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).

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Archive for the ‘Addiction’ Category

State of Emergency Called for Opioid Crisis

Posted on: August 25th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

State of Emergency Called For Opioid Crisis

Cases of opioid abuse and overdose have been rising drastically in recent years, causing widespread concern for the health of the country. Recently a white house panel created by Trump recommended that the president to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency.

His commission on the opioid crisis was created in March with Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie appointed to lead it. The panel held its first public meeting last month and just recently issued an interim report about the state of opioid addiction and abuse in the U.S.

The commission members wrote that the death toll for opioid abuse has reached an unprecedented level of 142 Americans dying every day. They believe that if the president declared the crisis a state of emergency that it would force Congress to focus on providing funding for treatment and prevention and empower the executive branch to take steps to reduce this loss of life.

Treating and Preventing Opioid Abuse

Within the report, the commission also proposed waiving a federal rule that places a strict limit on the number of people who can receive addiction treatment through Medicaid. They called for greater access to medications used to treat opioid addiction as well as legislation to allow states to use naloxone which is employed by first responders to reverse the effects of an overdose. They also emphasized prevention methods such as requiring “prescriber education initiatives”.

The main goal of declaring a state of emergency would be to allow Americans to take the crisis more seriously as an urgent matter affecting the country. A state of emergency would also mean that federal agencies would focus more attention and coordination toward the issue to save as many lives as possible.

Certain states have already taken the step to declare a state of emergency for the opioid crisis including Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Virginia with Alaskan governor Bill Walker issuing a disaster declaration. Alaska’s health department found that the emergency declaration helped improve coordination between agencies and worked to expand access to naloxone.

Implications of an Emergency Declaration

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden believes a state of emergency may not be the right solution as it is usually reserved for national disasters and infectious diseases such as the H1N1 virus. He thinks the focus should be placed on improving prescribing methods and cutting down the flow of illegal opioids into the country.

However, those involved in anti-addiction groups across the country assert that a state of emergency could be a significant step in acknowledging how severe the crisis is currently and how much effort is needed to curb abuse and overdose deaths. They believe the opioid crisis needs national emergency funding and changes to regulations which could potentially save lives.

According to the commission’s report, an emergency declaration could give the government the power necessary to quickly expand access to inpatient treatment services and even lower prices for naloxone so that more people recover from overdoses. People are concerned about how the Trump administration might respond to the report because of their past record regarding policies to limit healthcare access for drug users. The administration had proposed in their health care bill (which recently failed to pass the senate) to cut funding for agencies addressing the opioid crisis.

The Opioid Crisis and Healthcare

The opioid crisis commission has been plagued by contradictions between the Trump administration’s policies and proposed solutions which emphasize expanded healthcare access rather than stricter Medicaid regulations. Their main concern is that the administration’s efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act could be detrimental to dealing with the current level of opioid addiction. Members of the commission asserted that the crisis could become worse if the government makes it harder and more expensive to receive healthcare coverage for addiction treatment.

Threats to cut funding have made the situation difficult for key agencies who are tasked with responding to the crisis. The white house had initially proposed cutting 95% of funding to the Office of National Drug Control Policy as part of its new budget but eventually restored funding in a revised version due to backlash from both Republicans and Democrats.

Dealing with the crisis has also been hampered by leadership vacancies such as Trump’s decision to fire the US surgeon general in April. This position has not yet been filled and the CDC only recently appointed a new director after Frieden resigned in January.

If President Trump agrees with the commission and declares a state of emergency it will remain to be seen how his administration chooses to handle the crisis. Expanding access to treatment and prevention will be a key element in stemming the tide of overdose deaths in the country if the government decides to become more active in handling the emergency.

Top Netflix Movies/TV Shows About Addiction

Posted on: June 11th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Top Netflix Movies/TV Shows About Addiction

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.

The Myth Behind the Creative Addict

Posted on: June 5th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

The Myth Behind the Creative Addict

The belief that certain drugs or alcohol enhance creativity has been around for centuries. Beethoven and Van Gogh had exceptional talent and were alcoholics. During the 1960’s psychotropic drugs were often taken by musicians to expand their mind and inspire creativity. Even today, Silicon Valley tech workers are justifying the use of microdoses of LSD to facilitate productivity and creativity.

It is certainly likely that illicit drugs can lead to original thinking due to disinhibition associated with the drugs’ use, and artists often use them to overcome stage fright or performance anxiety as well. Drug use, however, can eventually impair the artist, rendering him unable to practice his craft without the continued use of more drugs or alcohol.

In particular, heroin increases the flow of dopamine to the brain resulting in pleasurable feelings. Eventually, the abuser will build up a resistance to heroin, requiring increasing and more frequent doses to achieve the same pleasant feelings. In time, the addict will lose the ability to experience pleasure from normal artistic endeavors. Such was the case with famous heroin overdose deaths like Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, John Belushi, and Sid Vicious.

Other artists died prematurely due to causes exacerbated by their drug and alcohol abuse like Jerry Garcia, Whitney Houston, Elvis Presley, and Ernest Hemingway. Each one of these artists, and many others, eventually found their creativity stifled. In fact, when Hemingway received the Pulitzer Prize just a few years before his suicide, he remarked in his speech that the writer “…grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates.” At the time of Whitney Houston’s death, she was attempting to stage a comeback after a number of years of poor performances.  Jerry Garcia’s mental and physical health had been in decline for several years before he died of a heart attack after checking into rehab again in 1995.Creative Addict

Creatives are unique and admirable for their special qualities. They like to take risks, they think big and are nonconformist, they like to daydream and consider the possibilities, and they are keen observers of people and life and are willing to open themselves to new experiences. These are the qualities artists need in order to write, paint, and perform. For the artist who succumbs to the lie that drugs and alcohol will heighten her creativity, she will find in time their talents stole away by addiction. To become and remain a successful artist, it takes discipline and thousands of hours of hard work. It’s difficult to motivate yourself to work when in the throes of an addiction.

If you need to foster your creativity, you will find healthier and more effective proven methods by getting outside in nature, switching up the time of day that you normally work, changing the environment that you work in, spending some time in a different creative interest, taking time for rest and exercise, and using your natural curiosity to learn something new. And if you are an artist struggling with addiction, it’s imperative you receive treatment. Make the call to get the help you need to live the healthy, creative life you deserve.

Guide to Abused Prescription Medications

Posted on: June 1st, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Guide to Abused Prescription MedicationsAccording to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), most drugs of abuse alter a person’s thinking and judgment, leading to health risks that include addiction, impaired driving, and even infectious disease. While there are a seemingly endless number of prescription drugs available, broadly speaking, and according to the NIDA, the most commonly abused drugs fall into the following three categories:

Opioids, also known as painkillers, reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affects those brain areas controlling emotion, which diminishes the effects of a painful stimulus. Some people experience euphoria, since these drugs also impact the reward centers of the brain. Medications in this class include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (Kadian, Avinza), codeine, and related drugs. Their use and devastating abuse is making worldwide headlines and has reached epidemic proportions, leading Maryland Governor Hogan to Introduce Legislation to Combat Maryland’s Heroin and Opioid Epidemic.

According to a Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control report from NIDA, the total number of opioid pain relievers prescribed in the United States has skyrocketed in the past 25 years [1]. The number of prescriptions for opioids has escalated from around 76 million in 1991, to nearly 207 million in 2013, with the United States their biggest consumer globally, accounting for almost 100 percent of the world total for hydrocodone (Vicodin) and 81 percent for oxycodone (Percocet).[2]

Taken as prescribed, opioids can be used to manage pain safely and effectively. However, when they are abused, even a single large dose can cause severe respiratory depression and death. Prescription opioids have a high street market value and, when abused, are often crushed, snorted, and injected. Actors Heath Ledger and Philip Seymour Hoffman, both tragically died from accidental opioid overdose.Central Nervous System

Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants (for anxiety and sleep disorders) or benzodiazepines, include diazepam (Valium), lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax) and often prescribed for anxiety, acute stress and panic attacks. Benzodiazepines are generally not prescribed for long term use because of the risk for developing tolerance (where increasingly larger doses are needed to achieve therapeutic effects), dependence and addiction. Sudden cessation of CNS depressants can be life threatening and withdrawal must be managed by a medical professional.

Stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta are commonly prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy and often illegally bought and sold among high school and college students who use these drugs in a misguided attempt to enhance study. As the name suggests, stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy, and also elevate blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration.

Repeated abuse of some stimulants can lead to feelings of hostility, paranoia, and even psychosis. Repeatedly taking high doses of stimulants may result in a dangerously high body temperature, an irregular heartbeat, and increased risk for cardiovascular failure or seizures.

For other drugs commonly abused, or further information and help, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

References:

[1] IMS’s National Prescription Audit (NPA) & Vector One ®: National (VONA).

[2] International Narcotics Control Board Report 2008.. United Nations Pubns. 2009. p. 20

‘Study Aide’ Or Adderall Addiction

Posted on: May 29th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

'Study Aide' Or Adderall Addiction

Adderall is commonly referred to the ‘study drug’ by college students and its abuse is becoming more and more of a problem every year. Many students do not believe that Adderall is actually a legitimate drug due to overwhelming numbers of young children that have been prescribed Adderall. In truth, it is an amphetamine and is legally available by prescription only. It is actually classified as being a Schedule II drug and can cause both psychological and physical dependence. Because of this it has a very high potential for abuse and is thought to be more in the dangerous category of prescription drugs that get abused, according to the DEA.

Even with all this information available, there are many college students who still believe the drug is completely safe, even when they take it recreationally. However, if you are a parent, you may be concerned about your college student and want to be more aware of the symptoms of someone abusing Adderall. If you know what these are, you can seek treatment from a rehab in Los Angeles facility.

Who Needs Adderall?

Adderall is not considered a new drug. It was first designed for people who suffered from narcolepsy and ADHD with success for those who have legitimate symptoms. However, it has also earned the reputation as a ‘study drug’ event though there is no proof that it helps to improve a person’s concentration. It does work to help keep students awake during all-night drinking binges.

Why Abusing Adderall is Dangerous?

Even though it is thought to be a relatively safe drug, it is actually quite dangerous when a person doesn’t really need it. Many people who take this medication often wind up in the emergency room when combining it with binge drinking. If it is abused on a regular basis, addiction is most certainly bound to occur.

Symptoms of Adderall Addiction

If you are a parent who is worried your college student may be abusing Adderall, there are some signs and symptoms to be aware of. These include:

  • Malnutrition or weight loss
  • Psychological issues such as irritability, mood swings and depression
  • Insomnia, poor appetite, dry mouth and headaches
  • Tremors, convulsions, muscle twitching and jittery behavior
  • Low blood pressure and heart palpitations
  • Withdrawal symptoms including vomiting, nausea, exhaustion, increased appetite and stomach cramps

If any of these issues are noticed, it is essential to contact a rehab in Los Angeles facility right away. They will be able to determine whether or not someone is suffering from this addiction and how to get help.