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 July, 2014

Life After Treatment: 5 Ways To Stay Active In Your Recovery

Posted on: July 25th, 2014 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Stay Active In Recovery

Treatment is an integral part of any recovery process. It offers a number of major advantages that can make it much more realistic to achieve sobriety and to focus on beginning to evaluate where you are in life and what must be done in order for you to continue living a happy and clean life.

In treatment, recovery is naturally a large part of your life. There are meetings with therapists and group activities. There are also no ways to find and use drugs that may lead to a potential relapse. Of course, the goal of treatment is to find the tools necessary to live life after treatment without the use of drugs or alcohol. Here are five ways that recovery may continue long after treatment is finished.

1. Reading The Bible and Recovery Literature

Recovery is not a short term action. It is a way of life. Successful recovery means constantly finding inspiration and staying mindful of the ways in which you can continue to live a healthy and safe life. One great way to continue the education that begins in treatment is to turn regularly to the Bible or literature about recovery for inspiration and ways in which you can continue on the path of health and well being. A habit of reading keeps your mind stimulated and open to the many ways in which you can continually grow as a person.

2. Do Not Skip Meetings Or Therapy Sessions

In treatment, your schedule is more or less set for you. Meetings with your therapist are at a certain time, as are twelve step meetings or other group activities. Once you leave treatment, it is up to you to continue meeting the obligations that will help you stay healthy. This often means meeting with your therapist or twelve step group even when everything seems fine. Maintaining sobriety is about a continued habit of keeping your health as a first priority.

3. Meditate and Pray Regularly

Meditation is an important part of treatment for many people because it offers a chance to quiet the mind and to recognize thoughts and impulses as they come up while realizing that not all thoughts and impulses must be acted on. Prayer is a largely valuable tool in continued recovery because it helps strengthen your relationship with God, who gives you the guidance you need to make the choices that will help you continue to live a clean and sober life.

4. Talk To Other People In Recovery

A support group of other sober people gives you the chance to share any experiences you have related to your sobriety. It also offers the chance to listen to the experience of others and to be a good friend while gaining further insight into where you are in your own journey to sobriety. Cultivating a social circle of other addicts in recovery is a great way to engage in activities that are fun and exciting and do not include the use of drugs or alcohol.

5. Engage in Acts of Service

Like maintaining sober friendships, committing yourself to regular acts of service gives you the chance to surround yourself with people who will be a positive force in your life. Acts of service have been shown to increase one’s sense of self worth and are tied to feelings of happiness. Helping others in recovery is a great way to remind yourself of the principles of recovery and staying clean. Try to help those who are not as far along in recovery as yourself and make an effort to make everything you do a chance to grow as a person.

God’s Role In Recovery

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

Making the choice to get clean and sober is a major life event that comes with a tremendous amount of rewards. Sobriety offers a chance for total life transformation and gives many addicts a second shot at life that they may have never thought was possible.

Anyone who is at any stage of recovery knows that one of the most important tools that they can have in recovery is a good relationship with God. A relationship with God is what makes it possible to navigate the sometimes rocky seas of recovery. In fact, God and being clean and sober go hand in hand.

God is Present During Bad and Good Times

Life is full of ups and downs, and when you get sober life continues to happen. Sobriety offers you a chance to handle life’s challenges with a clear mind and it is important to understand that life does not get put on hold while you get sober. You will have to make choices in sobriety that are difficult, but there is one who can help! 

When a person has a history of addiction, the first place they used as a solution to challenging situations is drugs and or alcohol. This is because alcohol and drugs can seem like the easy way out but in reality this is the crippling nature of addiction and alcoholism.

A Reliance On God 

Substances are, of course, not a solution to problems. They are merely a way of temporarily dulling emotions. When a person has begun to recover and live a clean and sober life, they can turn to God in order to express gratitude and to ask for help in troubling times.

A reliance on God can provide solace for even the most challenging of life’s obstacles. Recovery does present its own set of unique challenges. Triggers and the desire to use will always be a part of staying sober, and a relationship with God offers support for those problems as well.

Guidance For Tough Questions

One thing that can be so difficult about being newly sober is the fact that a recovering addict is often carving out what is for the most part a brand new life for themselves. Recovery means letting go of destructive behaviors and thought patterns and beginning to find behaviors and life paths that will support growth and evolution.

The problem with this is that it can sometimes be challenging to know which path to take or what action to partake in. Luckily, through prayer, a recovering addict can have a conversation with God wherein they can ask for answers to some of their most probing questions. This can be a highly invaluable tool in helping to find the best and most productive and healthy course of action to take.

Your Relationship With God 

One reason that addiction is such a damaging disease is that it can destroy so many important aspects of an addict’s life. When a person is addicted to drugs, they may often behave in ways that are hurtful to those around them.

Recovery centers its focus on how people can become less reliant upon alcohol and drugs as a solution to the stresses of everyday life. Recovery also focuses on how acts of service can take you out of self. By treating others better, one can feel better about themselves and be more assured that they are making healthy and productive decisions.

Asking For Inspiration

God and inspiration from the Bible can help a recovering addict to make sure that they are in fact taking actions that allow them to be the best person they can possibly be. There are many verses in the Bible that illuminate the best way to treat those around us, and through prayer one can find answers to questions about how best to relate to the people they are most close to.

God is truly the most important and limitless resource that any addict has available to them as they continue their quest to live a safe and happy life, free from the destructive and dangerous force of drug or alcohol abuse and addiction.

Recovery Literature’s Ties To The Bible

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

Recovering from addiction is a transformative process during which a recovering addict grows tremendously as a person by strengthening their spirit.

Recovery is by no means an easy process and most addicts turn to a higher power when they are ready to face the challenges that lie ahead as they work to find answers to facing the triggers and the emotional roller coaster that can be getting sober.

It is no surprise, then that much recovery literature is based in the bible or borrows biblical ideas in order to bring strength and peace to a recovering addict. Here are a fews ways that recovery literature incorporates biblical quotes and ideas.

Twelve Step Programs and the Bible

One reason that so many pieces of recovery literature include biblical references is that twelve step programs, which many recovering addicts of all kinds turn to when they are in the process of recovering, incorporates faith in a higher power into their core principles. The second step of a twelve step speaks of “Com(ing) to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore our sanity.”

While people from a wide variety of spiritual backgrounds may join a twelve step program, the one thing that they all have in common is a concept of some kind of God. This is because belief in God allows a recovering addict to recognize that with faith they will be able to accomplish tasks that at one point seemed insurmountable. A belief in God also allows a recovering addict to fulfill the wishes set out in the Serenity Prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Religion and Recovery Go Hand In Hand

Popular recovery authors like Edward Welch and Roland J. Coleman incorporate Christianity into their writing because there are so many ways in which the teachings of Christianity so closely match the lessons that are to be learned in recovery. The Bible contains many passages that remind a recovering addict of the importance of faith and understanding that the Lord has a plan for everyone.

There are many lessons in the Bible about getting through troubling times by remaining focused on the thing that will carry anyone through an intense struggle: a relationship with the Lord. The Bible also teaches many lessons about tolerance and not judging oneself or others.

When an addict starts to live a sober life, it is very common for feelings of anger and sadness and regret to surface. These feelings are not productive and can only prolong the process of achieving growth. Being reminded to forgive ourselves and others is a very important lesson in recovery.

Recovery, Faith, and Service

Many articles of recovery literature also focus on the importance of serving others and of keeping love in one’s heart.  Service is an important part of recovery for many reasons. It allows a recovering addict to cultivate feelings of gratitude. It can also help a recovering addict to feel better about themselves and to reinforce their belief in their ability to bring about change in themselves.

Service also helps promote fellowship within the recovery community and gives newly recovering addicts a chance to form relationships with other individuals who understand the sober lifestyle and who will likely be a positive force in a newly recovering addict’s life.

Both recovery programs and faith are wonderful ways for a recovering addict to evolve and to become a stronger, happier, and healthier person who is able to stay sober over the course of their entire life.

Why Is Gender Specific Treatment Suggested?

Posted on: July 3rd, 2014 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is a long and challenging process during which a recovering addict evaluates all of their beliefs and behaviors and begins to take the steps necessary to achieve an evolved sense of consciousness that will allow them to live a happy and drug free life.

In order for treatment to be successful, it is necessary for an addict to find a program that suits their needs and individual personality. Many addiction health experts believe that the best environment for recovering addicts is in a single gender program. There are many benefits for male recovering addicts who choose a program that is for men only.

Tendency Toward Addiction

Studies have shown that men are more likely than women to suffer from addiction. An all male program allows recovering addicts to work with their counselors and therapists both individually and in groups to identify some of the roots of addiction that men in particular may be particularly vulnerable to.

When dealing with patients, the therapists at an all-male recovery center can focus their treatment on the ways in which the male mind operates and tailor discussions and treatment plans to address these specific roots and issues. This ensures that there is a direct and to the point plan of action for the patient in addressing their issues of addiction.

Men and Women Have Different Hormones

A big part of addiction is, of course a recovering addict’s emotional state. Emotions like anger and sadness can make a person more susceptible to using. Withdrawing from drugs and alcohol certainly also brings about many severe emotions, in part because for the first time in perhaps a long time, a recovering addict is experiencing their emotions rather than numbing them with drugs or alcohol.

One factor that certainly has a huge impact on emotions is a person’s hormone levels and which hormones are particularly dominant at any given time. Men and women have different hormone levels and tend to deal with emotions in different ways. A gender specific program accounts for the way emotions and hormones impact the male mind.

Freedom of Expression

A major part of most recovery programs is some kind of group therapy. Group therapy, along with twelve step programs, allows a recovering addict to relate to others who have been through similar life experiences and who are undergoing many of the same struggles as them.

It is very common for a recovering addict to experience a sense of loneliness or isolation as they recover, and group therapy can help an addict realize that they are not alone in their struggle.

In order for group therapy to be truly effective, it is important that everyone involved feels safe and comfortable and able to share their honest experience. For many recovering addicts, it is much easier to do this in an a group that is comprised of their own gender.

Recovery is Not a Time For Romantic Interests

Most counselors and therapists advise recovering addicts to avoid romantic relationships for as long as the first year of sobriety. Although most patients in any given treatment program understand this, treatment is a very emotional time and it can be easy to fall into the pattern of developing feelings for another addict while in treatment.

This can impact the effectiveness of a treatment program and distract a recovering addict from the work that must be done on themselves in order to make the transition from someone who uses to someone who lives a clean and sober life.

Attending an all male program removes this possible distraction and can thus greatly improve a recovering addict’s chances at success. Choosing the right program is certainly an important step in making sure that treatment works the way it is intended.

5 Benefits Of Incorporating Prayer In Daily Life

Posted on: July 1st, 2014 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Prayer and meditation is an integral part of the recovery process in most 12-step programs. These programs use different types of  prayer, in order to express gratitude and ask for guidance on a daily basis. There are many recovering addicts who have found spiritual freedom as a direct result of a reliance on God. What exactly is so effective about prayer? Why is prayer so important to incorporate into daily life?

Here are five benefits to bringing prayer into your daily life:

Improved Health

Many studies have shown that daily prayer has a profound impact on your physical health. There are a few reasons for this. Daily prayer has been shown to lower stress rates, which positively impacts many aspects of your physical health: from your blood pressure to your heart rate to your immune system.

Lower stress levels are also associated with lower instances of serious long term diseases like cancer. It has also been linked to healthier eating and sleeping habits, which mean better mental focus and a much higher likelihood of maintaining an ideal weight.

Positive Attitude

A large part of recovery requires that one maintain a positive attitude and maintains their faith both in themselves and in God’s ability to find the right path for us. Becoming sober is a major challenge that requires some support when obstacles inevitably arise. Daily prayer keeps one’s thoughts focused on on the things that they can and will accomplish.

It helps a recovering addict to view the world in terms of the possibilities that lie ahead rather than the regrets that may lie in the past. A positive attitude, achieved through daily prayer, also makes us feel happier and more confident in ourselves, and lowers the likelihood of suffering from depression, which may be a major trigger for relapse.

Divine Help

Prayer is about one’s relationship with God. It is very helpful to read scriptures and to attend church services, but the most important part of faith is cultivating a personal relationship with God and that is done through prayer.

In recovery, one recognizes that he is indeed powerless and that we need God’s help in order to truly achieve greatness. In prayer, one can ask God for the things that he hopes for in life, and if this is God’s plan for us, he will answer. Prayer is the best way to speak to God and to seek out the things we want in life.

Strength In Troubling Times

The reality of life in all forms is that challenges while arise, and these challenges will likely present major threats to a recovering addict’s sobriety because of the severe and intense emotions that might come with it. Daily prayer is a wonderful way to cultivate strength.

It is the tool that is used to find strength and peace even in the most trying times. Having a support group of strong and encouraging people is certainly one important tool for overcoming major challenges, but nothing compares with having a daily conversation with God.

Achieve Forgiveness

Every addict is familiar with experiencing the sensation of regret or guilt. The reality of using is that it leads one to make decisions that are harmful to both themselves and others. The wonderful thing about prayer is that it opens a recovering addict up to forgiveness.

Through prayer, we can finally achieve peace and serenity and begin to move forward in health and happiness without remaining trapped in a past that is riddled with mistakes and hurtful behavior. Daily prayer also allows us to forgive others who may have wronged us in the past. Doing this helps resolve anger and resentment that we may not even be aware we are harboring.