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

Norco Addiction & Detox

Posted on: May 3rd, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Norco Addiction & Detox

Drug companies have produced many options for people with chronic pain to be able to deal with the pain and continue with their lives in the midst of a healing process. This is undoubtedly a good thing, but it also creates dangers. Painkillers that contain opioids can have a very high risk of dependency, where a user becomes unable to function without the drug, and are at a high danger of death or serious health problems from an overdose.

Norco is a drug that contains both hydrocodone, a narcotic, opioid painkiller and acetaminophen (Tylenol) , a more mild pain reliever that can increase the narcotic’s effectiveness. When used under strict instructions of a healthcare professional monitoring use, it can be very effective to treat moderate to moderately severe pain, but still carries a risk of becoming habit-forming. However, when taken recreationally, it can be very dangerous. The concern for norco abuse and addiction is the primary reason that, in 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) increased control for Norco from Schedule III to Schedule II, meaning drugs with a recognized medical purpose, but a high potential for abuse and dependence.

Effects on the Brain: A functioning brain has “opioid receptors” that cause the brain to release endorphins, chemicals produced naturally in the body. Endorphins make pain less severe and help you feel happy and relaxed. Norco works by producing synthetic “endorphins” when you need an extra boost to dull more severe physical pain. Eventually, your brain will get used to receiving endorphins from the outside source, and stop producing them naturally. This means the user will have to start taking more and more of a drug in order to have the same feelings, because without it feels impossible to have any good feelings at all. The person addicted has to keep taking more and more in order to get the same effects, or even just to feel “normal.”

Dangers of Abuse: Some people may falsely assume that a drug made in a lab and prescribed by a doctor is safe compared with an illicit street drug. However, if misused, or taken outside of medical supervision, there can be serious dangers. An overdose can result in serious, permanent brain damage and even death.

Because it exhausts and then depletes the body’s natural reception of endorphins, Norco misuse can have serious psychological effects, including:

  • Depression
  • Malaise, or an undefined sense of unease and discomfort
  • Mental cloudiness and confusion
  • Anxiety

There are also some serious side effects to physical health, that become more likely and more severe the more of the drug is taken:

  • Inadequate breathing
  • Hearing loss
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep apnea
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Sweating
  • Nausea

Warning Signs: Misuse and dependency of Norco can be very dangerous, which is why it should never be taken without the strict instructions of a doctor.

However, even if Norco is being used as part of a health care and pain relief agenda, there is still the danger of developing dependency. If you are a Norco user, watch out for these signs suggesting your behavior is abusive or addictive:

  • Taking more or a higher dose of Norco than the doctor prescribes.
  • “Doctor shopping,” going to multiple doctors or lying to your health care providers to get pills you don’t really need.
  • Mixing Narco with cocaine, heroin, or alcohol to get a more intense high.
  • Taking it for recreational purposes, or without a prescription.

Detox and Recovery: Although not an easy process, recovery from Norco addiction is possible. Addiction has both a physical and a mental element, and so your recovery will deal with both of these aspects.

Physical healing and recovery comes first, through the detox process. Before doing anything else, it’s necessary to have a long enough period of sobriety that the drugs are flushed from your system, so the body can do the work of repairing itself. Withdrawl from Norco can be a painful and sometimes even dangerous process, so it is highly recommended that you seek out a rehab center rather than attempting detox on your own. There will be some unpleasant side-effects to withdraw, for a period of time that will vary based on the intensity of the addiction. However, in the end, you will be able to finally start living a life of freedom again.

After detox comes the life-long work of recovery, to address the causes of addictive behavior and stop the cycle of abuse and dependency. Through group and individual therapy, you will learn how to gain a new perspective on life, and start over from a place of caring for yourself.

6 Reasons You Need a Professional Drug Detox

Posted on: April 29th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

6 Reasons You Need a Professional Drug Detox

Even though some people may feel that they are strong enough to quit an addiction on their own, they may not realize how ineffective and truly dangerous that choice can be. When it comes to quitting a severe addiction, there are many important reasons why a professional detox center is necessary. For the sake of safety, well-being and happiness it is crucial for people in recovery to go through detox in a licensed facility.

It may seem like a the right choice to stay home while you are quitting but choosing professional drug detox may actually save your life. Here are some of the key reasons you should attend a drug detox center for an addiction.

1. Withdrawal Can be Severe and Dangerous

People who engage in very heavy substance abuse are likely to have some very intense and painful withdrawal symptoms. It is important to have medical staff available in case there are any complications that occur through the process of detox. People can experience symptoms as severe as seizures and hallucinations and some may have mood swings so intense that they become suicidal.

Experiencing those kinds of symptoms without any assistance can be dangerous and even fatal in some cases. Withdrawal seizures can cause severe physical damage including damage to the heart and kidney. Other withdrawal symptoms can cause people to become severely dehydrated, have panic attacks, an increased heart rate or even breathing problems.

With medical staff available to constantly monitor your progress and make sure there are no complications you can ensure that your detox does not harm your physical health permanently.

2. Cravings are Hard to Fight Alone

In a detox center you will have no access to any of the substances you were addicted to or anything else that could pose a threat to your abstinence. At home there is a much greater danger of giving in to cravings and not being able to resist the possibility of calling a dealer or just going to a bar. People often don’t realize how intense and complicated their physical and mental cravings can be until they are faced with them during detox.

3. Relapse Can be Fatal

One of the most serious dangers with detoxing on your own is the fact that you can easily give in to your cravings and end up relapsing with a much lower tolerance. People that get off a drug for a few days or even a week will not realize how much they have lowered their tolerance by being abstinent for that period of time. If they end up relapsing and doing the same amount of drugs that they are accustomed to then they can quickly overdose.

People attending a detox center are much less likely to relapse and face this danger because they often follow up their withdrawal period by entering a rehab program. They will be in an environment where they have the support they need not to relapse and can remain safe as they adjust to living sober.

4. Professional Detox is Less Stressful

Aside from issues of safety and maintaining sobriety, the experience of detoxing as a whole is much more comfortable in a detox center. Trying to get through withdrawal alone is very stressful, painful and a lot more hard work. In a detox treatment center you will have people caring for you, easing your discomfort and providing you with what you need to get through it.

5. You Need Community and Support to Maintain Sobriety

One of the main reasons people relapse is because they are too isolated and don’t have access to the therapy and education they need to learn how to live sober. Going to a detox center will give you a chance to be surrounded by other people who support you and want to help you quit. Detoxing alone means that you won’t have anyone around to talk to in times of stress and no one to relate to about your experience.

In a detox center followed by rehab you will have educational tools, a built in community and close connections with others that make it easier to fight cravings and prevent relapse.

6. Handling Daily Life in Recovery can be Challenging

If you detox alone you will have to be responsible for dealing with your own withdrawal symptoms and obtaining your own necessities. Handling the daily tasks of life is much more stressful when you are going through withdrawal and trying to quit an addiction. Having staff members in a detox center take care of daily necessities and provide food and medication can make the whole process of withdrawal much easier.

Detoxing from an addiction is already a very difficult experience. Attending a professional drug detox can make it easier and less stressful while also guaranteeing your safety and success.

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.