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, 2019

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Posted on: July 17th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction


As the opioid epidemic in the U.S. becomes an increasingly dangerous problem, it is important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of opioid addiction. Overdose rates from opioid abuse have dramatically increased and the risk of a fatal overdose while abusing opioids is a serious issue. If you think you or someone you love might be addicted to opioids you will need to get treatment before the problem escalates.


These are some of the common signs of opioid abuse- 

  • Poor coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleeping more or less than normal
  • Nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Physical agitation


For the safety of your loved ones, it is also crucial to know how to recognize when someone is experiencing an overdose. These are some of the visible signs of opioid overdose:

  • Unresponsive (unable to wake up)
  • Shallow, irregular breathing or no breathing at all
  • Vomiting
  • Passing out
  • Small pupils


If you think someone may be overdosing it is important to call 911 immediately so they can administer Narcan to reverse the effects of the overdose. When someone overdoses or even if they show visible signs of opioid abuse, they will need to get professional help for their behavior. Opioids are highly addictive substances and will lead to painful withdrawal symptoms and dangers of relapse when they are suddenly stopped.


Symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:

  • sweating
  • nausea
  • shaking
  • chills
  • pain
  • insomnia
  • Fatigue


In a detox treatment center the individual will have the opportunity to receive medical care and medication to ease their withdrawal symptoms. Some people with very serious opioid addictions may benefit from the use of methadone or buprenorphine to help ease them off of the drug until they are ready to quit. Rehab and therapy can help people learn to manage their addictions once they are no longer physically dependent. 




How Addiction Triggers Can Affect the Brain

Posted on: July 14th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments


Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

Most people have experienced how certain sights and smells can trigger memories or cravings for food, alcohol or smoking. People in addiction recovery must cope with these triggers on a regular basis in order to prevent relapse. Studies have shown that the concept of a “trigger” is a real cue that can light up certain areas of the brain, especially for people with addictions.


Scientists have researched how environmental stimuli or cues can produce certain reactions in the brain. Exposure to certain cues can strengthen the memories we associate with specific behaviors such as using addictive substances. When alcoholics are exposed to an ad for alcohol for example, it makes certain areas of their brain hyperactive including the prefrontal cortex and thalamus. 


Since triggers can cause our brain to react, researchers have found that our brain is constantly fighting off unwanted reward signals that cause cravings. As the brain must exert effort to fight off these triggers, when a person is under stress it can become more difficult to ignore environmental cues that lead to cravings. Research discovered that people need their full cognitive control to ignore reward signals which means that when the brain is occupied by other problems it can be harder to fight triggers.


Stress and anxiety can put extreme strain on the brain’s functioning and can make it harder for people with addictions to manage environmental cues. When someone is under a lot of stress it is especially important for them to avoid situations where they might be tempted by signals. If they are calm and centered it can be easier for them to manage triggers in a more tempting environment. 


Recent findings explain why fighting triggers in recovery can be so difficult and research provides more insight into how addicts can manage their cravings. 



What to Say to an Alcoholic

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction


When you believe that someone in your life may be abusing alcohol, you may not know what to do or what to say to them that may help the situation. How can you discuss a person’s problem with them without driving them further away into their substance abuse? People who are actively addictive are often defensive of their actions which can make it challenging to discuss the issue with them. 


A useful way to start a conversation with an alcoholic is to start by expressing concern and love. You can say “I feel concerned about you because..” and discussing certain things that may be examples of how their drinking has affected them or other people. Having concern for them but also concrete reasons can make it easier to reach them.


Sometimes when drinking becomes really out of control you will need to give the alcoholic an ultimatum. You might say “If you continue to drink we can’t..” if you are feeling like you need to distance yourself from them. This may not affect the alcoholic right away but they will eventually think about your ultimatum and it can help them make a decision.


Even though you might want to establish boundaries with the alcoholic it is also important to make it clear that you will support them if they choose to be sober. You can say “I will be here for you when you decide to get help.” This lets them know that you are not abandoning them but must remove yourself from their addictive behavior. 


When an alcohol does enter recover you can provide support, be there for them when they need to talk and provide encouragement as often as you can. It can be difficult to handle the situation when someone is addicted but following these guidelines can help you maintain your relationship with them. 




How Drug Addiction Can Affect the Brain

Posted on: July 8th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

How Drug Addiction Can Affect the Brain


No matter how much someone goes through as a result of their drug addiction, they will find it very difficult to quit because of the way that drugs can change the way their brain works. Drugs affect a person’s brain chemistry and their behavior in a way that make them dependent on substance abuse. Trying to quit on their own will often lead to relapse because they are mentally and physically addicted to drugs.

Drug use targets the brain’s reward system and floods it with dopamine which triggers feelings of intense pleasure. The more you use a drug the more your brain becomes adjusted to those higher dopamine levels. Over time you develop a tolerance which means you need more of the drug to get the same rush of dopamine.

With the dopamine rush that people get from drugs, other things they used to like may bring them less pleasure such as food, hobbies or spending time with friends. Over time, people with drug addictions start to abandon everything else so that they can pursue the feelings of happiness that they need from substance abuse. Any time they aren’t able to take the same amount of drugs they normally do, they will start to feel depressed, anxious and physically sick.

Drug abuse can cause other negative changes in the brain such as problems with judgement, decision making, memory and the ability to learn new things. These brain changes can contribute to difficulties controlling drug use and lead people to keep using more as time goes on. People all react differently to drugs but the way that they change brain chemistry can lead to very severe addiction issues.

In order to end a drug addiction, it is important to seek professional help so that physical and mental changes caused by abuse don’t lead to relapse. 



4 Essential Rules for Addiction Recovery

Posted on: July 4th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

4 Essential Rules for Addiction Recovery


Recovering from an addiction can be a different experience for everyone but there are certain guidelines that can be helpful to the process. Understanding the most crucial tools the use in recovery can allow the journey to become easier and more defined. Here are some of the most essential rules to follow throughout recovery.

Stay Connected to a Sober Community

When you are recovering from an addiction it is very important to stay in contact and surround yourself with other people who are also committed to being sober. It can be hard to find any existing friends that don’t drink or use drugs so make sure to be connected to people in your program or support meetings that are on the same page as you.

Maintain Honesty

People struggling with addictions develop a habit of lying and hiding the truth that can be difficult to break. As a sober person you must be honest at all times even if it can be painful to tell the truth. Being honest can help improve your relationships and help you develop more responsibility.

Be Open Minded and Willing

During recovery, it is important to keep an open mind and be willing to explore new things and be involved in new experiences. People with addictions can be set in certain ways of thinking and certain habits. Being open minded can help change your perspective and allow you to learn new things.

Believe in Yourself

One of the most important parts of being sober is believing that you can do it. If you believe that your life will get better and know you can stay committed then it can help maintain your motivation. Negative or self-defeating thoughts can become problematic in recovery.

Following these and other guidelines provided by your recovery program can make it possible to stay sober permanently.