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’ Category

Celibacy as a Part of Addiction Recovery

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

Celibacy as a Part of Addiction Recovery

Quitting an addiction can be a very complicated process and there are many different elements to consider in making sure you can stay sober. Even though the main focus of recovery is abstinence from the drug you were addicted to, there are other aspects of a healthy lifestyle that can help support sobriety. Many recovery programs recommend that people take a break from dating at least for a period of time until they are more stable.

Relationships can be difficult to handle at any point in your life but when you are just beginning to work on your sobriety they can be too much to handle. Being celibate can be a good way for people to focus solely on themselves and their own recovery so that they don’t complicate their situation with sex. Although the goal can be different for everyone, many people avoid intimate relationships for at least a year until they are more confident in their sobriety.

People in recovery often don’t have the skills to maintain a relationship and be fully present with a partner because they are learning how to clean up and manage their own lives. Dating will most likely be a distraction from their goals and could even trigger a relapse if it becomes too emotional or intense. Celibacy is important because there is always the danger of replacing a drug addiction with sex as a way to self-medicate.

Recovery requires a lot of focus on the self and hard work in a treatment program. In order to fully heal and manage their life as a sober person, people in recovery need to be single until they feel ready to date again. When they have succeeded in developing their communication skills and are feeling more comfortable in their sobriety then they can once again be open to healthy and supportive relationships.

Cocaine Making a Comeback?

Posted on: April 15th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Cocaine Making a Comeback?

In the wake of the opioid epidemic, other illicit drugs are also becoming problematic in certain areas of the country. In New York, the number of people developing addictions to cocaine has caused some concern for the state. Hospitals in the area have seen a dramatic rise in the number of people seeking treatment for cocaine abuse.

The sudden increase in cocaine addiction is also part of a larger national trend with the country seeing the highest cocaine supply and usage rates in a decade. The DEA believes that these rising rates are due to an increase in coca farming in Colombia which has led to greater distribution of the drug on U.S. streets. As much as 92 percent of the cocaine in the U.S. comes from Colombia.

Coca farming went through a period of decline between the years of 2007 and 2012 because security forces in the country destroyed the crops. However, in the past five years farmers in Colombia have moved to more remote locations where their coca crop is now booming. As a result more cocaine has been smuggled across the U.S. border leading to higher rates of abuse and addiction.

Even though the rates of cocaine addiction are nowhere near the staggering levels of opioid abuse across the country, the drug is still causing serious health concerns. Drug treatment centers are now working to accommodate more cocaine abusers who are seeking help for their dependency. The combination of cocaine and opioids known as “speedballing” has also become an alarming trend often leading to hospitalization and overdose.

Drug dealers are now lacing cocaine with fentanyl, a highly potent and addictive opioid. The addition of opioids to cocaine has led to higher rates of addiction and also fatal overdoses. The increasing rates of cocaine abuse is a problem that needs to be addressed soon in order to reduce overdose deaths in the U.S.

 

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.

Support Groups for Families and Friends of Addicts

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

Support Groups for Families and Friends of Addicts

People that are struggling to become sober have lots of support from their treatment center and regular group meetings so that they can handle the experience. What about the family and friends of addicts that are also grappling with this difficult time? Support groups for those that have loved ones with addictions can be a very helpful and healing resource.

Twelve step and other types of treatment programs understand that it is not just the addict that is negatively impacted by substance abuse. When someone has an addiction it can hurt them and everyone around them. The way that a person behaves while they have an addiction can be very painful and confusing for their loved ones.

Support groups for an addict’s close friends and family can be a place for people to talk about what they are dealing with now and what has been problematic in the past. There are many frustrating aspects of knowing someone with an addiction and being able to talk about it can help ease some of the stress and make it more manageable. These kinds of support groups are designed to give people an outlet for dealing with their feelings about a person’s addiction and the recovery process.

Why Family and Friends Need Support

There are many reasons why people who know an addict need help from a support group to get them through the other person’s recovery. Addiction is a long-term problem and the things that an addict goes through can affect everyone around them. Close loved ones have many difficult and conflicted feelings about the addict and they need to talk about them with people that understand.

The dynamic between family members when there is an addiction in one or more individuals can be very complicated. Some family members may be angry and resentful, trying to exert control over the person’s addiction by hiding bottles taking away their car keys. Others may unwittingly become enablers by helping take care of the addict, hiding their behavior or lying to other people about their substance abuse.

People within a family and even close friends often take on different roles when dealing with an addict. They may not even be aware of how they are coping with this person’s addiction and how they are enabling or causing more conflict with them. Support groups give people a chance to get feedback on their relationship and learn better ways of dealing with these problems.

Spouses of addicts can have especially complex issues with their partner and may not know how to improve their relationship. The addict’s intense focus on their drug or alcohol use can leave their partner feeling unloved, neglected and resentful. An addict may also neglect their role as a parent leaving their partner to take on the duties alone.

Different Kinds of Support Groups

Because there are a multitude of issues that can come up when a person has a relationship with an addict, there are a variety of support groups available for help. There are support groups specifically for spouses because their relationship leads to unique dynamics that need to be addressed. Spouses of addicts need to be around others that have experienced similar problems with their partners so that they can receive the advice and support that they need.

There are other support groups available for specific family members such as parents of addicts. It can be especially painful and disappointing to have a son or daughter who has developed an addiction. Parents may be dealing with feelings of failure and may be unknowingly enabling their child by helping them.

Addiction can be especially hard on children who witness the addictive behavior of a parent on a regular basis. Children with an addicted parent often live in chaos or fail to receive the care and parenting they need to become a functioning adult. Support groups for children of addicts can be a safe place for people to confide in others who have also grown up with an addicted parent.

There are even support groups especially for siblings of addicts that are dealing with their own unique issues of living with someone else’s addiction. Siblings often feel ignored because the addict requires so much attention from parents and everyone else in the family. Siblings can also worry about the addict and their safety or feel unable to help them.

Whatever your relationship is to an addict, there is a support group available to help you work through your feelings about the situation. The more you learn about addiction from the group the more you will have a better understanding of how to cope with your loved one’s problems. Support groups can help everyone involved with the addict feel that they can handle them and their recovery.

The Opioid Epidemic’s Effect on Children

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

The Opioid Epidemic’s Effect on Children

The steady increase in the number of people abusing opioids and overdosing on prescription drugs has taken its toll on the U.S. However, it is not only the drug abusers themselves that suffer because of these substances but also the people around them. Children are greatly affected by the opioid epidemic when their parents or caretakers lose control of their drug use.

From the early days of pregnancy even until they reach high school, children with parents who abuse opioids are at risk for a number of problems. Prenatal drug exposure can give children health problems and unfortunately this trend has been increasing in the U.S. More expectant moms addicted to opioids have been placing their babies for adoptions out of fear that they will not be able to provide parental care for them.

Children born to moms who have been abusing opioids have to experience withdrawal symptoms upon birth because the drugs are in their system as well. Prenatal exposure to opiates causes the worst withdrawal effects compared to other drugs. Adoptive parents often have to decide whether to adopt a baby that has been exposed to opiates due to the birth mother’s addiction.

Addicted Parents and their Children

Even for parents that were not addicted to drugs at the beginning of their child’s life, their behavior can have a dramatic impact on a kid at any age. Even previously great parents can become distracted and unavailable to children when they are dealing with an opioid addiction. Once the drugs take hold they will find it more and more difficult to be present for raising and caring for a child.

Parents can become addicted to opioids for variety of different reasons but many of them simply get hooked on prescriptions after surgery or pain issues. Once an addiction escalates they may start to disappear from their child’s lives and end up neglecting them at key stages of their development. Many of these parents struggling with addiction still care about their children but find it hard to balance parenthood with the things they are going through.

Unfortunately many kids now are either dealing with parental neglect or they are reeling from the aftermath of a parent’s fatal drug overdose. The recent opioid epidemic has sent a flood of children to foster homes after losing their parents to an addiction. In many areas of the country the number of children in court custody has increased and even quadrupled in certain cities.

Mainly because of the opioid crisis, studies revealed that there were 30,000 more children in foster care in 2015 than there were in 2012 which represents an 8 percent increase. In 14 states, the number of foster kids rose by 25 percent between 2011 and 2015. The problem became so severe in states like Texas, Florida and Oregon that kids had to sleep in state buildings because there were no more foster homes available.

Many states are low on federal child welfare money and are struggling to find a solution to the sudden influx of foster kids in need of care. The states hit hardest by prescription drug abuse and high overdose rates are not able to accommodate every child that has been orphaned by drug addicted parents. With the opioid epidemic continuing to increase, the problem is only getting worse for kids.

Long Term Effects on Youth

Even for children who still live with addicted parents, the effects on their development can be severe. Children in households where parents struggle with substance abuse are more likely to experience long-term effects of neglect or abuse than other children. Having an addicted parent is considered a type of early trauma exposure that can have serious repercussions on their mental health.

Children with addicted parents are more likely to suffer from mental health disorders including their own issues with substance abuse and illnesses like depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. Living with an addict can have a profound impact on a young person’s mental health. There have also been reports of an increase in teen suicides that are closely linked with the opioid crisis.

Kids with parents who suffer from addiction are exposed to neglect and sometimes abuse and violence. Growing up in this environment can make them more likely to struggle academically and socially as they get older. Parents who don’t get help for their addiction are potentially creating life-long problems for their children.

Opioid addiction is on the rise but it is possible for people to recover and lead more stable lives while providing better parental care. There are many treatment centers that can offer help for anyone struggling with a dependency on prescription drug. If you or someone you love has a problem with painkillers then contact a treatment facility near you to get help.