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 ‘Drug Rehab’ Category

Required Opioid Seminars for Parents?

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

Required Opioid Seminars for Parents?

With the opioid epidemic causing issues of abuse and overdose throughout the country, people are looking for answers in order to minimize and prevent addiction. Fighting the opioid epidemic can be possible through a combination of treatment for existing issues and preventative education so that people are aware of the dangers of the drug. Some high schools are now providing required seminars to educate kids about the addictive nature of opioids.

One superintendent of a high school in New Jersey was heart broken by the deaths of at least half a dozen students at the school who overdosed on opioids. Even parents of children in the school have experienced fatal overdoses as well. In order to take action he made it a requirement for seniors to attend an opioid seminar before they could graduate.

These types of seminars are designed to help people learn how to identify signs and signals that someone is addicted to opioids. It can also provide them with information about the dangers of overdose and the risky nature of abusing these kinds of drugs. Students and parents alike can benefit from being educated about these issues especially when it is directly affecting the community.

Making the seminars a requirement is a tactic to help prevent poor attendance which has been a problem in the past for educational opioid seminars. School officials are hoping to reach more people within the school and the general community so that they know about these issues and will be able to take action if they notice someone might be struggling with an addiction.

Opioid abuse is a problem that is plaguing the whole country and when people are more educated about these drugs it can help to reduce the number of incidents of addiction and fatal overdose.

Opioid Crisis: Who Has the Solution?

Posted on: March 24th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Opioid Crisis: Who Has the Solution?

The U.S. has been devastated by a crisis of addiction in recent years, with people struggling to survive their dependency on prescription opioids. Fatal overdoses from opioids have been on the rise and the numbers have become shockingly high. Every day more than 115 die after overdosing on opioids and the problem only continues becoming worse every year.

One of the reasons that opioids became such a huge problem in America is that they were initially marketed as being non-addictive. In the 1990s when new drugs like Oxycontin went on the market, pharmaceutical companies assured the medical community that they were safe and wouldn’t lead to addiction, even backing up their claims with dubious studies. The sale of prescription opioids skyrocketed in the following years and it was subsequently discovered that these medications were in fact highly addictive.

Now opioid abuse and addiction has become one of our top national health challenges that causes serious damage to the U.S. The CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that prescription opioid misuse alone costs the U.S. about $78.5 billion a year including the costs of medical care, lost productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice involvement. The economic and social burden of opioid addiction is something that needs to be addressed by the government soon to prevent overdoses from continuing to rise.

Expanding Access to Treatment

One of the biggest obstacles to resolving the opioid crisis is providing people with rehabilitation and access to the kind of healthcare they need to recover. It is important for addiction to be seen as a disease and not a moral failing so that the government can provide help to people that are in need. People are still struggling to get the kind of treatment they need because of a lack of access and availability for addiction recovery programs.

Many people are unable to get the treatment they need because they end up at the end of a long wait list or they simply can’t afford rehab and their insurance doesn’t cover it. It is an unfortunate reality that people who are on a waitlist for treatment often end up overdosing before they ever get the help they need. The government must work on providing more treatment centers, easier access and more affordable options covered by insurance.

It may also be helpful to provide people with medications such as buprenorphine or methadone as a temporary solution to help bring the number of overdoses down. When people have access to these medications it can cut the death rate by as much as 50 percent. Making it easy and affordable to access these medications can be a quick fix to save lives until people can get help from professional therapists.

Identifying Addicts and Preventative Education

Another aspect of resolving the opioid crisis is in the hands of physicians who can try to identify a patient that is abusing medication or has the potential to become addicted. Screening patients before giving them prescription opioids can help minimize the possibility of people abusing the drugs or becoming addicted instead of using them for legitimate medical reasons. Physicians can use certain guidelines such as history of past addictions, genetic predisposition to addiction and flagging patients who “doctor shop” to stop providing medication to vulnerable patients.

Whenever physicians become aware of a patient who is seeking out multiple medications from different doctors, they should provide that person with some type of treatment. Cutting off access to opioid prescriptions and providing addicted patients with medications like methadone can help them to start the process of quitting. It is important to realize that physicians need to do their part to start reducing the rising numbers of opioid misuse and overdose.

Preventative education can also be a useful tool in helping people understand the dangers of using opioids. Addictions began to steadily rise because the public was provided with misinformation about the safety of medications like Oxycontin. Educating people about the highly addictive nature of these drugs can influence people to choose alternative types of treatment so that they can avoid developing a dependency.

The combination of increased access to treatment, medication and more preventative measures are all solutions that could potentially help resolve the opioid crisis. There is no one answer as to how the country can solve this growing problem but it is crucial to start taking measures now so that the issue does not continue to escalate. The more people have the ability to receive the treatment they need and are provided with the information that can prevent addiction, the less likely that abuse will keep rising.

 

Opioid addiction is a complicated issue but treating the problem with compassion and concern can help save lives and prevent people from living with a dependency.

Intervention Letter Writing 101

Posted on: February 25th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Intervention Letter Writing 101

There are a lot of complex emotions and interactions that can take place during an intervention for drug and alcohol addiction. In order to minimize some of the intensity and organize thoughts or feelings it can be helpful to have those involved in the intervention write a letter. This letter will give them time to reflect on their experience of this person’s addiction and decide in advance what they want to say to them.

There are several steps involved in putting together an intervention and writing a letter is part of the preparation and planning of the gathering. Once a certain group of concerned family members and friends decide that they want to confront or talk to someone about their addiction then they need to figure out how to address it. If each member of the group writes a letter before the intervention takes place it can prevent any unplanned conflict or heated discussions that could derail the event.

Interventions can be unpredictable so it is important to have the meeting planned as carefully as possible. If things happen too spontaneously it can lead to problems and cause the addict to distance themselves from loved ones, going further into their addiction. Having prepared statements in the form of letters helps everyone feel mentally prepared and allows them to avoid saying something they will later regret.

Understanding the Purpose of the Letter

Before getting started on writing a letter to read during an intervention, it is important to consider why the letter matters and what it will help to accomplish. The letter is helpful for both the addict who is being spoken to and the person reading the letter because it allows everyone to stay grounded and focused. Reading letters will keep everyone on track so that the intervention doesn’t stray from the original purpose of expressing feelings of concern.

Letters have a tone that reflects a more relaxed state of mind that a person has when they are writing and tapping into deeper feelings. The tone is less likely to sound accusatory and angry but instead more supportive and positive. People at the intervention will also be less likely to feel confused about their feelings or blank out and not know what to say.

In the preparation for the intervention, the group can also use the letters as a way to rehearse the whole event and practice reading them. They can receive feedback from other members of the group and possibly edit the letters if there is anything that needs changing. That way everyone can agree on what should be said at the intervention and the best strategy and overall tone that will get the addict into treatment.

How to Write a Letter

The process of writing an intervention can be cathartic for people who have been witnessing a loved one abuse drugs. It is a chance for them to reflect on how the drug abuse affects them and everyone involved. It also gives the writer time to consider how they feel and how the addict might be feeling as well.

An important aspect of writing an intervention letter is to allow yourself to feel compassion for the addict and think about what it is about their behavior that truly bothers you. While you are brainstorming an intervention letter, put yourself in the addict’s shoes and reflect on what they must be going through. Even though you might have some feelings of resentment or anger, try to focus more on the pain that they must feel.

While there are many different ways to write an intervention letter, it is a good idea to read it over and make sure that the overall tone is loving and compassionate. Your message should be that you love this person in spite of what they’ve done and you want them to get healthy because you care about them. Being loving but non-confrontational is the key to writing an effective intervention letter.

You can always include personal feelings about the loved one, talk about your relationship and the times they have been there for you. Starting off on a positive note can help prevent the loved one from becoming defensive right away or from feeling attacked. They will understand that the intervention is more about love and care rather than anger or disappointment.

The rest of the letter can include some specific examples of how their addiction affected you and discuss your desire for them to get help. The ultimate goal of the intervention is to persuade this person that they need to enter a treatment center. Each letter should include a statement discussing the desire of everyone for the addict to enter rehab.

An intervention can go much more smoothly if everyone writes a well-thought out letter reflecting their feelings. Look for examples of other intervention letters to give you an idea of what to write and you can work on it with the help of other family and friends.

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.

My Sober Companion Relapsed

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

 

My Sober Companion Relapsed

Ideally everyone’s experience during and after rehab will involve being surrounded by people you can count on and trust. It is very important to have effective mentors and a support network of individuals who give you guidance and useful advice. But there are times when your mentors and friends are themselves struggling with their sobriety and might falter.

Being in an environment where you are around other people who have also had problems with addiction can be uplifting in many ways. You can relate to one another in a way that you would not with someone who has never had an issue with alcohol or drugs. However, the reality with this situation is that some of the people who are helping you can relapse.

When your sober companion, mentor or friend in your support group relapses, it does not mean that you won’t be able to stay strong in your own sobriety. It might be a step back for you but you can still get back on track and prevent this unfortunate situation from affecting your recovery. The best thing you can do is provide your help and support for them and understand that what they are experiencing must be very difficult.

Putting a Relapse into Perspective

Although you might feel disappointed, betrayed and upset by your sober companion’s mistake it is important to realize that the situation has nothing to do with you. Their relapse does not mean that they don’t care about your recovery or that the things they have taught you were not useful. You are also not in any way to blame for their failure to remain sober, it has to do with their own personal situation outside of your relationship.

One of the most important things to focus on when a friend relapses is to not let it affect your resolve. It can be painful and scary to see someone you were relying on for support to slip back into their addictive habits. But it is necessary to keep in mind that just because they are going through this it doesn’t mean that you will.

It might be easy to jump to the conclusion that because your sober companion was not able to maintain their sobriety then you probably won’t make it either. This of course is not true in any way and you must remind yourself that one person’s failure does not reflect every type of recovery experience. People have their own personal problems to deal with that can affect their ability to stay sober and each individual has a unique recovery journey.

When thinking about your sober companion’s relapse try not to get completely discouraged by the events that have taken place. Addiction and sobriety can shift and fluctuate, even for people that have been sober for a long time. Try your best to remain optimistic both for yourself and your friend’s situation.

Finding Extra Support and Help

The most effective action to take after a sober companion relapses is to find someone else who can help and support you through the situation. Go to a group meeting and tell them about what has taken place. They can give you advice and guidance about what to do under the circumstances and some may have even experienced the same problem.

Try not to be too disappointed in your sober companion that it prevents you from looking for another mentor, sober buddy or sponsor. Just because this particular friend did not provide the good role model that you need does not mean that someone else can’t do that for you. You might feel disillusioned but when you find someone else you can trust it will help you resolve those feelings and move on.

Make sure to continue with whatever treatment program or aftercare you are currently involved in. The crucial thing to do in this time is not to give up on the sober routine that you already have in place that has kept you on track. Continue attending your group meetings, therapy sessions or any other activities you have as part of your recovery schedule.

It is important to have someone to talk to about what happened and your feelings about it. If you are currently seeing a therapist then discuss the situation with them or someone you are close to who is also in recovery. You will need to work through your emotions and process the event in  order to move on.

Everyone goes through various trials and disappointments throughout their recovery experience. Having a sober companion relapse does not mean that you won’t be successful in remaining sober. You can still have an effective recovery and bounce back from this setback.

If you need extra support try to contact a therapist, recovery group or a new sober coach for help.