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

Holiday Relapse and Why You Should Be Thinking About it Now

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

Holiday Relapse and Why You Should Be Thinking About it Now

Recovering from an addiction comes with many complications and struggles throughout the year but one of the toughest times for most sober people is the holidays. The few months between November and January can be some of the most difficult to get through because of the many parties, celebrations and gatherings that tend to involve alcohol. People who have quit drinking may feel especially tempted during this period of time because they have certain associations with the holidays and having drinks.

Another reason the holidays can cause people to be more vulnerable to relapse is that it can also be a stressful time of year. Worrying about shopping for gifts and spending time with family can be difficult especially if you have any dysfunctional family members who create more stress. Although the holidays are meant to produce feelings of togetherness, the reality is that many people actually feel more lonely and depressed.

Because of these factors, it is essential to prepare for the holidays in advance and have a plan in place to prevent holiday relapse. Even though you might be optimistic about how your recovery is going you may never know for sure how you will react during the holidays. You need to think about what the holidays will bring and create your own relapse prevention plan so that you are fully prepared for any difficult situations.

Prevention is Key During the Holidays

When you have a plan in place before the holidays you will feel more confident and prepared for any issue that might come up. Instead of feeling nervous and scared about how you will react at a holiday party or gathering, you will know what to do in any situation. Relapse will be much less of a possibility when you have a plan ready in advance.

The first step in creating a relapse prevention plan is thinking about how you will react and handle it when someone offers you a drink or asks why you don’t drink. It is inevitable that this situation will come up so you can rehearse and think about some answers beforehand that you will feel comfortable with.

There are different ways that people choose to handle being offered a drink but you can simply say “no thank you, I don’t drink”. This may be enough to shut down any other offers the rest of the night if people know that it is a deliberate choice. Be firm and avoid opening any doors that might make people want to convince you to have a beer with them later on.

If someone asks you why you are choosing not to drink, you don’t necessarily have to tell them you are in recovery if you don’t feel comfortable enough to share. You can prepare some answers that you think will make you feel okay with the conversation and will prevent any further prying. You can say for example that you quit for health reasons which is reasonable and in most cases is probably the truth on some level.

Create a Support System

Most people in recovery know how important it is to have a support system in place when you are struggling with temptation. This is especially the case during the holidays when many people feel isolated and under more stress than usual. It might be a good time to talk to your sober friends more often and ask for extra support.

If you are going to a party that you are particularly nervous about you always have the option of bringing a sober buddy with you. Being the only sober person at a party can feel very alienating and can drive you to want a drink again. Take a friend from your AA group so that you can support each other and get through the night safely.

It is always a good idea not to spend too much time alone when you are in recovery and particularly during the holidays. As part of your prevention plan, try to organize some activities and outings with friends that don’t involve alcohol. Activities with friends from your AA group will not only help you but also everyone else in your meetings that is having a hard time.

As part of your prevention plan make sure that you have the option to leave when you are in any situation that may endanger your sobriety. If you are at a party that feels overwhelming, then make sure you have your own car or arrange a ride home so that you don’t have to stay.

You don’t want to be in any situation that will trigger a relapse. As important as it is to challenge yourself, your highest priority should be staying sober. Practice self-care and focus on your goals so that you can stay on track throughout the holidays.

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.