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 ‘Recovery’ Category

The Trump Administration and Mental Health

Posted on: July 24th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

The Trump Administration and Mental Health

President Trump and his administration have made it a mission to overhaul our current healthcare system and eradicate “Obamacare” which they believe was inefficient and problematic. Their new healthcare plan has passed the house but is still being considered by the senate and has not yet been voted into effect.

Trump is optimistic that his Senate healthcare bill to repeal and replace Obamacare will eventually be voted through when Republicans can agree on supporting its terms.

Many Americans are concerned about what the new healthcare plan will mean for the country’s public health in general but some are also particularly worried about mental health coverage. The expectation of Trump’s healthcare plan is that many Americans will lose their healthcare coverage through federal programs like Medicaid which will be dramatically reduced under the new bill.

Unfortunately for many people in need, the new healthcare plan will slash much of the resources that the Affordable Care Act had made more available for mental health, behavioral health and substance abuse.

Medicaid and Mental Health

Trump’s decision to reduce Medicaid will have a devastating effect on those who rely on it to provide treatment for mental illness or addiction. People are particularly concerned about the new healthcare bill and what it would mean amidst the opioid addiction epidemic that has taken over the country in recent years.

Medicaid is currently the single largest source of funding for mental health and substance abuse treatments. Much of the funding has been provided by Obamacare especially through its expansion to include low-income adults.

A significant portion of people with substance abuse and/or mental health issues have low incomes or are even homeless. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, most people with little income were ineligible for public insurance through Medicaid. Even those with lower middle class incomes who simply had inadequate insurance were unable to receive coverage for mental health until the ACA made significant expansions.

The Cost of Repealing Obamacare

The ACA made it possible for people with low incomes to have access to preventative and rehabilitative services for mental health or substance abuse issues. Previously, Medicaid would only cover issues severe enough to merit admission into an emergency room or institution. With better coverage, people were able to get help before their situation became a mental health emergency.

Previously, most insurance companies would provide more coverage for physical health problems and very little for mental health or substance abuse issues. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act passed in 2008 mandated that employer plans would cover medical and mental health or substance abuse services equally. The ACA also expanded that law to many people on Medicaid, ultimately covering mental health services for more than 30 million people.

Unfortunately, Trump’s new American Health Care Act would take away most of this coverage by cutting Medicaid expansion and reducing funding for low income adults. It would also allow states more flexibility to avoid parity rules and reinstate many of the old barriers for mental health care.

Who Will Lose Coverage?

While the current trend under the Obama administration has been to reduce the number of uninsured Americans to the lowest rates in over 50 years, Trump’s plan would reverse this trend and likely increase the rate of uninsured by 7.4%. The area of the country that would be hit the hardest by this new healthcare plan would be rural America which benefitted greatly from ACA’s expansion of Medicaid.

The new healthcare plan would also negatively affect senior citizens who will have to pay higher premiums, deductibles and co-pays if the bill passes. Lower income individuals will receive thousands of dollars less in tax credits which allowed them to afford healthcare under the ACA. Repealing Obamacare for many demographics will mean that they can no longer afford healthcare and will not be covered for medical or mental health services.

Those with mental health issues will be among those who are most affected by the change, especially the many Americans who received care through Medicaid. Although the American Health Care Act will not repeal the Mental Health Parity Act it will remove a mandate that required Medicaid to cover basic mental health and substance abuse services. As a result of this, 1.28 million people currently receiving mental health care through Medicaid will be threatened with losing these services.

The new healthcare plan proposed by the Trump Administration could cause problems for those in need of treatment for substance abuse problems including the millions of Americans addicted to opiates. Although Trump promised to fight the painkiller epidemic, his plans to end Medicaid coverage for substance abuse services will make it more difficult for people to receive addiction treatment.

Although many republicans support the bill, it remains to be seen how the new healthcare plan will affect Americans including many of Trump’s supporters.

Reawakening the Senses in Recovery

Posted on: June 30th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Reawakening the Senses in Recovery

Regular substance use, no matter what kind, suppresses emotions and interferes with people’s ability to experience what is happening around them. Take a look at the physical implications of prolonged use and learn how to reawaken the senses once the substances leave the body.

Addiction and the Brain

The brain is the hub of all our activities. It regulates the body’s physical functions and is responsible for our thoughts, behaviors and responses to our environment. We need it to walk, talk, think, create and feel.

Drugs affect different parts of the brain by inhibiting its ability to communicate vital information. One area of the brain that is affected is the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for seeing, feeling, hearing and tasting. It is also essential for thinking, planning and making decisions.

Another area is the limbic system, which regulates the ability to feel pleasure and perceive other emotions. Many drugs cause neurons to release abnormally large quantities of dopamine and other pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters. They also disrupt the brain’s ability to regulate these neurotransmitters naturally and lead to a “crash” once the substance leaves the system.

Emotional Tolerance

The beginning stage of recovery is often likened to an “emotional roller coaster” because mood swings are common; however, remaining abstinent and working a program of recovery affords a person the ability to experience and appreciate life’s natural course. Developing coping skills and a support network should be a priority in order to tolerate stressful situations.

It is also important to participate in activities that lead to pleasure and fulfillment. Get together with a group of people who know how to have fun without using substances. Find activities that you enjoy, and pursue them.

Mindfulness

One powerful method of using the senses is to practice mindfulness, which is the active process of bringing attention to what is presently happening, both externally and internally. It involves being aware of your surroundings, thoughts and feelings. Try to do so without judging them in order to fully experience the moment.

For example, if you are out in nature, listen for birds chirping or the sound of a stream flowing nearby. Look at colors and shapes. If there is a breeze, focus on how it feels on your skin. Pick up a stone or touch the bark of a tree, paying attention to the texture. Notice your internal reactions to what is around you. Maybe you are feeling peaceful, or perhaps you are nervous about running into an animal.

During meals, pay attention to the aroma of your food. Take time to taste each bite. Is the food sour, sweet, salty or spicy? Observe the texture before you chew.

Early recovery can be overwhelming, and learning how to tolerate feelings should be a priority. It is then time to use the skills you have learned to find pleasure throughout your recovery. Make an effort to pay attention to everyday activities and look for new opportunities to find fulfillment.

It Takes a Village: Recovery in a Therapeutic Community

Posted on: June 12th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

It Takes a Village: Recovery in a Therapeutic Community

The proverb “it takes a village to raise a child” arose from the idea that children are more likely to become healthy, well-adjusted adults when they have the support of their whole community. We thrive with connections to society.

How Does This Relate to Recovery?

Recovering addicts are more successful when they have support from a therapeutic community. The community can be comprised of treatment providers or other recovering addicts. This is one reason that 12-step fellowships are highly recommended, and why they continue to grow worldwide.

What Is a Therapeutic Community?

Therapeutic Communities used to refer to long-term residential treatment centers, in which clients lived together along with therapists and supportive staff. Today the term is used more loosely and can refer to rehabs, intensive outpatient programs, day programs, recovery houses and 12-step fellowships.

The Benefits of Recovering in a Community

By definition, a therapeutic community should take a group-based approach; recovery is more successful when people work together to support one another.

In a residential setting, resources and assistance are available around the clock. Staff is present at all times to facilitate groups, engage with clients in the moment, and make sure that the atmosphere is conducive to recovery. Inpatient settings also allow people to separate from the triggers found in their natural environments.

Outpatient settings also provide support from trained staff, but this is limited to certain times of the day. Group and individual therapy sessions allow people in early recovery to learn coping skills and develop methods to stay clean in their environment.

12-step programs are comprised solely of recovering addicts, who share their experience and strength to help fellow addicts. The programs follow a structure and have a specific series of steps that empower addicts to help themselves.

How to Find the Support You Need

When you are new to recovery, it’s a good idea to observe what is going on around you. Look for people who are committed to their recovery. Find supportive people in the beginning and continue to develop those relationships as time goes on. Talking to others honestly about how you feel and asking for help when you need it are key parts of maintaining long-term recovery.

In treatment programs, utilize the staff’s knowledge and identify resources in your community. If you participate in a 12-step program, go to meetings regularly, find a sponsor and start working steps. Whatever the setting, a therapeutic community offers a recovering addict a natural support network. No one has to deal with the life in isolation.

Providing the Highest Standard of Care

Posted on: May 26th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

 Providing the Highest Standard of Care

At Gooden Center, we are a Los Angeles rehab center that provides complete care for individuals seeking recovery from addiction. Our drug and alcohol treatment center is focused on providing the highest standard of care for our patients. We work diligently to ensure the most effective techniques and treatments are utilized for the benefit of our patients. For families seeking a Los Angeles rehab center that is fully patient-focused, we are proud to provide our services.

Not every Los Angeles rehab center can provide the comprehensive care and treatment that individuals need. Some take on a singular approach that doesn’t address the root cause of the addiction. However our centralized focus is on ensuring our patients receive a multidisciplinary level of care that integrates different components. This approach encompasses body, mind, and spirit for a full and complete recovery process.

The 12 Step Process

By using the 12 step process, we have helped thousands of individuals seeking addiction recovery. This is one of the most successful approaches that has been proven time and time again. When an individual implements the 12 step approach in their recovery and healing process, they are better able to find the balance they need while developing the confidence to achieve their goals in the program.

We are proud to offer a serene environment where individuals can find the peace and relaxation needed for a better frame of mind. In this relaxing environment, it is easier to find peace and healing. In addition to our peaceful environment in Pasadena, The Gooden Center provides personalized treatment options for men in the local and nearby areas.

When you visit our rehab center, you will immediately feel the serenity and peace that is a natural part of our environment. We welcome you to experience healing and wellness through a uniquely personalized approach to recovery.

If you are seeking recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction, contact The Gooden Center by calling us at 1(800) 931-9884 today.

Focus For Those In Recovery

Posted on: May 24th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Addiction is a disease that comes to many different kinds of people, in many different ways.  It claims the lives of people from every walk of life imaginable, and affects in different ways, creating millions of unique stories and struggles.  Both women and men suffer from addiction, but they often suffer in different ways, and may respond differently to treatment.

As a result, many places that offer treatment from addiction may provide gender specific services, and separate men from women.  Specifically, gender specific treatment promotes focus, removes distractions or anxieties that may otherwise take away from a focus on personal healing.  Here are some of the ways in which gender specific treatment allows people to better focus on their recovery.

Gender Specific Treatment Provides Support

Early recovery is an extremely stressful process.  It involves fighting against very intense physical and mental cravings, learning how to develop new coping mechanisms for stressful feelings that will crop up, and having to face hard moments in your life.

 There is enough stress in your life simply by being a part of this hard process of working towards sobriety and healing, and so it is good to do whatever you can to be as comfortable and focused as possible.   Having a space of men-only, or women-only space is one way to produce feelings of comfort, and make things as easy as possible.  

A Safe Place 

Peer support groups, in which a group of people struggling with addiction and recovery share their past and present issues, can be one of the most valuable and helpful ways for people to explore their inner feelings and learn from each other. However, the effectiveness of these groups is dependent on the willingness of its members to share honestly and be vulnerable with each other. Being honest with yourself and counselors is at the core of addiction treatment programs from initial treatment to after care.

The group must be a space where people can be totally safe with each other, and where people are encouraged and made to feel comfortable revealing their most vulnerable self. In a mixed gender space, the subconscious temptation for men or women to “impress” each other may kick in and prevent real intimate sharing.

Focus For Those In Recovery

Also, some people may feel less comfortable sharing about certain issues with members of the other gender present.  Creating men or women only spaces is one way in which a support group can work to make sure that everyone feels safe within it.  

Focus On The Ways Men And Women Experience Addiction Differently  

Both men and women come to the recovery process with a lot of stigma, guilt, and fear that sometimes gets in the way of letting them ask for help.  Yet this fear often gets manifested differently for men and women, in ways that reflect their different experiences, areas of concern, and social roles.

Women are often more likely to experience feelings of shame for needing help with addiction, whereas men may be more likely to deny there is a problem in the first place.  Women are often more anxious about things related to family relationships, whereas men are often more concerned about careers.  Limited our focus to one gender or the other allows for greater sensitivity and awareness to these issues.  

Takes The Focus Off Romantic Relationships

Recovery is one of the most intense and revolutionary things you will do as a person, and so the people you go through these experiences with can easily become some of the most intense and profound relationships in your life. These friendships can be extremely helpful in giving both people a sense of human connection, and hope from a common experience.

These relationships get a great deal of value from their stability, so that you continue to be sharing intimately as you work through complex feelings together. That is why deep friendships are so valuable. More whirlwind, unstable romances can have the opposite effect, and so should be avoided in early recovery. This is precisely why most rehab centers will not allow romantic relationships in their residential or sober living programs. A same-gender environment allows the formation of friendships, while making romances less likely.