety, but also reducing some of the less pleasant aspects that can accompany a detox. Afterward, the patient will enter into a formal substance rehabilitation program.

Antidepressants or medication

For depression, the treatment provider may also prescribe antidepressants. Some medications can even treat some symptoms of alcoholism simultaneously. For instance, naltrexone helps with repressing the urge to drink. It also reduces depressive symptoms. Another is disulfiram which is used as an alcohol deterrent, meaning it causes unpleasant symptoms if the patient drinks alcohol. Another example is acamprosate which helps maintain abstinence from alcohol. Medication is not a requirement for treating these cooccurring illnesses, but they can be extremely helpful and might be strongly suggested by the doctors overseeing treatment.

Behavioral therapies

A patient’s treatment plan can also, and usually does, include behavioral therapies to help cope with alcoholism and depression. Some behavioral therapies may consist of:

Cognitive behavioral therapy – CBT helps the patient learn positive coping mechanisms to replace the thoughts and behaviors that worsen alcoholism and depression.

Dialectal behavior therapy – DBT is a cognitive behavioral therapy mainly used to help reduce suicidal and self-harm tendencies. These are symptoms of depression.

Behavioral activation – This type of behavioral therapy works for alcoholism and depression. In behavioral activation, the patient will understand how their negative life experiences and behaviors influence their mood and emotions. Then, it encourages them to take an active approach to create more positive life experiences.

Mutual support groups – This includes joining 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or non-12-step groups like SMART Recovery. Support groups are also effective for both treatment and aftercare. It’s beneficial for patients to get support from others who have been in their shoes. It also helps reduce feelings of isolation and allows them to form connections.

Depression and alcoholism treatment in Hawaii

Fortunately, there are recovery centers that can help patients with alcoholism and depression in Hawaii. They can be found all over the country and have effective programs for both disorders.

If you’re looking for depression counseling and alcoholism treatment in Kona, Honu House Hawaii is waiting for you. We provide a safe haven away from temptation for those who want to live a clean and sober life. And in addition to the treatments listed above, we believe in a holistic approach to healing. We believe in providing you with everything from a healthful and nutritious diet, to activating all your senses: whether it be on a rainforest hike, a dip in the ocean, or in a refreshing cold bath treatment to reinvigorate you physically and mentally. We are Kona’s holistic cocoon…a place of deep transformation where people can emerge their happiest, healthiest selves.