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 ‘Health’ Category

What is CBD Oil?

Posted on: March 22nd, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

What is CBD Oil?

Among the various medicinal marijuana products available in certain areas, CBD oil is a new and controversial item that people can purchase for its supposed health benefits. There is some confusion about what CBD oil actually is and how it can be used to treat certain illnesses. The oil is not legal in every state but it is sometimes legal in states where medicinal marijuana is not.

CBD is short for cannabidiol and it is one of the many compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. Researchers are still working determine the various therapeutic uses for CBD oil but it is believed to have a huge range of health benefits. It is said to reduce pain, anxiety, depression, balance the metabolism, help with sleep disorders and a number of other uses.

Although it comes from the cannabis plant, CBD is used for therapeutic purposes only and does not provide a mind-altering high. The oil can come in many different forms such as oils, creams, sprays or even capsules. People can find CBD oil in medicinal marijuana shops that provide various kinds of cannabis treatments.

Uses and Benefits of CBD Oil

CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant but it is low in THC, the chemical that produces the usual “high” associated with marijuana. The oil has been receiving more attention recently due to changing marijuana legislation in many states that have legalized both medicinal and recreational marijuana. CBD can be an option for therapeutic use of marijuana for those who want to avoid any addictive high or the feeling of being disoriented.

The reason that CBD oil is thought to have various medicinal properties is because of the many cannabinoid receptors we have in the brain and nervous system. These receptors react to both plant-derived cannabinoids like CBD and to natural cannabinoids that are produced in the body. CBD oil helps boost the function of the endocannabinoid system which helps regulated the health of the body in different ways.

People that use CBD oil often have specific health problems that they are hoping to address with the medicinal oil. The oil is used to treat issues such as-

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain and inflammation
  • Insomnia and other sleep disorders
  • Anxiety, stress and depression
  • Problems with appetite or low metabolism
  • Weak immune system
  • Skin conditions
  • Chronic diseases

Most often people use CBD oil for its analgesic properties to help relieve pain in the body. It can help people that suffer from issues such as back pain or even full body pain due to conditions like cancer. It is useful for pain relief because it can disrupt the activity of pain receptors in the body and cause a release of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine instead.

CBD oil is also thought to fight inflammation which can provide relief from things like arthritis, migraines and joint disorders. It can also combat anxiety by producing the “feel good” neurotransmitters and increasing the level of positive hormones in the body. It can help people sleep by providing a strong sedative quality that fights issues with insomnia.

Risks and Side Effects of CBD Oil

One of the reasons that CBD oil is considered a safer and more therapeutic alternative to other cannabis products is because it does not contain THC. When people experience paranoia or anxiety while using marijuana products it is usually due to the psychotropic qualities of THC. CBD oil therefore has less of the side effects that are commonly associated with other types of marijuana.

Studies of CBD oil have found that it is well-tolerated across a wide range of doses and there are no significant side effects in the central nervous system or effects on mood. The most commonly reported side effect with the use of CBD oil is tiredness which is likely due to the sedative properties in the product. People have also noticed diarrhea and changes in their weight or appetite.

It is difficult to determine the risks of CBD oil as there is very little long-term safety data available and the product needs to be further researched. It is important to discuss the use of CBD oil for specific health concerns with your doctor before trying it so that you can avoid any problem with treatment. CBD has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of any condition so it is not officially regulated by the government.

If you are interested in using CBD oil to treat a condition, talk to your doctor to help determine the dose and the type of product that they feel will be most effective. Make sure to discuss any potential risks that they feel could affect you based on your specific condition. Always follow the instructions carefully as far as dosage and application of the product for the best results.

Should Sober People Drink Kombucha?

Posted on: March 10th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Should Sober People Drink Kombucha?

A recent health trend that has been growing more popular every year is the drink known as kombucha. Sold mostly in health stores initially, it is now available in almost any grocery store and many restaurants. People drink kombucha for its fruity flavor and probiotic properties that are said to improve digestion and boost the immune system.

One of the issues with kombucha that makes it mildly controversial is the fact that the drink is essentially a fermented tea. Through the natural process of fermentation, there is a trace amount of alcohol in every glass or bottle of kombucha. Although the specific percentage is often not listed, most brands will state on their label that the alcohol content is less than 0.5%.

However, there are certain types of kombucha which contain more than the legal amount of 0.5% and now require the buyer to present their I.D. before purchasing it. The alcohol levels in these brands are still minimal but it raises questions about how to classify kombucha. Although kombucha is not technically a beer, wine or other typical alcoholic drink, is it still safe for people in recovery to drink?

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a simple drink made from some type of tea, usually black or green tea, sugar for fermentation, fruit juice for flavor and a “scoby” or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. These ingredients are combined and allowed to ferment for a period of time. The drink is said to have great healing properties and contains numerous enzymes, probiotics and polyphenols which are good for digestion and helping the liver.

Even though it has been touted as a superfood, kombucha had some controversy in recent years after the popular GT brand had to pull all of its bottles from the Whole Foods shelves. It was discovered that their black label kombucha contained more than the legal limit of 0.5% and it was then that the drink became more regulated with certain brands and flavors requiring I.D. to be purchased. Some brands even purposefully make higher percentage kombucha with drinks containing as much as 7% alcohol.

Sobriety and Kombucha

Although kombucha that doesn’t require I.D. is not technically an alcoholic drink, some people may still be weary of drinking it. People in recovery or those that choose to be sober may feel that kombucha is not safe for them. The question of whether a sober person should drink kombucha depends on the individual and their personal stage of recovery.

Someone who recently quit drinking and is still experiencing cravings for alcohol should probably avoid drinking kombucha. It is believed that even trace amounts of alcohol can trigger the body to crave more alcohol. That is why many people in recovery need to avoid cooking with alcohol or using other products that might contain some alcohol.

Twelve step programs tend to discourage members from drinking things like non-alcoholic beer because it becomes a slippery slope that can lead them down the road to relapse. Even the smell of alcohol can be enough to trigger cravings and relapse. Non-alcoholic beer typically has about 0.5% alcohol content which is the same as many kombuchas.

When considering whether to drink kombucha or not, a sober person should evaluate how it makes them feel. Does drinking it make them feel healthy and happy or does it simply make them crave a real beer or wine? Some people might be able to drink kombucha without experiencing any triggers or cravings but it depends on the individual person.

Health and Recovery

A good way to test whether a person should drink kombucha is to think about their motivation for doing so. Are you drinking it because it makes you feel relaxed or reminds you of the way you felt when you had a beer? Or are you simply enjoying it for its health properties and the taste?

When a drink is reminiscent of alcohol for someone it can become a problem because they will eventually want to have a real drink. If you are concerned about drinking kombucha there are plenty of alternative choices for probiotics and health drinks that can be just as effective. Many drinks and foods have probiotics added but are not fermented so there is no trace alcohol that could be harmful to recovery.

The decision to drink kombucha is a personal one and something that the individual has to make for themselves. If you don’t feel stable in your recovery then you should avoid it but if you are finding your sober life easier then it might be okay to at least try it. You need to listen to your body and your mind to make sure that you are making the right choice for your own recovery goals.

Do People Need a Depression Intervention?

Posted on: February 14th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Do People Need a Depression Intervention?

When most people think about the concept of an intervention, they imagine it is reserved for people with serious drug or alcohol addictions that need to get help. The truth is that an intervention is a useful format for a discussion of any problem that you feel is negatively affecting your loved one’s life. In fact, some people that are struggling with mental illnesses such as depression may need other people to encourage them to get help for their problem.

Although an intervention for a mental illness may not take place in the same confrontational style as an addiction intervention, it can still be a useful tool in communicating to a loved one who is struggling. People suffering from depression may feel that they have to live with this problem or they may not even realize how much it is affecting them and the people around them. When other people in their lives tell them that they need help they may be more likely to listen.

Interventions can come in many forms and they are simply a way to help someone understand that the people in their life are concerned about them. An intervention allows a person to begin to recognize that there is an issue that they haven’t been dealing with appropriately. After intervening, ideally the person with depression will respond by entering a treatment center or seeking a regular therapist.

Recognizing Depression

People are dealing with depression often don’t fully realize that they have a treatable mental illness. Because of their growing symptoms they may be less self aware and unable to recognize the changes that they are going through. They may know that they feel bad but aren’t aware of how many changes it has caused in their life and how their behavior has been affected.

Staging an intervention helps the depressed person start to get an outside image of what has been taking place that they may have been too absorbed in their feelings to understand. When friends broach the topic of getting help it may be an important realization for them that would be harder to reach on their own. Friends can also give them hope that they will get better through getting treatment.

Before setting up an intervention it can be helpful to make sure that your loved one is exhibiting traditional symptoms of depression and truly needs professional help. Familiarizing yourself with the recognizable signs and symptoms of depression can allow you to be certain you are making the right decision about intervening. These are some of the common symptoms of depression-

  • Trouble focusing on or completing tasks
  • Issues with sleep such as fatigue or insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Dramatic weight changes and problems with appetite
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or things once enjoyed
  • Physical pain, achiness or headaches
  • Persistent feelings of sadness, guilt or hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

If your loved one is showing many of these signs or symptoms and you are worried about their health and well-being then it might be a good time to talk to other friends and family members about getting help for them.

Intervening and Talking about Depression

When people stage an intervention for an addict they might need a group of several people who can confront them in a way that will help them realize that they have hurt others with their actions. For a mental illness like depression, it might be more effective to have a smaller group of only two or three people so that the person doesn’t feel overwhelmed. They don’t need to be confronted so dramatically but they do need some feedback from an outside perspective of a couple of people to understand that they need help.

Friends or family members that want to intervene and help a depressed person need to make sure that they are gentle, calm and compassionate when they open up a discussion. It is important the person doesn’t feel attacked or judged but understand that people are worried about them and want what’s best for their health. Expressing their concern can help them realize that their depression is a visible problem that other people can easily recognize.

Setting up an intervention for a depressed person is an important task because if someone is left alone with their symptoms they are likely to get worse. Depression can quickly evolve into suicidal thoughts and attempts if it hasn’t already gotten to that point. Getting someone help for depression can literally mean that you are saving their life.

When you start to see someone you love battling feelings of sadness and depression you don’t have to watch helplessly. Taking action and talking to them about getting treatment is the most positive way to cope with the situation. Look for a treatment center or a therapist that will be available at the end of the intervention for the best outcome.

Family Therapy at Gooden Center

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

Family Therapy at Gooden Center

People that suffer from addiction often have complicated family dynamics that can make recovery more difficult for everyone involved. Addiction affects everyone in the family and there may be many relationships that have been damaged as a result of the person’s substance abuse. Attending family therapy is a necessary and greatly beneficial part of our addiction treatment and recovery program.

Family issues can be closely connected to a person’s addictive behavior and guidance from a therapist can help family members work out some of these issues. It is important for a person with an addiction to have a stable home life and try to repair some of the rocky relationships they have with loved ones. Conflict at home will only serve to fuel their addiction and make it much more difficult for them to remain sober.

The goal of family therapy is for the addict and the people closest to them to learn how to resolve personal differences, talk about problems in a constructive way and learn to be more connected. A healthy family life can be an essential part of living a sober lifestyle and maintaining better mental health. We understand the importance of family dynamics and make sure to incorporate regular family therapy sessions for each patient in recovery.

The Benefits of Family Therapy

There are many reasons that treatment should include family therapy in order to allow the patient the best possible chance for success in recovery. Numerous studies have shown that treatment approaches that involve the family have better engagement from patients and higher rates of success. Patients who take advantage of family therapy are often more committed to their sobriety and participate more in aftercare programs.

While individual therapy gives the patient a chance to focus on their own personal problems, family therapy helps them gain awareness of their behavior and how it affects others. They can learn to improve their communication style and the quality of their relationships with those that are closest to them. Many addicts struggle with their ability to communicate with others and it is an important skill they must learn throughout treatment.

Family therapy not only helps addicts, it is an opportunity for their loved ones to improve their own communication and gain more awareness about addiction. Family members can use these therapy sessions to learn self-care and how to increase the quality of their relationships. The group as a whole will feel better once they have completed several sessions.

Family members also need to learn how to avoid any enabling behaviors that could endanger the addict later on when they complete their treatment. People in the family may have a tendency to enable the addict without even realizing. Therapy allows them to become more educated about addiction, codependent behavior and the best way to support their loved one in their sobriety.

Reaching Goals in Family Therapy

Attending group therapy sessions for the family is not only to improve their relationships and allow healing, it is also a way to reach important recovery goals. Everyone in the therapy sessions will need to put in some time and work to practice what the therapist teaches them whenever they meet. This means applying what they learn to see how it works to improve family relationships.

The biggest goal of family therapy is creating a home environment that will be stable, loving and free from stress and conflict that could endanger the addict’s recovery. The home should be a safe place with positive communication and everyone should have the ability to resolve issues effectively. Family life doesn’t have to be perfect, but for an addict their relationships with their family play a major role in their recovery.

Ideally the family members that the addict currently lives with or spends the most time with will need to attend therapy sessions on a regular basis throughout the patient’s treatment program. The therapist will ask for input from everyone in the group and ensure that they are all on the same page as far as improving family life. If everyone participates and does their share, family therapy can create a lot of positive change for those who attend.

Family therapy can help improve social functioning for an addict, make it more likely for them to stay in treatment and reduce harmful behaviors. It can also reduce the occurence of separation or divorce and create better relationships overall. Staying focused on the goals of family therapy will create a better outcome for everyone involved.

The Gooden Center understands the importance of family dynamics in an individual’s life and how their family relationships affect their health and stability. If you are interested in family therapy, we have options available in our treatment programs to incorporate key members of your family into your recovery plan.

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.