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 the ‘Addiction Awareness’ Category

Doctors Urged to Screen All Patients for Drug Abuse

Posted on: August 18th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Doctors Urged to Screen All Patients for Drug Abuse

As the opioid crisis in the U.S. continues to escalate, the government is looking for solutions that may help alleviate the situation and save lives from the dangers of opioid abuse. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is recommending that doctors screen all their patients for signs of opioid addiction in order to address the problem early on. The more opioid abuse is recognized and treated in a medical setting the more likely overdose rates will start to decrease.

The national panel of health experts that make up the task force asserts that all U.S. adults who are 18 and over need to be screened to see if they are at risk for opioid addiction. The experts are hoping that if doctors are able to detect addiction and are more aware of the problem in every one of their patients then it will help reverse some of the growing problems with prescription drugs. In the past, health experts were unsure whether screening would be effective but they now believe that it could result in successful intervention.

Physicians are now recommended to use short written questionnaires or private conversations with patients in order to find out if they have a problem with opioids. There may be challenges involved such as getting honest answers from patients who may fear the stigma associated with their addiction. Doctors may need special training in order to handle the situation so that they can accurately identify an addict and refer them to a treatment program to get help.

Screening may be the next step in trying to combat the increasing rates of opioid addiction throughout the nation. Urging physicians to be more aware of possible drug abuse issues can increase interventions and get more people into treatment before it is too late.

 

References

https://www.statnews.com/2019/08/13/screening-illicit-drug-use-adults/

The Fundamentals Of Treatment For Drug Abuse

Posted on: August 8th, 2019 by emarketed No Comments

While there are various different paths towards recovery, there are certain fundamentals common among all of them. These are treatment modules that every recovery center will provide in each and every one of its programs.

If you or a loved one are going to receive treatment for drug abuse, you can expect the following.

Detox

When you are physically dependent on a substance, stopping cold turkey will lead to severe withdrawals. These withdrawals make it incredibly difficult to stick to the recovery process. In many cases, they can be dangerous and even fatal. For this reason, most drug rehab must begin with detox.

Drug detox refers to the controlled process in which an individual is withdrawn from the substance on which they’ve become dependent. At Gooden Center, detox is prescribed and monitored by medical professionals. The nature of your detox will depend on the substance. Some substances can be stopped cold turkey, while others require a tapering process using safe alternatives to the drug.

Physical dependence on a substance precludes the possibility of effective drug rehab. As long as your body is withdrawing from the substance, it will be difficult to stay clean and focus on the treatment process.

Dual Diagnosis

From the very beginning of the process, psychiatrists at Gooden Center will evaluate whether you may require a dual diagnosis. In many cases, substance abuse is caused by or leads to another mental illness. For example, people suffering with OCD may use drugs to try and quiet their obsessive thoughts. Alternatively, someone who has become accustomed to using drugs when they feel down will ultimately struggle to effectively cope with difficult emotions and this may trigger depression or anxiety.

Treatment of drug abuse will not be effective if co-occurring mental illnesses are not also treated. Aspects of the treatments will overlap, but specific mental illnesses need particular treatments. Furthermore, with the help of a dual diagnosis, therapists and doctors will better know how to approach an individual’s treatment.

Group Sessions

Addiction treatment differs from treatment of other mental illnesses in that group sessions are given far more prominence. Community is understood to be very important in treatment of drug abuse for a number of reasons. Addiction tends to lead to unintentional selfishness. When looking for one’s next fix, it is difficult to take others into account. Groups help substance users become more socially aware once again.

Group sessions also give individuals an opportunity to share their own stories and what they’re struggling with. Since everyone in the group has gone through similar hardships, while doing things they regret, this is a safe space in which no one has room to judge.

In addition, addicts can use group sessions to learn how others have managed to cope without substances. They can share their own techniques and ideas. They can learn to lean on others for support in trying times.

Individual Therapy

Group sessions are excellent for confronting one’s addiction on a general level. However, individual therapy is incredibly important to help you deal with your specific personal concerns. In individual therapy, you will discuss your background and history and identify your coping mechanisms. This will help you see which mechanisms have worked and which have become dysfunctional.

Individual therapy is also necessary when treating most mental illnesses. By working through your issues with a therapist, you are better able to notice your unhealthy patterns. With therapies such as CBT, you learn practical skills to challenge thoughts that tend to lead you in a negative direction.

Psychiatric Medication

Substance users who have a co-occurring disorder will likely be prescribed psychiatric medication to relieve its symptoms. These are generally non-addictive medications that affect the chemicals in your brain, addressing imbalances and providing increased stability. Anti-anxiety and sleeping medications such as Xanax and Stilnox, which have the potential for abuse, will not be prescribed.

Alternative Therapies

You will also have the opportunity to work with alternative therapies, including mindfulness-based techniques. Mindfulness in particular is important when treating addiction, as the approach of taking each moment on its own has helped millions get through the most trying times.

These techniques also give you more options when one or another coping skill is not appropriate to the situation.

Holistic Health

Treatment for drug abuse should take the person as a whole into account. Addiction has both physical and mental aspects, and the healthier a person is in general, the more likely they are to stay clean. Thus, your nutrition and fitness are very important. Similarly, keeping your mind active and developing hobbies or passions helps you sustain a more rounded, fulfilling life free from substances.

Maintenance

No one’s treatment is ever complete at the end of a program. On the contrary, without continued treatment and maintenance, relapse becomes more and more likely. Treatment for drug abuse goes on after leaving rehab, and beyond aftercare and sober living. Attending groups and being part of a recovery community are ideal safeguards to keep you on track in a fulfilling life free of drugs.

References:

1. Ziedonis, D. and Brady, K. (1997). DUAL DIAGNOSIS IN PRIMARY CARE. Medical Clinics of North America, 81(4), pp.1017-1036.

2. Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2017). Group Therapy for Substance Use Disorders: A Survey of Clinician Practices. Journal of groups in addiction & recovery, 12(4), 243–259. doi:10.1080/1556035X.2017.1348280

3. Blobaum P. M. (2013). Mapping the literature of addictions treatment. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 101(2), 101–109. doi:10.3163/1536-5050.101.2.005

4. Lichtigfeld, F. J., & Gillman, M. A. (1998). Antidepressants are not drugs of abuse or dependence. Postgraduate medical journal, 74(875), 529–532. doi:10.1136/pgmj.74.875.529

5. Fluyau, D., Revadigar, N., & Manobianco, B. E. (2018). Challenges of the pharmacological management of benzodiazepine withdrawal, dependence, and discontinuation. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology, 8(5), 147–168. doi:10.1177/2045125317753340

6. Young, M. E., DeLorenzi, L. d. and Cunningham, L. (2011), Using Meditation in Addiction Counseling. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 32: 58-71. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1874.2011.tb00207.x

What are “The Stages of Changes” in Addiction?

Posted on: March 8th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
What are “the Stages of Changes” in Addiction?

Most people that have gone through recovery understand that quitting an addiction is not something that happens immediately when you give up drinking or using drugs. Abstinence is only the first step in a very long process that requires lots of different physical, emotional and spiritual changes. Most recovery programs identify six main stages of change that can help bring about permanent sobriety.

The first stage of change is the “pre-contemplation stage” where the addict may still be in denial and not yet understand all the negative consequences of their actions. They may soon move on to the “contemplation stage” where they will start to become aware of all the problems that their substance abuse is causing and think about quitting but not yet fully commit to the idea. The third stage is “preparation” in which the individual will finally make the decision to change and begin planning the steps for their recovery.

During stage four or the “action” phase the person will start taking steps toward change by entering detox or rehab where they will learn how to choose new behaviors and develop life skills. Once they complete rehab they enter the “maintentance” stage where they will work on their long-term sobriety plan and focus on relapse prevention tactics. The final stage is “termination” where the individual accepts their new image as a sober person and appreciates their new healthy lifestyle.

The stages of change model was developed as a way to explain the typical steps that a person in recovery has to go through until they are able to feel comfortable in their abstinence. Recovery is different for everyone and they may go through each stage at their own pace or even move backward and forward through each phase until they are ready to be completely sober.

“Beautiful Boy” Movie Show Family Struggling with Addiction

Posted on: October 23rd, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Struggling with Addiction

Drug addiction can be devastating for families, especially when young people develop addictions early on in their teenage years. The new film “Beautiful Boy” is inspired by the real life story of a man who was addicted to meth as a teenager but was ultimate able to recover after many ups and downs. It is based on the books written by Nic Sheff and his father about his experiences with addiction, his many recoveries and relapses.

In the film, Nic’s father David attempts to support and help his son through recovery in spite of his many setbacks while also helping raise the rest of his children. The director of the film, Felix Van Groeningen, wanted to create a realistic depiction of drug addiction and how it affects the addict and the family supporting them. He was committed to being true to the story without trying to add in a happy “Hollywood” ending.

The father and son on whom the film was based were amazed to see their own life played out on screen and were able to recognize how grateful they are to survive such a terrible ordeal. The real life Nic is now eight years sober but still takes measures to manage his addiction as well as his mental health problems including bipolar disorder and depression. He checks in with his doctor every few months to make sure he is still on track and doing well.

The film “Beautiful Boy” is now playing in theatres and it is a moving story of how a family’s love helped a struggling teenage boy fight his crippling addiction to drugs. Although it is darkly realistic, it can also be an inspiring image of someone who was able to overcome their illnesses and reconnect with their loved ones.

What to Expect at Al Anon Meeting

Posted on: July 20th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Al Anon Meeting

You may be familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous meetings because you have been to one, someone close to you attends meetings or you’ve seen it on television. Most people have an idea what an AA meeting is like, however not many people know about Al-Anon or Al-Ateen. Al‑Anon is a  support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s alcohol abuse. Alcoholism is known a “family disease” in which several members of a family can be affected by one persons habits.

Like  AA groups, these meetings are a safe and welcoming place where you can connect and share your experiences with others that are going through a similar thing with their loved one. Parents, spouses, siblings and close friends of alcoholics attend Al-Anon to open up about how alcoholism has affected their lives.  Members can share their frustrations, negative past experiences and even share some healthy coping mechanisms, strengths and positive experiences that can give other members a sense of hope.

Like AA, the first time you go to a meeting you can share and talk to the group but you are not required to.Members of the meeting will then share their thoughts, things they are experiencing or talk about their progress in recovery. Everything that is said and shared in the meetings is anonymous and each member of the group is expected to maintain confidentiality. Most people find that sharing with the group can be cathartic and helpful even if their loved one has chosen to not get help.

Attendees can form friendships and more importantly a sense of support, knowing that they are not the only ones dealing with something so difficult like alcohol abuse. Many feel reluctant to attend a first meetings, but this Al-Anon is solely intended to offer help you and your family may have been needing for years.