The Bobby Benson Center in Kahuku, HI

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Treatment Effectiveness
Accommodations & Amenities
Meals & Nutrition
56-660 Kamehameha Hwy
Kahuku HI 96762

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Areas of Specialization

Chemical Dependency Education Groups

Facility Highlights

Spiritual Counseling
Family Program Editorial Review

Review by Contributors


The Bobby Benson Center is a residential and outpatient treatment facility named after an adolescent named Bobby Benson who struggled with drug addiction until his death at the age of 15. Since 1994, the center has provided community-based, social learning programs for adolescent males and females ages 13 to 17. It is set on 13 tropical acres on Oahu’s peaceful North Shore. The center emphasizes healing trauma and building stronger relationships as part of recovery from substance abuse. The facility treats clients with co-occurring disorders who are psychiatrically stable. Up to 30 clients are in residence at any given time.


According to its website, the Bobby Benson Center creates treatment plans on the applicant’s personal history, and potential applicants undergo several interviews and a personal history analysis before being admitted. Preference for admission is given to pregnant teens and intravenous drug users. The applicant must meet certain criteria regarding commitment, participation, and mental competence.

Clients who require detoxification or medical supervision are referred to a nearby hospital for up to 72 hours of observation prior to admission. Admitted clients choose to enter one of two treatment tracks within the Chemical Dependency Program: the first is an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)/Narcotics Anonymous (NA) track that integrates the 12-Steps, while the other is the SMART program (Self-Management and Recovery Tools), which addresses motivation, coping with urges, problem solving, and achieving lifestyle balance. Both tracks include individual, group, and family therapy, along with reading and writing assignments.

Since many residents have been through some traumatic incident that may have sparked substance abuse, the Bobby Benson Center relies on trauma-focused therapy to get to the root of the problem. In addition to group sessions, clients work closely with a primary counselor to construct a treatment program and aftercare plan. The Bobby Benson Center takes an OHANA (family) approach to healing and encourages family participation in the client’s recovery.


The center’s website notes all Bobby Benson Center staff are trained in Risking Connection®, a trauma-informed approach that focuses on healing relationships to help clients recover. The staff of credentialed counselors is led by an executive director trained in a range of treatment modalities (including cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectic behavioral therapy), as well as a clinical director with seven years of experience in social work, and who is a member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals.


The Bobby Benson Center’s website states clients are housed in cabins (there are four altogether) with four bedrooms. Each room has a separate, newly-renovated bathroom, and walk-in closet. All cabins also have A/C, common living rooms, and an adjacent therapist office. Amenities include beach outings and trips to the water park, Polynesian Cultural Center, and Hanauma Bay. Karaoke, bowling, and other group activities are also offered.


The Bobby Benson Center has received an average of 4.3 out of 5 stars, based on 12 reviews left on its Facebook page, which it has the ability to manage.[1] Many reviewers highlighted the staff's knowledge for treating adolescents. Shayla posted, “Very loving and supportive staff … We went on fun outings, did hula, school, & therapy. I couldn't be who I am today without the therapy and support I was given here.”

Yet one reviewer had different feelings toward the center. Stephanie gave the facility just one-star and posted: "As a state funded facility how the heck are they still open... losing kids and just no big deal attitude... shameful."


The Bobby Benson Center accepts major health insurance plans and has a fee-for-service contract with the Department of Health. Quest insurance coverage options may include HMSA, Kaiser, United Health, Aloha Care, and Quest-Med.

Updated March 2017


Published on March 2017

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Sent daughter 16years old in 2007.she hated me for doing that.. If there was a problem between mom and day why didn't they counsel us.its 10 years later an I hardly see her.feel they told her to forget about me and I was the one person in the family that worried and found her when she was on the run. This has always been questionable. It may have been the facility or what she was telling them.if she told the truth there would have been attention in this matter. And at that age and for six months it didn't help our relationship. I regret putting her in there.I'm sorry it just didn't work for my family.

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