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 ‘News’ Category

E-Cigs and Vaping Addiction

Posted on: November 6th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

E-Cigs and Vaping Addiction

Electronic cigarettes or “e-cigs” have surged in popularity over the past couple years. Although less people smoke traditional cigarettes, e-cigs and vaping have become the new standard, making this vaping trend reach epidemic proportion especially within younger age demographics. According to Psycom, 1 in 5 high school students (3.05 million) and 1 in 20 middle school students (570,000) use e-cigs and vape pens. This dramatic increase in teen usage has resulted in high schools out right banning any vaping paraphernalia from school campuses across the nation.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by heating up the nicotine liquid. Some liquids are nicotine free and are solely flavored vapors awhile others have THC. These pens deliver high levels of nicotine, making the product extremely addictive. What was supposed to be a smoking cessation aid has actually formed a whole new throng of nicotine addicts. The number of lung illnesses linked to vaping has risen again across the United States.

Anti-tobacco made impressive gains over the years with smoking rates progressively down and even went so far to challenge millennials and Gen Z to be the generation that ends smoking. However, these anti-smoking groups have now met a whole new monster. Now their main fight is against vape pens, most popularly,

Their new video campaigns titled “No One Knows The Long-Term Effects of JUULing. Not even… the CEO of JUUL.” has garnered thousands of views. Although there are a number of e -cig brands and dozens of startups, Juul makes up a huge portion of the market and receives a lot of lot of backlash and blame. Juul has landed in lot of trouble for “accidentally” being marketed to young people via social media and for using their consumers s lab rats.

Adolescent Brain Development and Addiction

What is the most troublesome is that many teens believe that vaping is safer than cigarettes and that they are making a responsible health decision. The prefrontal cortex, also known as the decision maker, is not fully developed until the mid-20s. The pre-frontal cortex forms judgments and controls impulses and emotions and when it’s still in its immature state, immature behavior mostly results.

Not only does this make teens and young adults more risk-seeking but another part of their brain that is fully developed is the nucleus accumbens, also known as the reward system. Unfortunately, this combination makes teens and substance abuse very dangerous. Studies show that teens and young adults are more likely to become addicted to alcohol and drugs because of this brain plasticity.

Mental Health and Treatment

A study report by the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports that people who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns are twice as likely to try e-cigs and three times as likely to use vape pens.

Many adolescents don’t believe they can become addicted to nicotine but face challenges when they try to quit. Those that do manage to quit encounter many daily relapse triggers including their friends or classmates that continue to vape, locations they would normally vape or general boredom. In this case, prevention is key. Taking time to educate your teen or young adult about the very real dangers of e-cigs and vape pens.Treatment including cognitive behavioral therapy, individual psychotherapy and group therapy as well as mindfulness treatment can help with nicotine addiction.

References:

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/vaping/vaping-illness-epidemic-shows-no-sign-slowing-n1064546

https://observer.com/2019/11/juul-e-cigarettes-addiction-tobacco-harm-reduction/

https://childmind.org/article/teen-vaping-what-you-need-to-know/

https://www.yalemedicine.org/stories/vaping-nicotine-addiction/

https://www.socialworktoday.com/news/dn_062014.shtml

https://www.psycom.net/mental-health-wellbeing/juuling-teenagers-vaping/

When Opioid Addiction Meets Sesame Street

Posted on: October 26th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

opioid addiction sesame

Many people are familiar with the classic children’s television show Sesame Street, which first debuted in 1969 and has become a staple in the lives of many families across the globe. The show’s impact has cross many generations and has made numerous lists for being one of the greatest shows in television history. The fun yet educational television series has introduced many iconic and beloved characters including Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie and so many more. The award-winning show is known for its mix of puppetry, live-action, improv and animation and its ability to capture children’s attention and educate them.

Controversy

The show has touched on numerous cultural and societal issues throughout its long run and though mostly celebrated for its positive and progressive attitudes, has occasionally made headlines for what some deem “controversial” subject matter. Over the 40-year show history, scandals including Bert and Ernie’s sexual orientation, Katy Perry’s risqué costume choice and issues involving the character’s voice actors have all made waves.

The show has introduced characters over the years to bring awareness and education to issues including Autism, HIV, race relations, incarceration, homelessness and even high political tensions. This year Sesame Street has introduced a character whose mother is struggling with opioid addiction. Many people have applauded this choice  to delve into something so real and widespread while others feel it is an inappropriate and extremely sensitive subject matter.

The truth is, the opioid crisis is rampant and has devastated different areas throughout the country, with children of those battling addiction becoming extremely affected.  Children of parents that abuse opioids often experience neglect, anxiety and depression and long term psychological trauma. Many children often find themselves in foster care or in the custody of other family members, especially their grandparents care. According to the NCBI, between 2009 and 2014, nearly 3% (2.1 million) of US children age 17 years and younger lived in households with at least 1 parent struggling with a substance use disorder. Other statistics reveal 5.7 million children under age 11 live in households with a parent with substance use disorder. “

Sesame Street Statement

A statement released by the shows President of Social Impact and Philanthropy reads, “Having a parent battling addiction can be one of the most isolating and stressful situations young children and their families face. Sesame Street’ has always been a source of comfort to children during the toughest of times, and our new resources are designed to break down the stigma of parental addiction and help families build hope for the future.”

The goal is to bring awareness to many of life’s circumstances, both good and bad, and teach children empathy and understanding. The characters encourage other children to speak openly about how they feel, top understand it is not their fault and most importantly that treatment is important for their parents to get better.

The Sesame Workshop offers resources for both children and their caregivers that include helpful information including addiction education, coping strategies including stress management tools, as well as constructive talking points

 

References:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/10/12/sesame-street-characters-mom-has-an-addiction-experts-say-thats-valuable-lesson/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6330457/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50003560

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sesame-street-addiction-childrens-show-addresses-opioid-crisis-as-muppets-mother-battles-addiction/

https://www.nichq.org/insight/treating-opioid-epidemic-childrens-health-crisis

 

 

 

Is LA’s Homeless Crisis Fueled By Mental Health and Addiction?

Posted on: October 17th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Is LA’s Homeless Crisis Fueled By Mental Health and Addiction?

According to The Addiction Center in 2017, there were approximately 554,000 homeless people in the United States. Many believe the number to be much higher due to the challenges in accurate data collection. The number of homeless increases each year, especially within the younger age demographic.

Causes of Homelessness

Although substance abuse can lead to homelessness, in many cases the end result of homelessness is substance abuse. Unfortunately, homelessness and addiction do often go hand in hand across age and ethnic groups. Other common causes are the result of a financial hardship including job loss, home forecloses and a lack of affordable healthcare or housing.  According to Harvard Health, “The mentally ill and people addicted to alcohol or drugs are the first victims of housing shortages.”

The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) also lists addiction and mental illness as “two of the primary personal factors that lead to financial instability and the loss of permanent housing.” It is also important to note there do exist homeless individuals who do not have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Although rates of substance use are disproportionately high among those experiencing homelessness, homelessness cannot be explained by substance use alone as many people who suffer from addiction never become homeless

Mental health

Those experiencing homelessness may also develop mental health issues due to the harsh lifestyle. Not only do individuals who are homeless  generally face hunger and a lack of shelter, they also experience violence, sexual assault and many forms of harassment.

Homeless women suffer from gender-based trauma which in turn results in higher amounts of drug use compared to homeless men. The majority of homeless women also suffer from mental and emotional disturbances that often develop even before they become homeless.

Some mental health issues that homeless people experience include:

  • Severe anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Paranoia/Delusions/Disorentiation
  • Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Major depressive disorder

The Cycle Continues

Without proper shelter, security and a lack of access to affordable treatment for substance abuse and mental health care, the homeless population continue deeper into the destructive cycle of abuse and often relentlessly withdraw from mainstream society.

There are numerous programs and continuous efforts to “solve the homeless crisis” but those involved face many challenges. Recently, Mayor Eric Garcetti allocated funding to emergency shelters with “A Bridge Home” program for those waiting to be placed in a more permanent form of housing. However, connecting those in need with these services are hard because of the widespread substance abuse and mental illness. The timing and bureaucracy of finding solutions also pushes those away.

Stigma

Unfortunately, negative narratives and a general misunderstanding of homelessness continuously lead to an ongoing negative stigma. Many believe the end to homelessness starts with the end of the homeless stigma. When attitudes are shifted and more people are informed of the causes and challenges, they can treat those experiencing homelessness with empathy and respect.

References:

https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/homelessness/

https://www.dailynews.com/2019/10/07/a-new-look-at-las-homeless-count-numbers-has-some-wondering-if-there-will-be-a-shift-in-conversation-around-mental-illness-drug-addiction/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/The_homeless_mentally_ill

 

Are We in a New Phase of Opioid Crisis?

Posted on: February 26th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
Are We in a New Phase of Opioid Crisis?

Even though the level of opioid abuse and overdose has already reached epidemic proportions, the problem is continuing to escalate into a new and more dramatic phase. Researchers are predicting that the problem will keep growing and shift into a different form as new kinds of opioids are being consumed more often. They also predict that some of the programs aimed restricting access to prescription painkillers may not be enough to stem the tide of abuse.

One of the biggest issues that is changing the path of the opioid epidemic is the introduction of new and powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl. This synthetic drug is 50 times more potent than heroin and even a small amount can lead to an overdose if the user doesn’t have enough of a tolerance. Fentanyl has led to overdoses in areas throughout the country and even a mass overdose where 13 people at the same party needed to be revived.

The number of overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl has been steadily rising and causing health issues all over the U.S. Fentanyl is dangerous not only because it is so potent but also due to its low “therapeutic index” or the line between a safe dose and a fatal one. It can be very easy to overdose on fentanyl because even a microgram can be too much for a person’s body to handle.

Researchers predict that fentanyl will cause an increase in opioid abuse and overdose in the near future. It may be some time before the U.S. is able to reduce instances of opioid addiction and deaths related to opioid abuse. Our current programs may not be enough to prevent the growing number of deaths resulting from both prescription opioids and fentanyl.

New tactics may be necessary to try to change the current course of the opioid epidemic.

What is Opiophobia?

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

Opiophobia

With the opioid addiction crisis growing in the U.S. there are other issues surrounding painkillers that are becoming problematic. Because opioids have led to such high rates of overdose, a new trend of opiophobia has led to some people avoiding medication even to cope with chronic pain. Fear of the consequences of taking opioids is causing both doctors and patients to avoid prescription painkillers even when there are legitimate medical reasons for using them.

Although opioids can be addictive in many cases, some patients who are experiencing chronic pain can still benefit from controlled use of the medication. Misinformation about the medical value of opioids has been leading many people to avoid them at all costs and they are suffering from serious pain problems as a result. Even though opioid addiction is something to seriously consider before taking medication, there are some instances where it can be life saving.

Health care providers who are too hesitant to provide patients with opioid prescriptions may be allowing them to struggle with pain unnecessarily. Excessive regulation and insufficient medical use of opioids can be devastating problems for people who suffer from chronic pain. Unfortunately some of the efforts to combat addiction have led to reduced access to opioids for the people that truly need them.

It is important for people in the medical industry and patients alike to be educated about the dangers of opioids but also the instances in which they are useful and necessary. Even though it is a top priority to curb the high rates of abuse and overdose, avoiding opioids at all costs can also be problematic in other ways. Finding a balance between regulating powerful medications and having them available for those in need is a complicated issue that needs to be addressed in order to help minimize the damage surrounding the opioid crisis.