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 June, 2017

Reawakening the Senses in Recovery

Posted on: June 30th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Reawakening the Senses in Recovery

Regular substance use, no matter what kind, suppresses emotions and interferes with people’s ability to experience what is happening around them. Take a look at the physical implications of prolonged use and learn how to reawaken the senses once the substances leave the body.

Addiction and the Brain

The brain is the hub of all our activities. It regulates the body’s physical functions and is responsible for our thoughts, behaviors and responses to our environment. We need it to walk, talk, think, create and feel.

Drugs affect different parts of the brain by inhibiting its ability to communicate vital information. One area of the brain that is affected is the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for seeing, feeling, hearing and tasting. It is also essential for thinking, planning and making decisions.

Another area is the limbic system, which regulates the ability to feel pleasure and perceive other emotions. Many drugs cause neurons to release abnormally large quantities of dopamine and other pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters. They also disrupt the brain’s ability to regulate these neurotransmitters naturally and lead to a “crash” once the substance leaves the system.

Emotional Tolerance

The beginning stage of recovery is often likened to an “emotional roller coaster” because mood swings are common; however, remaining abstinent and working a program of recovery affords a person the ability to experience and appreciate life’s natural course. Developing coping skills and a support network should be a priority in order to tolerate stressful situations.

It is also important to participate in activities that lead to pleasure and fulfillment. Get together with a group of people who know how to have fun without using substances. Find activities that you enjoy, and pursue them.

Mindfulness

One powerful method of using the senses is to practice mindfulness, which is the active process of bringing attention to what is presently happening, both externally and internally. It involves being aware of your surroundings, thoughts and feelings. Try to do so without judging them in order to fully experience the moment.

For example, if you are out in nature, listen for birds chirping or the sound of a stream flowing nearby. Look at colors and shapes. If there is a breeze, focus on how it feels on your skin. Pick up a stone or touch the bark of a tree, paying attention to the texture. Notice your internal reactions to what is around you. Maybe you are feeling peaceful, or perhaps you are nervous about running into an animal.

During meals, pay attention to the aroma of your food. Take time to taste each bite. Is the food sour, sweet, salty or spicy? Observe the texture before you chew.

Early recovery can be overwhelming, and learning how to tolerate feelings should be a priority. It is then time to use the skills you have learned to find pleasure throughout your recovery. Make an effort to pay attention to everyday activities and look for new opportunities to find fulfillment.

Millennials and Adderall

Posted on: June 27th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Millennials and Adderall

In recent years, Adderall has become the drug of choice for people in college and many millennials have even taken their college habit with them into the workplace. Young people struggling to keep their grades up while attending a university often turn to this medication because it is designed to enhance focus for people with legitimate issues of ADHD. For those without any illness, they feel that Adderall abuse helps them stay up long nights to study while increasing their concentration and alertness. It is so popular on college campuses that researchers have found a recent uptick in the number of young adults going to emergency rooms for Adderall-related reasons. They also found that 60 percent of non-medical use of Adderall took place among people aged 18-25.

Prescription Stimulants in the Workplace

Although young adults find that the medication helps them through college, many millennials have developed a habit that is hard to break. Even after completing their education and entering the workplace, millennials and Adderall continue to be linked because they feel it improves their performance and is a driving factor in their success.

Recently, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that more workplace drug tests have been coming back positive and they are expected to continue increasing to higher rates than they have been in decades. The second most common drugs detected in these tests after marijuana were amphetamines like Adderall and Ritalin. This type of prescription drug use is more common in workplaces that are dominated by people in their 20s such as millennial-run tech companies. Drugs like Adderall are highly addictive and when people view them as the secret to their success, it can be difficult to continue working long hours in a stressful environment without their usual chemical enhancement.

Dangers of Adderall Abuse

In spite of its ability to enhance focus, Adderall can also have a number of unpleasant side effects including insomnia, increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, appetite suppression, headaches and anxiety. Excessive use of the drug can also cause symptoms like hallucinations, delusions and psychosis. Users of Adderall often end up in the emergency room because they experience panic attacks from taking too much.

Instances of suicide as a result of stimulant addiction has increased substantially in recent years. Because of the increase in abuse, more people than ever are now entering drug rehab specifically for the treatment of Adderall addiction. It can be difficult for people to return to the workplace after quitting the drug but ultimately getting treatment will improve their health and prevent complications caused by stimulant abuse.

The Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab Treatment

Posted on: June 20th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

The Differences Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab Treatment

You may be thinking about rehab treatment for yourself or a loved one. One of the first questions may be what is the difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment? The following is a guide to the general differences between inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Inpatient Treatment Programs

Inpatient or residential treatment is an intensive program for the treatment of drug or alcohol dependency. It requires the individual to live full-time at the treatment facility, typically for 30-90 days, but can be longer depending on the severity of the addiction or other underlying conditions. This physically removes the individual from the triggers that are found in the outside world in order to stabilize. Residential treatment is a good choice for someone who has previously been unsuccessful in overcoming his or her addiction or has relapsed.

Residential treatment is also a better option for those who require a medical detoxification due to the powerful physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms associated with some addictions, requiring the oversight of medical professionals. If the patient has a co-occurring mental disorder, other addiction, or additional health issues, he or she is likely best managed in an inpatient facility.

An inpatient facility provides a highly structured environment, which includes regular meetings, counseling, therapy, mealtimes, and other activities. A patient will find substantial support by living in a therapeutic community with other residents facing the same struggles. Residential treatment provides a healthy environment, mostly free from outside distractions that otherwise could prevent the patient from focusing on his or her total well-being, including physical and spiritual health in addition to addiction recovery.

Inpatient programs tend to have a higher rate of success due to being isolated in a controlled, safe and secure environment away from the temptations and triggers that led to addiction in the first place. In this way, the patient gets to practice sobriety and become accustomed to abstinence without the negative distracting influences that kept him or her in addiction before he or she goes back to the stressors of everyday life.

Outpatient Treatment Programs

Outpatient treatment is ideal for the individual who has obligations like work, school, or family that prevent him or her from taking a substantial time off away from such responsibilities. Some people also prefer privacy and anonymity regarding their addiction and do not wish to explain a prolonged absence to an employer or others.

An outpatient facility allows you to attend to your obligations while simultaneously focusing on treatment either during the day or in the evening. It provides individual and group counseling as well.. Peer recovery and support is also a significant component due to the limited safeguards and the availability of some of the same triggers and temptations that may be available by remaining in the community.

Other benefits of outpatient treatment include the availability of supportive family and friends and the opportunity to immediately apply strategies for abstinence learned in rehab to one’s daily life. Outpatient treatment may also cost less due there being no expense required for room and board.

Special care must be taken with outpatient treatment to prevent relapse, however. If the patient is in an environment in which he or she is exposed to drugs or alcohol, the individual will be at a much higher risk of relapse.

Which is best for you?

If you want to know more specifically what the differences are in programs at a particular facility, call to get more details. A qualified professional can arrange an assessment to determine the best course of treatment for you or your loved one.

It Takes a Village: Recovery in a Therapeutic Community

Posted on: June 12th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

It Takes a Village: Recovery in a Therapeutic Community

The proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” arose from the idea that children are more likely to become healthy, well-adjusted adults when they have the support of their whole community. We thrive with connections to society.

How Does This Relate to Recovery?

Recovering addicts are more successful when they have support from a therapeutic community. The community can be comprised of treatment providers or other recovering addicts. This is one reason that 12-step fellowships are highly recommended, and why they continue to grow worldwide.

What Is a Therapeutic Community?

Therapeutic Communities used to refer to long-term residential treatment centers, in which clients lived together along with therapists and supportive staff. Today the term is used more loosely and can refer to rehabs, intensive outpatient programs, day programs, recovery houses and 12-step fellowships.

The Benefits of Recovering in a Community

By definition, a therapeutic community should take a group-based approach; recovery is more successful when people work together to support one another.

In a residential setting, resources and assistance are available around the clock. Staff is present at all times to facilitate groups, engage with clients in the moment, and make sure that the atmosphere is conducive to recovery. Inpatient settings also allow people to separate from the triggers found in their natural environments.

Outpatient settings also provide support from trained staff, but this is limited to certain times of the day. Group and individual therapy sessions allow people in early recovery to learn coping skills and develop methods to stay clean in their environment.

12-step programs are comprised solely of recovering addicts, who share their experience and strength to help fellow addicts. The programs follow a structure and have a specific series of steps that empower addicts to help themselves.

How to Find the Support You Need

When you are new to recovery, it’s a good idea to observe what is going on around you. Look for people who are committed to their recovery. Find supportive people in the beginning and continue to develop those relationships as time goes on. Talking to others honestly about how you feel and asking for help when you need it are key parts of maintaining long-term recovery.

In treatment programs, utilize the staff’s knowledge and identify resources in your community. If you participate in a 12-step program, go to meetings regularly, find a sponsor and start working steps. Whatever the setting, a therapeutic community offers a recovering addict a natural support network. No one has to deal with the life in isolation.

Young Men and Depression

Posted on: June 8th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Young Men and Depression

The most common types of mental disorders experienced by young men are depression and anxiety. These issues affect one in seven young men between the ages of 16 and 24 every year. Teenage and college age men often don’t get the help they need because their symptoms of depression are ignored or written off as growing pains. It is important to learn to recognize depression symptoms in young people, particularly men because they may have more trouble expressing their emotions to others.

For young men, their problems with depression can affect their performance in school or at work, their physical health, their ability to maintain friendships and their need to use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate. Getting early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent depression from becoming a greater problem as young men begin to enter later adulthood.

Coping Methods in Men

With issues like depression, men and women tend to be affected differently when confronted with symptoms. Men may find certain unhealthy coping mechanisms that help to mask their depression and keep it hidden from others. Although the symptoms of depression among men and women are often the same – feelings of sadness or hopelessness, difficulty sleeping and lack of pleasure- their way of dealing with the symptoms can be very distinct.

Men tend to engage in escapist behavior such as working all the time or spending a lot of time on hobbies like sports or exercising excessively. They may express their depression through controlling, violent or abusive behavior or simply with irritability and inappropriate anger. Men may feel that they cannot express feelings of sadness and try to downplay their symptoms by ignoring or suppressing their depression. Unfortunately many men may also be reluctant to discuss their mental health or resist getting treatment because they worry about the stigma associated with depression.

Young men in particular may cope with their depression through dangerous methods like self-harm, drug or alcohol abuse or controlled eating. There has been a recent rise in the number of young men engaging in self-harm because they are dealing with symptoms of depression without professional help. Teenage and college age men often struggle with issues of self-esteem but may be unable to talk to anyone about their feelings.If you notice any of the symptoms of depression in yourself or others including coping behavior like working long hours, excessive exercise, self-harm, or substance then consider looking into treatment options. Getting help from a professional therapist can minimize harmful coping methods and improve the mental health of young men with depression.