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

Celibacy as a Part of Addiction Recovery

Posted on: April 20th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Celibacy as a Part of Addiction Recovery

Quitting an addiction can be a very complicated process and there are many different elements to consider in making sure you can stay sober. Even though the main focus of recovery is abstinence from the drug you were addicted to, there are other aspects of a healthy lifestyle that can help support sobriety. Many recovery programs recommend that people take a break from dating at least for a period of time until they are more stable.

Relationships can be difficult to handle at any point in your life but when you are just beginning to work on your sobriety they can be too much to handle. Being celibate can be a good way for people to focus solely on themselves and their own recovery so that they don’t complicate their situation with sex. Although the goal can be different for everyone, many people avoid intimate relationships for at least a year until they are more confident in their sobriety.

People in recovery often don’t have the skills to maintain a relationship and be fully present with a partner because they are learning how to clean up and manage their own lives. Dating will most likely be a distraction from their goals and could even trigger a relapse if it becomes too emotional or intense. Celibacy is important because there is always the danger of replacing a drug addiction with sex as a way to self-medicate.

Recovery requires a lot of focus on the self and hard work in a treatment program. In order to fully heal and manage their life as a sober person, people in recovery need to be single until they feel ready to date again. When they have succeeded in developing their communication skills and are feeling more comfortable in their sobriety then they can once again be open to healthy and supportive relationships.

Can Tech Improve Rehab?

Posted on: April 9th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Can Tech Improve Rehab?

Although rehab is aimed at ending addiction permanently, many people find that their stay in a treatment center does not have the effect on them that it should. Unfortunately, even for people that have stayed in a rehab program for several months relapse is a reality. Some people may attend a certain treatment program and find that its tactics simply don’t work for them and they end up using again.

The format of rehab can be helpful for many but for those with more complicated issues or very serious addictions they might need extra support in order to quit their problem. Researchers are looking for unique ways to make the rehab experience more effective for everyone so that they aren’t people who are left behind. Some in the field of mental health are even trying to incorporate technology into rehab in a way that they hope with make it more useful in preventing relapse.

Researchers are creating new apps that can be used in connection with a rehab program that will help people curb their addictions. Adding new technological components could help make it easier for people in recovery to stay connected to their goals and fight cravings as they are happening. Apps that keep people on track can be useful when they are away from their therapy program or are dealing with a difficult craving.

Tech Recovery Programs

Clinical researchers have specially designed smartphone apps that can be used as part of an addiction recovery plan. The FDA even recently approved an app called reSET that was created specifically to treat opioid addiction. The approval means that the app was rigorously tested and has been proven effective by the Food and Drug Administration.

The apps are created to help people curb their harmful behavior and give them support in moments where they might not have any assistance. Right now there are only a few apps offering evidence-based treatment but that number is expected to rise dramatically in the next few years. With the opioid epidemic in its current state it is important for people to have as many options as possible to help them end their addiction.

The new Opioid Commission has emphasized the need to use technology to help assist in addiction treatment including mobile apps in order to reach areas of the country with high rates of overdose. Most apps are a part of a normal rehab program but for people with less severe addictions there are some options that are designed to stand on their own. Apps like Annum and Ria health were created to help reduce patterns of heavy drinking.

Other apps are designed to be used after a person completes their rehab program and needs extra support in the period of transition when they return home. Apps like WeConnect and Sober Grid are like social networks where people can stay connected after they have finished their recovery treatment. Other apps like Triggrhealth are designed to recognize an imminent relapse so a patient can get help before the relapse occurs.

Incorporating Apps into Treatment

While not all treatment centers will make use of these types of apps, they can be helpful for people who have just completed rehab or who need some extra help while they are working on their treatment program. Because the apps are pre-programmed they can help protect patients from having a bad or ineffective experience while at rehab. Within the app, the user can set their own goals and work at their own pace so that they don’t feel that they have failed at treatment.

Some apps even incorporate the use of medications like methadone or buprenorphine for people that are struggling with an opioid addiction. Apps like Annum and BioCorRx use medication as an integral part of the treatment approach. Users of the app can connect with a psychiatric board that can remotely prescribe medications for patients that are having issues with cravings.

Many of the apps help you track your cravings and triggers and also provide exercises that can help reduce them. They focus on overall mind and body wellness rather than just the specific goal of abstinence which can be difficult and overwhelming for many people. The apps allow people the opportunity to reach individual goals and have a support system that offers quick solutions in a time of need.

Treating a severe addiction requires lots of support from therapists and counselors in a safe and helpful environment. However, the addition of a treatment app may allow patients more opportunities to focus on their recovery in their moments alone or on the go. Making use of every type of treatment available, including through technology can make it easier for people who are struggling with their addiction to prevent a relapse and stay permanently sober.

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.

Support Groups for Families and Friends of Addicts

Posted on: March 20th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Support Groups for Families and Friends of Addicts

People that are struggling to become sober have lots of support from their treatment center and regular group meetings so that they can handle the experience. What about the family and friends of addicts that are also grappling with this difficult time? Support groups for those that have loved ones with addictions can be a very helpful and healing resource.

Twelve step and other types of treatment programs understand that it is not just the addict that is negatively impacted by substance abuse. When someone has an addiction it can hurt them and everyone around them. The way that a person behaves while they have an addiction can be very painful and confusing for their loved ones.

Support groups for an addict’s close friends and family can be a place for people to talk about what they are dealing with now and what has been problematic in the past. There are many frustrating aspects of knowing someone with an addiction and being able to talk about it can help ease some of the stress and make it more manageable. These kinds of support groups are designed to give people an outlet for dealing with their feelings about a person’s addiction and the recovery process.

Why Family and Friends Need Support

There are many reasons why people who know an addict need help from a support group to get them through the other person’s recovery. Addiction is a long-term problem and the things that an addict goes through can affect everyone around them. Close loved ones have many difficult and conflicted feelings about the addict and they need to talk about them with people that understand.

The dynamic between family members when there is an addiction in one or more individuals can be very complicated. Some family members may be angry and resentful, trying to exert control over the person’s addiction by hiding bottles taking away their car keys. Others may unwittingly become enablers by helping take care of the addict, hiding their behavior or lying to other people about their substance abuse.

People within a family and even close friends often take on different roles when dealing with an addict. They may not even be aware of how they are coping with this person’s addiction and how they are enabling or causing more conflict with them. Support groups give people a chance to get feedback on their relationship and learn better ways of dealing with these problems.

Spouses of addicts can have especially complex issues with their partner and may not know how to improve their relationship. The addict’s intense focus on their drug or alcohol use can leave their partner feeling unloved, neglected and resentful. An addict may also neglect their role as a parent leaving their partner to take on the duties alone.

Different Kinds of Support Groups

Because there are a multitude of issues that can come up when a person has a relationship with an addict, there are a variety of support groups available for help. There are support groups specifically for spouses because their relationship leads to unique dynamics that need to be addressed. Spouses of addicts need to be around others that have experienced similar problems with their partners so that they can receive the advice and support that they need.

There are other support groups available for specific family members such as parents of addicts. It can be especially painful and disappointing to have a son or daughter who has developed an addiction. Parents may be dealing with feelings of failure and may be unknowingly enabling their child by helping them.

Addiction can be especially hard on children who witness the addictive behavior of a parent on a regular basis. Children with an addicted parent often live in chaos or fail to receive the care and parenting they need to become a functioning adult. Support groups for children of addicts can be a safe place for people to confide in others who have also grown up with an addicted parent.

There are even support groups especially for siblings of addicts that are dealing with their own unique issues of living with someone else’s addiction. Siblings often feel ignored because the addict requires so much attention from parents and everyone else in the family. Siblings can also worry about the addict and their safety or feel unable to help them.

Whatever your relationship is to an addict, there is a support group available to help you work through your feelings about the situation. The more you learn about addiction from the group the more you will have a better understanding of how to cope with your loved one’s problems. Support groups can help everyone involved with the addict feel that they can handle them and their recovery.

Following a Wellness Recovery Action Plan

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

Following a Wellness Recovery Action Plan

When you discover that you have mental health issues through a diagnosis it can be overwhelming to think of how it will affect your life. Even though mental health can be complex, it can be helpful for people to find ways that they can take action for their own well being. People need to have tools available to them to be able to manage their mental illness day to day.

A wellness recovery action plan is a way for people to work toward taking control of their mental health so that they are not always at the mercy of their symptoms. It is a process by which people can decrease their troubling thoughts and behaviors, increase their feelings of personal empowerment, improve the quality of their life and reach their goals. Many treatment programs offer their patients help through creating a wellness recovery action plan or WRAP that will be personalized to their needs.

In order to overcome personal wellness issues people need to be equipped with tools that make it easier to navigate daily life. A WRAP is a way for them to help figure out what tools they need and how to apply them to various situations that affect their mental health and wellness. Having an action plan helps people to feel more prepared and informed about their mental health problems.

Key Elements of an Action Plan

In the process of developing an action plan, patients will need to focus on a few key elements. They will need to make a list of things that help improve their wellness so that it is part of their toolbox whenever they are experiencing symptoms. Resources for wellness could include things like contacting friends or supporters, counseling, mindfulness exercises, relaxation techniques, journaling or other actions that they find personally help them feel better.

Once a patient knows what their wellness tools are they will know where to turn or what actions to take when they are feeling an onset of symptoms. Their action plan can also include ideas for daily maintenance so that they know what they need to accomplish everyday to maintain their wellness. They could incorporate some of their wellness tools as part of their daily routine so that they minimize stress and prevent triggers.

As part of their wellness recovery action plan, patients also need to know as much as possible about their own personal triggers. A trigger is some type of external circumstance, or event that can make you feel uncomfortable and lead to symptoms of your disorder such as anxiety or depression. When patients are aware of their triggers they can find ways to avoid them or manage them the best that they can.

In addition to recognizing triggers, patients must be aware of the early warning signs that their mental health is beginning to suffer. These could be internal, subtle signs that you feel worse than usual and the feelings could escalate if you don’t manage them with the right actions. It is important to take advantage of wellness tools any time trigger and early warning signs become an issue.

Handling a Crisis

Another crucial part of a WRAP is having a crisis plan in advance so that you will know what actions to take should you experience a difficult episode of your mental illness. Even with careful maintenance a crisis can occur at any time and you need to be prepared to handle it. You should be able to recognize signs of a crisis as early as possible so that you can ask caretakers or friends for support.

You should have a plan in place for you want to take over responsibilities for you during a crisis and what type of healthcare you will need. Make sure whoever is supporting you understands what they will need to do to provide you with care and what possible actions they should avoid for your wellness. You can also have a post-crisis plan so that you know what to do to get yourself well again and back on your daily maintenance plan.

You recovery action plan needs to take into account every possibility that could occur with your illness. From daily maintenance of mental health symptoms to a more intense episode, it is important to be prepared for absolutely everything. Having a crisis plan in place helps patients feel more confident about how to handle potential issues in the future.

A WRAP is something you can work on with your therapist or while you are in a treatment program. It will continue to be useful even after you have stabilized and are feeling better. No matter what stage you are in with your mental health, life can be unpredictable and a wellness recovery action plan can help you be ready for anything.