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

map The Gooden Center

Archive for the ‘Addiction Awareness’ Category

Substance Abuse Among Culinary Chefs

Posted on: June 12th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Substance Abuse Among Culinary Chefs

While cooking and creating dishes can be a fulfilling passion for most chefs, it can also be a stressful and high pressure industry. Many culinary chefs, especially students in training and chefs in high end restaurants, end up turning to substance abuse as a way to cope with the pressure that they experience in the kitchen. In an environment surrounded by plenty of alcohol as well as mental and emotional tension, it is not surprising that chefs end up self-medicating on the job.

The food industry has been known to have a party reputation as staff members often share shots and drinks after hours and even sometimes on the clock. Hospitality industry workers actually make up a significant portion of the people receiving addiction treatment in rehab programs. Staying sober or even drinking moderately can be especially challenging in a restaurant environment and chefs are often hit the hardest by addiction.

Chefs and other restaurant employees are working in a place where drinking on the job is normal and often encouraged. They may come into contact with so many people who have addiction issues that they often lose their sense of what typical behavior is. Other drugs are also an issue in the restaurant industry as chefs and staff members may use cocaine or other stimulants to help them get through a long shift.

Although the restaurant industry is associated with a certain lifestyle it is possible for chefs in recovery to find others who are in a similar situation. Having other restaurant employees around who don’t drink or use drugs can be beneficial for those who are trying to commit to being sober. It can be challenging for chefs to cope with stress and temptation in a restaurant environment but with enough support they can make healthier choices.

Top Netflix Movies/TV Shows About Addiction

Posted on: May 9th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

 

Netflix

There is more content than ever in the media that deals realistically with issues of addiction and depicts the struggles of recovery, relapse and the sometimes harrowing experiences of substance abuse. Netflix offers some hard-hitting dramas, documentaries and even comedies that discuss addiction and include characters that are relatable protagonists who are vulnerable to their own relationship to alcohol or drugs. The most effective stories of addiction in the media can show both the redemption of recovery and the dangers of falling into the pattern of abuse. These are some of the best movies and TV shows available on Netflix that deal with addiction.

Heaven Knows What

Ben and Joshua Safdie directed this dark drama centered around junkies surviving on the streets of New York City. This is a remarkable film in that it stars a real life former heroin addict discovered by the directors and many of her own experiences were used as inspiration for the story including her relationship with her boyfriend Ilya who died of an overdose in Central Park. Although at times painful to watch because of the subject matter, the gritty realism makes this a memorable depiction of addiction.

White Girl

This movie follows the story of a young college student who becomes entangled in substance abuse and the NY drug world after falling in love with a cocaine dealer. Cocaine begins to take over her life as she descends deeper into addiction and struggles to make enough money selling drugs to get her boyfriend out of jail. The film also takes a hard look at issues of race and privilege that can dictate who experiences more repercussions for using and selling drugs.

Flaked

Will Arnett co-created, wrote and directed this Netflix comedy/drama series which largely draws on his own experiences with alcoholism and divorce while living in Venice, CA. The show depicts the main characters regularly attending AA meetings throughout the series and coping with their sometimes tenuous relationship with sobriety. Arnett maintains some mystery about the main character’s past which draws you into his story and struggles with alcohol.

Too Young to Die

This documentary series focuses on the stories of beloved celebrities whose lives were cut short, many of them due to addiction and overdose. Episodes of the series discuss stars like Kurt Cobain, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Belushi and Heath Ledger who were all unable to escape their drug abuse until it eventually turned fatal.

 

Bradley Cooper Talks Alcoholism, Depression and Recovery

Posted on: May 7th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is a famous and esteemed actor and producer.  He first achieved prominence with his work on the television shows Alias and Jack and Bobby. Since then, he has become highly esteemed for his roles in The Hangover trilogy, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle.  He has received two Academy Award nominations, and was named the “Sexist Man Alive” by People magazine in 2011.

However, like many people who seem to outwardly enjoy a great deal of fame and success, his personal life has been marked by struggles.   He has abstained from alcohol since he was 29, out of fears that “If I continued [drinking], I was going to sabotage my whole life.”  In a January 2014 interview with GQ magazine, Bradley spoke about his life’s struggles with alcoholism and depression, and told a story of hope and recovery that can serve as a great encouragement to anyone seeking freedom from the pain of addiction.  

There was a Problem

Many so-called “high functioning” addicts can use their outward success as an excuse to sink further into denial, telling themselves their addiction isn’t really out of control or something they need help for, because they are continuing to be able to do their jobs.  Fortunately, Bradley Cooper possessed enough truthful self-awareness to not fall into that trap.  His GQ interviewer, Zach Baron asked about the impact of his alcoholism, expecting stories of not showing up on set or of “work getting [expletive] up.”  

His response was that things didn’t have to get to that point for him to realize there was a problem. “The best thing I can do is embrace who I am and then do that to the fullest extent, and then whatever happens, happens.”  His alcohol abuse was taking him away from that and putting him’” farther away from fulfilling any potential I would have.” Emma Stone, an actress he has worked with on several films, noticed this transformation herself, saying “He’s gotten more and more present in his life as he got older.”

Personal Transformation

Because alcohol was interfering with his passions and his work, he threw himself into the process of recovery, and grew in a life-saving level of self-awareness and commitment to his career.  His low point occurred after an Achilles injury and accompanying depression that left him homebound and considering quitting acting altogether.  When he saw that the effects of his addiction was leading him to have less and less screen time, that was enough to motivate him to seek change.

After he got his own life in order, his film and television career enjoyed more success then ever, and he discovered that he could live a free and full life being “actually myself…I don’t have to put on all this air to be somebody.”   This outlook is showing a lot of wisdom, that the basis of recovery starts with learning to love and care for yourself. He learned how to get over his anxieties of how he came across to other people, and that led him into a career-inhibiting haze of alcohol.  Once he realized that he could be accepted as himself, he found this freeing truth enough to change his life.

It all starts with a moment of clarity, in which an addict realizes the harm he or she is doing to the well being of his or her self and others, and so seeks out help.  Because Bradley Cooper achieved a moment of clarity, we reap the benefits of his talent and creativity of a man deeply aware of and in tune with himself. 

The Spread of Fentanyl

Posted on: April 11th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

The Spread of Fentanyl

A dangerous trend has been growing in the U.S. with more people using a drug known as fentanyl, a type of opioid painkiller that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. With the opioid crisis continuing to grow, the use of fentanyl has become problematic especially because of its high potency and addictive nature. Fentanyl is turning into one of the most lethal drugs in the country, causing overdose deaths throughout the U.S.

One of the issues with fentanyl is that people who regularly abuse opioids may not be aware of how strong the drug is. Even heroin abusers can have too small of a tolerance to handle fentanyl because it is 50 times more powerful than heroin. People who have been in recovery but relapse with even a small amount of fentanyl can quickly overdose and die.

What is even more alarming is that many drugs including cocaine are now being laced with fentanyl. People may have no idea that this powerful opioid is mixed in with the drug they are using which can lead them to unwittingly consume too much. More and more cases of people unknowingly overdosing on fentanyl are causing concern.

Fentanyl Combined with Other Drugs

The issue of drugs being laced with fentanyl is a serious problem that is costing people their lives more often each year. Although not every state registers the drug combinations in an overdose, states like Connecticut have found that the number of deaths involving cocaine laced with fentanyl has increased 420 percent in the last three years. Heroin laced with fentanyl led to even higher death rates throughout the state.

An increasing number of dealers are adding fentanyl to cocaine especially in the New England area where seven percent of the cocaine seized by police included fentanyl last year. Although many people who purchase cocaine laced with fentanyl may not realize what they are buying, dealers have a specific reason for adding the drug. The purpose of adding fentanyl is for “speedballing” which is the combination of the rush of a stimulant like cocaine and a depressant like heroin.

The trend of mixing these two drugs is extremely dangerous because the effects of the two can be very harmful to the body. Fentanyl is so potent that even a small amount can affect the areas of the brain that control the breathing rate. Too much fentanyl can lead to slower, irregular breathing or even cause someone to stop breathing completely until they die.

When fentanyl is mixed with other drugs such as cocaine it can amplify its effects and cause it to act more intensely on a person’s body. Many EMTs who have revived patients after a fentanyl overdose claimed that they only used cocaine and were unaware of the opioid being in their system. The medication naloxone is used to revive people after an opioid overdose and first responders must be equipped with it in these cases to restore normal respiration.

What is Causing Fentanyl to Spread?

Some believe that cocaine laced with fentanyl may be an issue of accidental contamination. It could have to do with mistakes while packaging the drugs which lead to a small amount of fentanyl ending up in bags of cocaine. However, some including many in law enforcement, believe that the mixture is intentionally created by drug dealers.

They believe that cartel leaders are using the mixture as a way to expand the market of opioid abusers. When cocaine is laced with fentanyl it can become more addictive, causing people to use it every day instead of just occasionally. Adding opioids can make drug users crave and need the product more than they normally would because opioids are highly addictive.

Although this tactic may work in some cases it doesn’t take into account the lethal nature of the combination. For people with no tolerance to opioids, fentanyl can be so powerful that they quickly overdose and pass away even with a trace amount. This issue is causing alarm throughout states in the U.S. where overdoses have been increasing steadily.

Many areas that have been experiencing this issue believe that fentanyl laced drugs could be the next wave of the opioid epidemic. More alerts have been circulating to let people know of the dangers of getting drugs off the street. You may never know exactly what is in these drugs since dealers can sell them without consequences.

It is crucial for first responders and even users themselves to carry naloxone so that more lives can be saved from the dangers of fentanyl. Naloxone can help prevent a person’s opioid overdose from becoming a fatal mistake. Reducing overdose deaths is a major health issue in the U.S. and fentanyl is now a pressing problem that must be addressed.

My Family Member is an Addict and Homeless

Posted on: April 7th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

My Family Member is an Addict and Homeless

It is painful and devastating for loved ones when a family member has an addiction. It is even worse when they hit rock bottom and end up in a difficult financial situation. Homelessness is an unfortunate reality for many people that are struggling with a very severe drug addiction.

If you have a family member whose addiction has become so out of control that they have lost their job or their home then it is important to get them help as soon as possible. The chances of them surviving and getting back on their feet without any assistance are slim. However, it is important to have a plan about addressing their addiction before you step in and rescue them.

Taking your loved on off the streets is more helpful if you are able to give them the tools they need to get sober and become financially independent again. Avoid simply taking care of them or enabling them because it will only make the situation worse. Even though it may be difficult to talk about you need to get them into treatment for their own well-being.

There are many addiction recovery programs created for homeless people that need to get sober and find work again. Research all the available options so that you will be prepared to discuss treatment with your family member. You can take your loved one directly to a shelter or recovery program so that they can get the help that they need.

Addiction is a challenging issue and overcoming homelessness can make it even more complicated. However getting your loved one into treatment will be an important first step to help them re-enter society. Recovery can be a long and difficult process for them but with treatment and support they will be able to survive and live a fulfilling life again.