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 ‘Psychology Of Addiction’ Category

My Family Member is an Addict and Homeless

Posted on: April 7th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

My Family Member is an Addict and Homeless

It is painful and devastating for loved ones when a family member has an addiction. It is even worse when they hit rock bottom and end up in a difficult financial situation. Homelessness is an unfortunate reality for many people that are struggling with a very severe drug addiction.

If you have a family member whose addiction has become so out of control that they have lost their job or their home then it is important to get them help as soon as possible. The chances of them surviving and getting back on their feet without any assistance are slim. However, it is important to have a plan about addressing their addiction before you step in and rescue them.

Taking your loved on off the streets is more helpful if you are able to give them the tools they need to get sober and become financially independent again. Avoid simply taking care of them or enabling them because it will only make the situation worse. Even though it may be difficult to talk about you need to get them into treatment for their own well-being.

There are many addiction recovery programs created for homeless people that need to get sober and find work again. Research all the available options so that you will be prepared to discuss treatment with your family member. You can take your loved one directly to a shelter or recovery program so that they can get the help that they need.

Addiction is a challenging issue and overcoming homelessness can make it even more complicated. However getting your loved one into treatment will be an important first step to help them re-enter society. Recovery can be a long and difficult process for them but with treatment and support they will be able to survive and live a fulfilling life again.

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.

Middle Aged Men “Manxiety”

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

Middle Aged Men “Manxiety”

A recent trend in mental health issues has been affecting men in their late thirties and forties who are dealing with stress. Older men are coping with the struggles of work, family or being single in a time when they are no longer young with their full life ahead of them. The stress of middle age can lead to the highest levels of anxiety in a person’s life.

When a person is in their twenties they may feel less pressure to be in a stable career or have a long-term relationship. They often don’t worry as much about work or starting a family because they have time to think about what they want to do later in life. In middle age, people can experience a lot of difficulties that they didn’t have to face when they were in their twenties.

In their thirties or forties, people must reflect on what they’ve achieved and what they haven’t. They might begin to think about how their dreams of the past didn’t work out and life didn’t go exactly as they had planned. For men in middle age this can mean not having the career that they wanted or not finding a partner.

Coping with Stress in Middle Age

There are a number of reasons that a man in middle age may experience stress and struggle to cope with their problems. People in middle age can have demanding careers, more responsibilities such as taking care of children or aging parents or difficult marriages. On the other hand they may be experiencing the opposite problem where they have not found a relationship, are still working a low paying job or are getting past the age of potentially having children.

While stereotypically it is women that struggle with feelings of being past their prime if they are single in middle age, men are now starting to experience these worries too. More and more men in their thirties and forties are dealing with the stress of not being settled in their life. They may feel a lack of options as they get older or feel that their biological clock is ticking.

Although rates of anxiety and depression are typically higher for women in middle age, men are also dealing with psychological issues that can affect their health. Research has shown that middle aged men under psychological distress are three times more likely to have a stroke than those without any psychological symptoms. It is important not to ignore the signs of anxiety and to look for coping strategies so that middle aged men can remain healthy.

Men and Anxiety

One of the reasons that it is crucial for men to learn about the signs of anxiety and depression is because it is common for men to ignore or write off their feelings. They may dismiss feelings of anxiety or hide their problems from others by simply saying they are stressed. It can be harder for men to recognize that they need help because they are taught not to show their emotions or to push through them without expressing how they feel.

There has been plenty of research surrounding the type of anxiety that women experience as they age especially in connection with physiological changes such as changing hormone levels and menopause. However, men are sometimes overlooked in these studies in spite of their increasing need for help with psychological issues in middle age. They may experience symptoms but avoid talking about it because of stigma or fear of appearing weak.

Men can have issues such as nervousness, fearfulness, irritability, impatience, edginess or just general anxious feelings. At times these feelings can begin to interfere with their ability to focus or concentrate at work and may make it harder for them to handle relationships. When feelings of anxiety interrupt a person’s life it is important for them to seek help from a professional.

Treating Middle Aged Anxiety

When men feel anxious or depressed they may feel hesitant to seek help or try to keep moving forward instead of dwelling on their problems. However, without professional assistance anxiety symptoms can build up and lead to greater physical and mental health problems. Treatment is crucial in order to minimize symptoms of anxiety and prevent any further issues.

Men have many of the same psychological needs that women have as they age and they need to focus on their own mental health as they cope with the stress of middle age. Anyone who experiences anxiety, no matter what age or what phase they are in their life should seek professional help so that they can heal and recover. If you are suffering from anxiety, contact a local therapist or a treatment center that specializes in anxiety so that you can learn how to manage your symptoms.

Do I Have a Thought Disorder and Can It Be Treated?

Posted on: February 27th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

 

How Thought Disorders are Treated

People who experience symptoms affecting the way they think and perceive things may have a mental health condition known as a thought disorder. When an individual is having issues with putting together sequences of ideas in a way that is affecting their daily life and their behavior then they may need thought disorder treatment from a professional therapist. Even though a thought disorder can be a serious illness, it is possible to use treatment as way to help manage the symptoms and improve the condition.

There are many different issues that can occur when you have a thought disorder and it can affect people in various ways. At the core of a thought disorder are issues with illogical, problematic or incoherent patterns of thinking. These irregular thinking patterns may cause the person to behave in ways that interfere with their ability to function normally.

Normal thinking follows a certain flow starting with a thought, followed by stringing together different thoughts on that subject and then the delivery of a thought pattern. When someone has a thought disorder it disrupts aspects of the thought process so that it doesn’t flow in a logical pattern. Thought disorders come in many forms including illnesses like schizophrenia which can be debilitating if not properly treated.

Recognizing a Thought Disorder

Thought disorders are not often discussed and people may not be familiar with what constitutes the illness. In order to recognize a thought disorder in yourself or your loved one it can be helpful to look through the various symptoms and signs associated with the problem. These are some of the common symptoms of a thought disorder-

  • Incoherent, rapid or illogical speech
  • Bizarre thoughts or false beliefs
  • Continual interruptions in a person’s train of thought
  • Delusions that persist in spite of evidence against them
  • Hallucinations or seeing and hearing things that aren’t really there
  • Unusual speech patterns in which the individual discusses several unrelated topics
  • Inability to convey an idea or tell a story
  • Paranoia that includes fearful or suspicious thoughts

When you see any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one then it may indicate a problem with thinking patterns and a possible thought disorder. If you notice any of these symptoms it is important to meet with a psychiatrist for an assessment so that they can diagnose what type of thought disorder you have. More serious thought disorders such as schizophrenia may require inpatient treatment to resolve issues of hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.

How Thought Disorders are Treated

A person’s thought disorder can accompany a different type of mental illness including bipolar disorder, schizotypal personality or psychosis. In order to manage the symptoms of a thought disorder and the associated mental illness it is imperative that the individual receive an accurate diagnosis. Knowing what condition is connected to the thought disorder can help make treatment more effective.

Once you receive a diagnosis and have been evaluated by a professional they can start to determine what type of treatment plan will be most effective. A psychiatrist may recommend inpatient or outpatient treatment or regular therapy sessions to address the symptoms. The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and how much it interferes with regular functioning.

If you have a thought disorder you can discuss with your psychiatrist what the best options are for medication. Taking a regular prescription medication may be necessary with a thought disorder to regulate mood and minimize hallucinations and delusions. Different medications such as antipsychotics may be helpful in managing a thought disorder but it is important to work with a psychiatrist to find the right dosage.

People who have thought disorders can greatly benefit from psychotherapy in order to help address some of the behavioral and emotional issues that can occur as a result of their disrupted thinking patterns. A therapist can help guide the individual through their thoughts and feelings so that they improve their quality of life and make it easier for them to function in day to day. The individual may see a lot of improvement while staying in an inpatient treatment center that will provide them with daily therapy sessions for intensive recovery.

Receiving a diagnosis of a thought disorder may seem devastating but with regular treatment and medication it is possible to minimize symptoms and stabilize a person’s mood or behavior. Treatment is very important for a thought disorder because if the symptoms become worse they may be lead to risky or dangerous actions. However, having a thought disorder does not mean that the person cannot lead a normal and fulfilling life.

If you or someone you love seems to be experience symptoms of a thought disorder, contact a mental health professional to start a treatment plan.

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.