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 ‘Substance Abuse’ Category

The Fundamentals Of Treatment For Drug Abuse

Posted on: August 8th, 2019 by emarketed No Comments

While there are various different paths towards recovery, there are certain fundamentals common among all of them. These are treatment modules that every recovery center will provide in each and every one of its programs.

If you or a loved one are going to receive treatment for drug abuse, you can expect the following.

Detox

When you are physically dependent on a substance, stopping cold turkey will lead to severe withdrawals. These withdrawals make it incredibly difficult to stick to the recovery process. In many cases, they can be dangerous and even fatal. For this reason, most drug rehab must begin with detox.

Drug detox refers to the controlled process in which an individual is withdrawn from the substance on which they’ve become dependent. At Gooden Center, detox is prescribed and monitored by medical professionals. The nature of your detox will depend on the substance. Some substances can be stopped cold turkey, while others require a tapering process using safe alternatives to the drug.

Physical dependence on a substance precludes the possibility of effective drug rehab. As long as your body is withdrawing from the substance, it will be difficult to stay clean and focus on the treatment process.

Dual Diagnosis

From the very beginning of the process, psychiatrists at Gooden Center will evaluate whether you may require a dual diagnosis. In many cases, substance abuse is caused by or leads to another mental illness. For example, people suffering with OCD may use drugs to try and quiet their obsessive thoughts. Alternatively, someone who has become accustomed to using drugs when they feel down will ultimately struggle to effectively cope with difficult emotions and this may trigger depression or anxiety.

Treatment of drug abuse will not be effective if co-occurring mental illnesses are not also treated. Aspects of the treatments will overlap, but specific mental illnesses need particular treatments. Furthermore, with the help of a dual diagnosis, therapists and doctors will better know how to approach an individual’s treatment.

Group Sessions

Addiction treatment differs from treatment of other mental illnesses in that group sessions are given far more prominence. Community is understood to be very important in treatment of drug abuse for a number of reasons. Addiction tends to lead to unintentional selfishness. When looking for one’s next fix, it is difficult to take others into account. Groups help substance users become more socially aware once again.

Group sessions also give individuals an opportunity to share their own stories and what they’re struggling with. Since everyone in the group has gone through similar hardships, while doing things they regret, this is a safe space in which no one has room to judge.

In addition, addicts can use group sessions to learn how others have managed to cope without substances. They can share their own techniques and ideas. They can learn to lean on others for support in trying times.

Individual Therapy

Group sessions are excellent for confronting one’s addiction on a general level. However, individual therapy is incredibly important to help you deal with your specific personal concerns. In individual therapy, you will discuss your background and history and identify your coping mechanisms. This will help you see which mechanisms have worked and which have become dysfunctional.

Individual therapy is also necessary when treating most mental illnesses. By working through your issues with a therapist, you are better able to notice your unhealthy patterns. With therapies such as CBT, you learn practical skills to challenge thoughts that tend to lead you in a negative direction.

Psychiatric Medication

Substance users who have a co-occurring disorder will likely be prescribed psychiatric medication to relieve its symptoms. These are generally non-addictive medications that affect the chemicals in your brain, addressing imbalances and providing increased stability. Anti-anxiety and sleeping medications such as Xanax and Stilnox, which have the potential for abuse, will not be prescribed.

Alternative Therapies

You will also have the opportunity to work with alternative therapies, including mindfulness-based techniques. Mindfulness in particular is important when treating addiction, as the approach of taking each moment on its own has helped millions get through the most trying times.

These techniques also give you more options when one or another coping skill is not appropriate to the situation.

Holistic Health

Treatment for drug abuse should take the person as a whole into account. Addiction has both physical and mental aspects, and the healthier a person is in general, the more likely they are to stay clean. Thus, your nutrition and fitness are very important. Similarly, keeping your mind active and developing hobbies or passions helps you sustain a more rounded, fulfilling life free from substances.

Maintenance

No one’s treatment is ever complete at the end of a program. On the contrary, without continued treatment and maintenance, relapse becomes more and more likely. Treatment for drug abuse goes on after leaving rehab, and beyond aftercare and sober living. Attending groups and being part of a recovery community are ideal safeguards to keep you on track in a fulfilling life free of drugs.

References:

1. Ziedonis, D. and Brady, K. (1997). DUAL DIAGNOSIS IN PRIMARY CARE. Medical Clinics of North America, 81(4), pp.1017-1036.

2. Wendt, D. C., & Gone, J. P. (2017). Group Therapy for Substance Use Disorders: A Survey of Clinician Practices. Journal of groups in addiction & recovery, 12(4), 243–259. doi:10.1080/1556035X.2017.1348280

3. Blobaum P. M. (2013). Mapping the literature of addictions treatment. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 101(2), 101–109. doi:10.3163/1536-5050.101.2.005

4. Lichtigfeld, F. J., & Gillman, M. A. (1998). Antidepressants are not drugs of abuse or dependence. Postgraduate medical journal, 74(875), 529–532. doi:10.1136/pgmj.74.875.529

5. Fluyau, D., Revadigar, N., & Manobianco, B. E. (2018). Challenges of the pharmacological management of benzodiazepine withdrawal, dependence, and discontinuation. Therapeutic advances in psychopharmacology, 8(5), 147–168. doi:10.1177/2045125317753340

6. Young, M. E., DeLorenzi, L. d. and Cunningham, L. (2011), Using Meditation in Addiction Counseling. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling, 32: 58-71. doi:10.1002/j.2161-1874.2011.tb00207.x

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Addiction

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

The Fundamentals Of Treatment For Drug Abuse

 

As the opioid epidemic in the U.S. becomes an increasingly dangerous problem, it is important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of opioid addiction. Overdose rates from opioid abuse have dramatically increased and the risk of a fatal overdose while abusing opioids is a serious issue. If you think you or someone you love might be addicted to opioids you will need to get treatment before the problem escalates.

 

These are some of the common signs of opioid abuse- 

  • Poor coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleeping more or less than normal
  • Nausea
  • Slurred speech
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Physical agitation

 

For the safety of your loved ones, it is also crucial to know how to recognize when someone is experiencing an overdose. These are some of the visible signs of opioid overdose:

  • Unresponsive (unable to wake up)
  • Shallow, irregular breathing or no breathing at all
  • Vomiting
  • Passing out
  • Small pupils

 

If you think someone may be overdosing it is important to call 911 immediately so they can administer Narcan to reverse the effects of the overdose. When someone overdoses or even if they show visible signs of opioid abuse, they will need to get professional help for their behavior. Opioids are highly addictive substances and will lead to painful withdrawal symptoms and dangers of relapse when they are suddenly stopped.

 

Symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:

  • sweating
  • nausea
  • shaking
  • chills
  • pain
  • insomnia
  • Fatigue

 

In a detox treatment center the individual will have the opportunity to receive medical care and medication to ease their withdrawal symptoms. Some people with very serious opioid addictions may benefit from the use of methadone or buprenorphine to help ease them off of the drug until they are ready to quit. Rehab and therapy can help people learn to manage their addictions once they are no longer physically dependent. 

 

References

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids

 

Driving Under the Influence

Posted on: June 27th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

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For the safety of yourself and everyone else on the road, it is a good rule to never drive under the influence of any drug. However, there are many misconceptions among drug users who believe that they may be more capable of driving while using certain drugs. The reality is that every drug can impair your ability to drive safely and some may be even more deadly than others.

People may believe that only depressants like alcohol can impair your driving but operating a vehicle under the influence of stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamines can also be extremely risky. Cocaine may keep you awake but it also causes high risk behavior as users feel the world around them seems frustratingly boring. They might start turning in front of other vehicles, speeding and putting themselves in danger with inattentive driving.

Those who functionally use marijuana on a daily basis may believe that they can safely drive after smoking but the reality is that it can be deadly. To make matters worse, people are increasingly driving with marijuana and alcohol both in their system which can lead to catastrophic accidents. Marijuana is a hallucinogen which can deteriorate your cognitive function and alcohol can increase the absorption of marijuana making it a dangerous combination.

Amidst the opioid crisis people may not realize that driving under the influence of painkillers can be dangerous as well. Low doses of the drugs may not be as harmful but a high dose of opioids in a driver’s system can lead to serious impairments. Other drugs like PCP and LSD can also have fatal consequences while driving.

It is never safe to drive a vehicle while under the influence of any drug, no matter what the effects and your own personal tolerance.

Ecstasy and Memory Problems

Posted on: June 20th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

 

Ecstasy and Memory Problems

People who frequently use “party drugs” like ecstasy may be causing serious damage to their brain and memory according to a recent study. The club drug MDMA or ecstacy can cause problems to immediate and short term memory even if it is taken less than once a month over the course of a year. Users may not immediately notice the effects and will most often be unaware of their issues with memory until permanent damage has taken place.

Memory issues caused by ecstasy are associated with damage to the hippocampus which is the area of the brain that is responsible for memory. Those involved in the study used an average of 33 ecstasy pills a year but damage was shown to occur after using only 10 pills in one year. The study raised concerns about the negative and damaging effects of MDMA even when used over a relatively short period of time.

Although memory problems are a major concern, there are other issues that can affect the health of ecstasy users. The drug is often taken in combination with a number of other drugs including alcohol and cocaine. Combining these drugs can be dangerous especially when taken in a party environment where people often get dehydrated and are at risk for all kinds of physiological issues.

Ecstasy also often leads people to engage in risky behaviors that can harm their health such as unprotected sex and driving under the influence The drug can also be highly addictive and the more of it the person consumes, the greater risk they have for damaging their body and brain. Even occasional use of ecstasy can be very dangerous and it can be difficult to reverse the damage caused by the drug.

This new study reveals the harmful effects of ecstasy and the need for users to end even recreational use to preserve their memory and cognitive function.

What is an Accidental Overdose?

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
What is an Accidental Overdose?

Most cases of drug overdose that are not fatal are considered accidental overdoses unless the person was attempting suicide. When a person dies from an overdose the medical examiner will need to determine whether the overdose was intentional or unintentional. If a person’s overdose is determined to be intentional then it can be assumed the individual was committing suicide.

An accidental overdose can come in many different forms depending on the type of drug the person used and their intention in taking it. In many cases if the person is an addict they may have taken more than their own tolerance could handle and end up overdosing. This happens frequently when users attempt to quit for a period of time and then start using the amount that they used to without realizing that they have lost their tolerance.

In other cases of overdose the person may have taken the drug accidentally because it was laced with something else or they mistakenly thought it was another substance. This is also a case where the person does not have a tolerance for the drug and their system cannot handle it. A less common occurrence but equally dangerous situation is when another person gives them a dangerous drug either intentionally or unintentionally and they are poisoned.

The only incidence where an overdose is not considered accidental is when a person purposefully takes too much of a drug because they intend to end their own life or otherwise harm themselves. Being aware of the dangers of a particular drug, always knowing what you are taking and evaluating your own tolerance can help prevent accidental overdose.

The Fundamentals Of Treatment For Drug Abuse