Malama Family Recovery Center

Malama Family Recovery Center provides caring, holistic substance use disorder treatment to women and children so families can live safe, independent and healthy lives.

As Maui’s only women-specific substance use disorder treatment center, we strive to provide a continuum of care with Therapeutic and Sober Living Programs, Intensive Outpatient, Outpatient, and Aftercare services. We are also the only place on the island where young children and infants can live with their mothers while they get the help needed.

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Programs Available

Therapeutic and Sober Living Programs

Structured and supportive living environments where women in recovery from substance use disorder can receive treatment and other critical services. Infants and young children can live with their mothers in these programs.
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Intensive Inpatient & Outpatient Treatment

Individual and group therapy, as well as substance use disorder treatment and counseling, education classes, relapse prevention, stress/trauma workshops, and other case management services, are offered on an outpatient basis.
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BabySAFE (Substance-Abuse-Free Environment)

Outreach and early intervention, including substance use disorder treatment, case management, and referrals for prenatal care for pregnant women and new mothers.
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Malama Family Services Client Success

Many of our clients have walked a hard road before reaching our program doors. Read their personal stories


Our Malama Family Recovery Team

Mary Nakooka, Program Director, Malama Family Recovery Center

Mary Nakooka, BA, CSAC
Program Director and Counselor, Malama Family Recovery Center

Mary is a compassionate advocate who empowers individuals and families on their journey towards positive transformation, healing, and reconnection with loved ones. She began her career in human services in 2008 and holds a degree in Social Sciences from UH West Oahu. Mary comes to Malama with a wealth of experience working with individuals and families with mental health and substance use issues from her time at Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center and her years as a substance use counselor. Mary began serving as Program Director at Malama Family Recovery Center in 2024. In this role she collaborates with her team and clients to establish a nurturing environment where individuals can acquire essential skills to reach their full potential.


Clinicians and Support Staff

The Malama staff includes a dedicated and caring team of Certified Substance Abuse Counselors, Masters Level Therapists, Program Assistants, Care Coordinators, Child Watch staff for the Child Watch Center, BabySAFE Program Coordinator, and Office Manager.

All Program Assistants have taken courses in Managing Aggressive Behavior, Motivational Interviewing, and Non-Violent Communication. There are currently two staff members, including the BabySAFE Program Coordinator, who are certified as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder educators. One of our Program Assistants has been trained by the American Lunch Association in nicotine cessation and provides a class once a week for all women in the facility.

Your Generosity Helps Save Lives

Malama Family Recover Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donation
is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
The Tax ID # for Malama Family Recovery Center is 99-0293044 .


Updated February 2024

Precautions for Residents and Staff

Staff members remain dedicated to serving our clients and are using the CDC recommended health and safety precautions around sanitation and prevention of disease spread.

When women come to us we conduct a Substance Abuse Assessment (either in person or over the phone) and get their detailed history of substance use in order to determine the extent of services needed. Sometimes a mental status evaluation is also needed to determine if there are any co-existing mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. Taking clients’ mental stability into account is critical because substance use disorder among women is closely linked to traumatic events, as opposed to men, where substance use is typically linked to dependency needs.

Many of our services, whether it’s therapy, skill-building classes, recovery education, relapse prevention, stress/trauma reduction workshops, etc., are provided in a group format. By working alongside each other, clients feel part of a larger group and less alone. Bonds are often created in our groups that help our clients build a new family one that belongs to a strong recovery community.

We also provide individual and family counseling. Families of women in recovery have often lost trust due to the individual’s history with substance abuse. We work to reestablish this trust and rebuild healthy and strong relationships in order to create strong support networks.

Malama Family Recovery Center is the only agency on Maui that provides a continuum of gender-specific treatment services specifically for women in recovery from substance use disorder. Malama is a non-judgemental and comfortable place where women can privately and confidentially talk about their needs and concerns with caring professionals. Gender specificity in treatment is critical to successful outcomes because women who use/abuse substances share common life experiences and have needs distinct from their male counterparts.

Women typically represent a minority of the client population in mixed-gender substance use disorder treatment programs, which means that their unique needs are not always addressed. In addition, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that women enter the treatment system through different avenues than do men. Women’s point of entry to treatment tends to be linked to Child Protective Services, OB/GYN doctors, family intervention and referrals for treatment while in jail. We are able to offer enhanced programming related to mental health and medical care, victimization issues, parenting and family issues, child care, transportation, financial, employment and/or vocational needs.

We are also proud to integrate culturally competent strategies that incorporate Hawaiian and local cultures in substance use disorder healing, as a substantial percentage of our clients are of Native Hawaiian descent.

Since Malama opened its doors in 1990, we have served over 2,000 women. The community impact is tremendous, as studies indicate that every dollar invested in drug treatment can save $1-$12 in societal and medical costs, and that drug treatment can cut crime by 80%. Further, it costs approximately $32,000 to incarcerate one person for a year in Maui, compared to the estimated annual cost of $2,500 per person for Intensive Outpatient Treatment at Malama.

Pregnant and parenting women have priority in receiving substance use disorder treatment services at Malama. The earlier we can intervene with these families, the more likely we can successfully break the generational cycle of drug abuse, victimization and incarceration that has become so costly to our community. The teens we help often begin receiving services when they’re pregnant. Sometimes these are the daughters of women currently in our programs, and we try to make a difference in these young women’s lives so they can be free of the family patterns of abuse and addiction.

Because the women we serve are a high needs and difficult-to-reach population, we need to eliminate the most common barriers to treatment that women in recovery face. We eliminate these barriers in several ways:  by not requiring clients have insurance in order to get help; providing transportation (to and from our facility, medical appointments, AA/NA meetings, mother-child visitations as part of the reunification process); and offering free childcare. Women also gain access to community parenting resources and classes. In order to address the wide range of client needs, we provide case management services and collaborate with several community agencies.

Access to childcare is one of the most common barriers to treatment for women, and we address this issue through our Child Watch Center, located in our main treatment and residential facility. While women are in treatment sessions and classes they know that their children are safe and well-cared for. This is a welcoming and friendly space that serves as a lounge for mothers and as a classroom for infants and children up to age five (exceptions can be made for older children as needed).

Staff members provide free developmental screenings for all children, make referrals to community agencies based on the screening scores and provide educational materials to mothers so they can help their children reach developmental milestones. The Child Watch Center also offers mothers parenting training and an opportunity to observe positive interaction and redirection techniques. Without the services provided in the Child Watch Center, many, if not most, of the children served would not otherwise receive these critical screenings and early interventions.

Malama Family Recovery Center is the ONLY place on Maui where young children and infants can live with their mothers while they receive services through residential programs. Women do not have to choose between getting healthy and being with their children — they can do both. We believe strongly in the power of a healing family setting. While clients get help, their children are nurtured in an environment that allows them to heal from negative life experiences. Our main facility, located in a residential home, provides an atmosphere that is warm and safe. Our staff is committed to providing a safe, sober and healthy environment for women to do the challenging work of healing themselves so they can create positive change for their families.

Malama Family Recovery Center accepts most insurance plans. For women without insurance or who are unable to pay for services (or for programs in which insurance cannot be billed), we are proudly funded by the following:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Hawaii Department of Health — Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD)
  • Hawaii State Judiciary
  • Maui County
  • Maui United Way
  • Private Foundations and Charities
  • Corporate Donors
  • Individual Donors

Click here to enlarge Malama Family Recovery Center Informational Flyer for printing.