Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

(626) 356-0078
191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Archive for April, 2014

Addiction And Alcoholism Are Diseases Not A Crisis Of Morality

Posted on: April 21st, 2014 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Addiction is a serious disease that impacts the lives of millions of people every year. Medical experts have long been aware that addiction is a disease, and that those who suffer from addiction require both serious medical and psychiatric help. Unfortunately, however, there is still a great deal of societal stigma around addiction and alcoholism. These stigmas have a number of very damaging effects on addicts, their loved ones, and anyone else who is impacted by addiction. The idea that drug and alcohol abuse represents moral weakness and not an illness is not only unhealthy, it is simply incorrect.

Addiction and Brain Function

The idea that an addict is choosing to continue using is simply not supported by science. When a person is addicted to a substance of any kind, their brain’s reward receptors become highly accustomed to the high or reward that comes with using. This means that their mental processes and the way in which their brain operates are both completely altered to the point that an addict thinks primarily about finding and using more drugs. The impulse an addict feels to use is so strong and all consuming that they are virtually powerless to stop it.

When the brain’s reward receptors do not get the substance they are addicted to, they send strong signals to the body that are essentially prompts for the brain to find a way to procure more substance. These signals, often referred to as withdrawal symptoms, are very uncomfortable and may even be dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms vary from substance to substance but may include nausea, severe headaches, convulsions, and seizures. This often means that even when an addict does not want to use any longer, they may be unable to stop using without adequate medical support through the withdrawal and recovery process.

Judging Addicts Has Devastating Results

It is important that societal stigmas surrounding addiction be lifted because of the fact that stigmatizing addiction can make it even more dangerous than it already is. An addict who feels judged by those around them may be far less likely to admit that they have a problem and need to seek treatment. Placing moral judgement on an addict can also greatly increase feelings of isolation by the addict, which can have the effect of causing them to sink further into addiction. Feelings of anger, guilt, shame, and low self worth are all associated with addiction and using, and an addict whose loved ones judge them rather than providing empathy and support is far more likely to suffer setbacks.

Understanding the Disease of Addiction Gives Way to Successful Treatment

Addiction, like many complicated diseases, can only successfully be treated by professionals who are familiar with both the roots of addiction and the medical needs of the individual addict. Not everyone carries the drive for knowledge and this can be a deterrent when looking to get the most of your treatment. Educating people about the diseases of addiction and alcoholism can bring forth a new understanding and knowledge base that would prove to be an asset for those who are in recovery.

Having a broader base of knowledge is never a bad goal to strive for especially in regards to dispelling the stigma that surrounds addiction and alcoholism. An effective treatment program combines elements of therapy, physical, and spiritual support so that a recovering addict can be able to take the steps necessary to move away from sickness and towards a life of safety and health. Treatment affords those who are struggling the benefit of learning how to cope with the issues that are prevalent in a healthy and sane manner. Successful treatment will lead those who are struggling to a new way of life, and if you or anyone you know is struggling do not hesitate to get help. 

New Vape Laws Categorize Them With Tobacco

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by The Gooden Center No Comments

One of the most fast growing trends to emerge in the last few years has been electronic cigarettes. Hailed by many as a solution to smoking traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes use vapors rather than smoke, and while they are filled with nicotine, they do not contain many of the same carcinogens that are in cigarette smoke. Cigarettes are a popular form of stress reduction in the recovery community mainly in that they are used as a means of comfort and as a coping mechanism to deal with the mental stress of getting clean and sober. Enter the e-cigarette, which appears to be a form of smoking with less physical consequences than those that tobacco bring to the table.

Treatment centers encourage patients to learn how to lead healthier lives, which includes quitting cigarettes. The use of e-cigarettes are not solely relegated to the recovery scene, they have gained in popularity in pop-culture. Because of this, many bars and other businesses have gotten into the practice of allowing e-cigarette smoking (sometimes referred to as vaping) in their establishments.

This decision has also been met with some controversy, however, as many opponents of e-cigarettes argue that the vapors expelled by e-cigarettes are also harmful and that the devices should not be allowed indoors. In both Los Angeles and New York City, for example, e-cigarette use has been categorized the same way as traditional cigarettes, and is not allowed in public indoor spaces.

Dangers of E-Cigarettes

Opponents of e-cigarettes warn that while many view the devices as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes, the reality is that there have not been a sufficient number of studies conducted to determine the impact that e-cigarettes have on one’s health. In Los Angeles, for example, where the city council recently joined cities like Boston and Chicago in treating e-cigarettes like regular cigarettes, health officials warned that the dangers of e-cigarettes simply are not known at this time.

Many officials have cited the fact that in the early days of tobacco use, smokers and even their doctors were unaware of the dangers of cigarettes, a fact that led to what many officials agree to be the largest single cause of preventable death in American history. Others point out that e-cigarettes are not currently regulated by the FDA and that the substance used in e-cigarettes is highly toxic and could be harmful and even lethal if left in the hands of the wrong person.

E-Cigarette Users Disagree With Bans

The decision to ban e-cigarettes has upset many e-cigarette users, many of whom claim that e-cigarettes have helped them cut back on or quit traditional cigarette consumption. E-cigarette smokers point to the fact that e-cigarettes do not use tobacco as a reason for their relative harmlessness.

Many e-cigarette users believe that since the devices use vapors rather than smoke that the dangers of second-hand smoke are relatively small. These users believe that the ban on e-cigarettes is unfounded, and point to the lack of research as a reason that the decision to ban the devices should be reconsidered.

Future of Vaping Unclear

As the decision currently stands in cities where bans are in place, individuals who like to vape face the same restrictions as those who consume tobacco cigarettes. Vaping is no longer allowed in bars or restaurants, for example, and can only legally be partaken in at designated vaping lounges, where customers who are specifically there to try different types of vapor products may sit indoors and vape. It remains to be seen whether further research about vaping will bring about more or less restrictions. 

Acknowledging There Is A Problem May Open The Doors To A New Life

Posted on: April 11th, 2014 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Addiction is a complicated disease for a number of reasons. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their brains become so accustomed to receiving more of the substance they are addicted to that their thoughts begin to center around finding and using more drugs or alcohol. When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol they will do whatever it takes to continue using, and often this means operating under a system of denial wherein the addict does not admit to others or themselves that they have a problem. Denial is one of the strongest mechanisms that addiction uses to continue. Once a person is able to work through denial and admit that they do in fact have a problem, they may be able to find a whole new life of happiness and health.

Admitting There is a Problem is the First and Necessary Step

The reality of addiction and recovering from addiction is that no real work can be done while an addict is in denial about the fact that they have a problem. Recovery from addiction requires the resolve to undergo major treatment and serious work, and no one but the addict themselves can make an addict take part in this kind of work if they are not ready to take that step themselves.

In order for the process of healing and recovery to begin, an addict must admit that they have a problem so that they can commit fully to the steps necessary to work toward recovery. If an addict has not reached this level of self awareness or is still living in denial, it will be difficult, if not impossible for them to get healthy.

Understanding That There Is a Problem Makes Way For Finding Solutions

Once a recovering addict has admitted that they have a problem, they may begin to make real and meaningful changes in their life. When the problem of drug or alcohol addiction has been addressed, a recovering addict can begin to work with their therapist and other professionals to understand why drug or alcohol addiction started and what was driving the recovering addict to use.

Often, people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol use for a variety of reasons that may have emotional roots. It is not uncommon for an addict to feel the desire to use when they are feeling angry or sad. In treatment, an addict can work through these issues and find ways to work through emotions in a healthy way that does not include the use of drugs or alcohol.

Hitting Rock Bottom

In many cases, a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may not be able to admit to themselves or others that they have a problem until they have hit what many professionals in the substance abuse field refer to as rock bottom. Rock bottom describes a situation where an addict’s life has spiraled so out of control that they are no longer able to live a manageable life in any way.

Rock bottom may also refer to one specific incident that addicts view as a wake up call. This may be a very serious or potentially dangerous incident that allows an addict to realize and admit that they do in fact have a problem with drugs or alcohol.

Although no one wants to experience the lows associated with rock bottom, addiction is a very powerful disease and sometimes it can be very difficult or impossible for the mind to stop the pattern of denial without an incident or point that shows an addict just how unmanageable their life has become. 

The Problem Of Addiction Can Be Solved In Treatment

Posted on: April 9th, 2014 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Drug and alcohol addiction is a serious disease that can have a truly ruinous effect on those who suffer from it. When a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol, their entire lives are affected. Addiction robs an addict of the ability to perform important life functions like maintaining a job, keeping track of finances, and, perhaps even more devastatingly, it can often ruin vital relationships. Often, a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol will behave in ways that make them essentially unrecognizable to friends and family members. This may lead to what can only be described as a spiral of shame and frustration.

A person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol may very well be aware that their life is in severe disarray but feel powerless to do anything about it. They may feel angry or depressed or feel that they have no means of reclaiming control of their life. A person who is addicted does not have to feel that they cannot get better. In fact, treatment offers a whole new shot at life for many addicts who struggle with the crippling disease of addiction.

A Chance to Detox Safely

Many addicts who have realized that they have a problem may have tried to stop using on their own. This may be because they have the desire to stop using and believe that that is enough to help them work through the uncomfortable and often dangerous process of detoxing from drugs or alcohol. Detoxing without professional support, however, is not a good idea. Firstly, many substances are dangerous to detoxify from without medical support. Alcohol withdrawal, for example, may lead to serious side effects that can include tremors, hallucinations, and even seizures.

When a person attempts to suddenly stop using alcohol on their own, they put themselves at a major risk for any of these side effects. It can also be extremely difficult to detox without professional help because of the degree of severity of withdrawal. Often, a person who is withdrawing from drugs or alcohol will succumb to the temptation to use simply because of how uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms are. In a treatment facility, substances are simply not available and a recovering addict can detox with the support they need.

Tools For Growth and Rebuilding

Once a recovering addict has detoxed, they can begin to gain the tools that will help them work through the obstacles; big or small; in their life without the use of drugs or alcohol. All addicts are subject to “triggers,” or people, places, or emotions that drive them to use. Triggers can vary quite a bit but may include things like stress from a job, anger from a bad relationship, or simply being in the company of another addict.

In treatment, a recovering addict has a chance to get some space from many of these triggers and use this time as a way of finding peace and clarity so that they may begin to find ways of coping with emotions like anger or sadness without using drugs or alcohol.

Therapy to Find Solutions

In treatment, an addict works in individual and often group therapy to identify and work through many of the complex issues that may be related to their addiction. In therapy, an addict and their counselor may talk through deep seated issues that have lead to feelings like anger, fear, or low self worth which may, in turn, have been contributors to an addict’s addiction. With the right therapy, the deeper issues that may have long been masked by drugs or alcohol may be addressed so that the addict can begin to live a better life. 

Treatment Provides A Fresh Start For Those Looking To Recover

Posted on: April 7th, 2014 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Drug addiction is a serious disease that has a profound impact on a person’s ability to lead a healthy and productive life. When a person is addicted to drugs and alcohol, the things that were once important to them often fall by the wayside, as their brains become more and more dependent on the substance they are addicted to. When this happens, it can be very difficult to break the cycle of addiction.

Often, even when a person wants to stop using drugs or alcohol, they may feel that they do not have the ability to stop, which can be very frustrating and often lead to feelings of helplessness or powerlessness. Luckily, however, a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can find a fresh start and a whole new lease on life when they enter a treatment program.

Detoxing In Treatment

The first step that all recovering addicts undergo in treatment is to detoxify from drugs or alcohol. This is a highly necessary step because it is simply not possible for a person to begin the process of recovery while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is important that detoxing occur with the support of a qualified medical team because it is very difficult and often dangerous for one to detox from drugs or alcohol on their own.

In treatment, a team of professional drug and alcohol treatment specialists and doctors can monitor the addict and make sure that they are as comfortable as possible during the difficult process of withdrawal. They can administer medication and provide psychological support.

A Treatment Program Helps Identify Reasons For Drug Use

Once a person has undergone detox, they are ready to begin the next phase of their treatment. The initial stages of recovery are a time of major change and personal growth for a recovering addict. Now free from the crippling effects of drugs and alcohol, an addict may begin to do real and meaningful work on their personal growth. They will work with therapists and counselors and often attend both individual and group sessions to begin to discover the roots of their addiction. Addiction is a complicated disease that often has many causes.

One important aspect of recovering from addiction is identifying triggers that lead an addict to use. In treatment, not only are triggers identified, but ways in which they can be addressed without drugs are explored. Inpatient treatment offers recovering addicts the chance to engage in reflection and to do serious work toward getting healthy without facing the threat of the possibility of procuring drugs. Many addicts may have attempted to achieve sobriety and faced obstacles in the face of the chance to find more drugs when temptation to use arose.

 Treatment Helps Equip One With the Tools For a Happy Life

The benefits of treatment can truly be endless. After successfully undergoing a treatment program, an addict can return to their life and find that what once seemed the impossible task of achieving sobriety is absolutely attainable. Understanding the triggers that led them to use and having a good sense the ways in which triggers can be dealt with in a healthy way allows recovering addicts to face their life and the inherent struggles that come with it in a healthy and sober way.

Addiction can be a terrifying disease, but the fear and hopelessness that often comes with addiction does not have to last forever. With a treatment program that works, anyone who is struggling with addiction can look forward to a dramatically different life that is free from drugs and alcohol.