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 ‘Treatment’ Category

Military Personnel At High-Risk For Opioid Abuse

Posted on: November 24th, 2019 by emarketed No Comments

Military Personnel At High-Risk For Opioid Abuse

The United States opioid epidemic is hitting the military population especially hard. According to DrugAbuse.gov rates of prescription opioid misuse are higher among service members than among civilians. Veterans are also more likely to suffer a fatal opioid overdose than civilians. Most professionals believe the rates are mostly due to alleviating PTSD symptoms. Specifically, combat exposure puts active duty military and veterans at a great risk for abusing prescription opioids.

Additionally, Military Times reports that about a third of opioid abuse among service members and veterans could be explained by a war injury and subsequent chronic pain. Service-related injuries are almost always prescribed prescription opioids. The National Bureau of Economic Research reports the government health care costs associated with the treatment for active-duty service members and veterans who misuse prescription painkillers is $1 billion per year.

Of the military branches, the Army and Marine Corps had showed the highest rates of use, followed by the Navy and then the Air Force. The VA also reported a significant upsurge in opioid use disorders from veterans following combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which used to be known as “shell shock” is common for military personnel. Exposure to combat stress, witnessing the loss of a friend, and natural disasters can all cause PTSD. Most common symptoms include negative flashbacks, avoidance, negative changes in thoughts and moods, numbness, irritability and insomnia. Multiple deployments, injury and high stress also affect the mental health of military personnel.

Other Mental Health Issues

While PTSD is the most talked about when it comes to military mental health, issues including depression, anxiety, mood disorders are common as well. Service members can experience depression during deployment or suffer from severe anxiety leading up to deployment. Military stress can affect the entire family, with more children experiencing behavioral issues if they have a parent deployed

The Department of Veteran Affairs Challenges

The VA along with the Department of Defense has made efforts to curb opioid prescriptions by funding research and implementing guidelines. Their Opioid Safety Initiative encouraged military personal to explore alternative pain management treatments as well as educating healthcare providers on the risks of prescribing opioids.The prescription of opioids from VA has been decreasing due to the reluctance of doctors.

The military also enforces a strict zero-tolerance policy which creates a stigma around drug abuse and addiction. Those with substance abuse issues often suffer in silence due to fear of losing rank or being discharged and can also resort to isolating themselves resulting in additional mental health distresses.

Treatment

Those diagnosed with PTSD or Opioid Abuse Disorder can greatly benefit from one on one psychotherapy as well as group therapy and other forms treatment. The VA has multiple resources available here that also include helpful resources for spouses and family members. Military personnel and their families form a tight-knit community and opening up and supporting one another in these times is most valuable.

References:

https://www.militarytimes.com/pay-benefits/2019/10/14/combat-troops-at-higher-risk-for-opioid-heroin-addiction-study-says/

https://www.military.com/spouse/military-life/wounded-warriors/opiate-addiction-and-veterans-how-to-get-help.html

https://www.vox.com/first-person/2019/11/11/20955190/veterans-opioid-addiction-shame

 

 

What Is Residential Drug Treatment Really Like?

Posted on: October 10th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

How Thought Disorders are Treated

Everyone has some sort of idea of what residential drug treatment is like. We’ve all seen TV series and movies in which the protagonist spends time in rehab, to varying levels of success. In most cases, the rehab isn’t the main focus, but is rather a driver of the plot. Because of this, representations of rehabs are not generally accurate. Most of the time, they’re not even close.

So what is residential drug treatment really like? Let’s take a look at what you should be expecting.

A Happy Environment

You probably expect rehab to be one of the most difficult periods of your life. A time during which you have to give up the things you enjoy and spend hours regretting your mistakes. The reality is almost the opposite.

Mental Health Treatment in PasadenaAfter you have detoxed from substances, you will find that residential drug treatment is quite a happy environment. Every resident has made mistakes and is dealing with a lot of uncertainty, shame, and regret. However, because you’re in a place where you can openly face these feelings, they don’t have the same debilitating effect on you. You can feel shame and regret knowing that you’re trying to do better. You can accept the uncertainty, knowing that while you are in rehab, your needs are taken care of.

During groups, you get to know your fellow residents better than most people in your life. When you have free time together, you spend your hours chatting and becoming friends. Everyone in rehab has made some of the mistakes you’ve made, and it is therefore an environment where you can view each other without judgment. You get to be candid and reflect on your past with some more perspective, and friends who understand you.

Empathetic Staff

There are plenty of scenes in TV shows and movies where a character, sitting in a group, makes an impromptu speech, belittling the rehab process by sharply pointing out all its flaws. They walk out with the group unsure how to continue, led by a flabbergasted counselor.

Military Personnel At High-Risk For Opioid Abuse

This does not happen in real life! Counselors in rehab are well-trained and empathetic. They are often individuals who previously struggled with addiction. Therefore, they will understand and relate to you if you express your doubts or anger about rehab. They have seen a lot of people come and go, with such vastly different stories that little surprises them. Stories that do surprise them are heard with interest and empathy, rather than shock and horror.

Staff at residential drug treatment centers do not take challenges personally. They themselves may well have expressed the same feelings in the past. Rather than trying to “convert” residents to their way of thinking, they will always hear you out and help you come to a better understanding of yourself and what you need.

Personal Commitment

Another trope we often see in media is people who don’t want to be in rehab and are just waiting to be discharged to go back to their substance of choice. When leaving, they say something like “See you in a month,” knowing they’ll be back soon.

Military Personnel At High-Risk For Opioid Abuse

In real life, most people in rehab are there by choice. They can leave at any time if they want to. Unless someone is ordered by a court to go to rehab, no one can make them stay. The reason they’re in rehab is usually because life could not go on without some sort of change. Residents don’t want to leave until they feel ready to live life without relapsing.

You probably feel this way. One or more aspects of your life – whether family, financial, legal, or anything else – has collapsed or is on the verge of collapsing. You need to recover or things will only get worse.

Every other person present is going through something similar. They’re not going to be undermining your process, but rather empathizing with you the way no one else can.

Positive and Relaxed

For this reason, staff at residential drug treatment centers don’t walk around policing residents as if they’re inmates. There are rules you’ll need to follow to ensure everyone has the opportunity to recover. However, you are expected to follow these rules out of your own personal commitment, and because they’re not at all oppressive.

Military Personnel At High-Risk For Opioid Abuse

Rehab is about a positive process of learning to approach life in a new, healthy way. It is certainly not about negative reinforcement or punitive measures. You will build a rapport with the staff, developing relationships that foster growth and productivity.

Only those who are harming other residents or causing severe disruptions are likely to face warnings and potentially be told to leave.

Various Approaches to Recovery

Many people expect all residential drug treatment centers to follow a 12 Step approach. The 12 Step Program, developed by Alcoholics Anonymous, has indeed become the flagship way of treating addiction. However, it is not the only way, and even in centers which use the 12 Step Program, other tools and methods supplement your recovery.

Addiction is a complex disease, and it is different for everyone. While certain treatments seem to work for most people, there are other options. This is often especially important for those who struggle with the “Higher Power” mentioned in the 12 Steps or those who have tried the program but have not found it helpful.

Residential Drug Treatment

Residential drug treatment may seem like a frightening proposition, but it is actually a positive step that you are likely to enjoy. You will find a welcoming environment where you are encouraged to make friends, grow, and express whatever you are feeling.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact us today for help.

Anxiety Treatment During Inpatient Drug Rehab

Posted on: September 16th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Anxiety Treatment During Inpatient Drug Rehab

People suffering from anxiety are 2 to 3 times more likely to struggle with addiction. Since 18% of the American population is suffering from anxiety, it’s not surprising that many individuals in drug rehab have a co-occurring anxiety disorder. For this reason, drug rehab centers treat anxiety (and other mental illnesses) concurrently with the substance use disorder.

Here is what you need to know about the link between anxiety and substance use, and how it is treated in rehab centers.

The Link Between Anxiety and Substance Use

There are a number of reasons people suffering from anxiety start using substances. For people suffering from social anxiety disorder, alcohol and other substances give them confidence and lower their inhibitions. They may start using the substance in group settings or when they are afraid they won’t be able to speak to someone important.

In contrast, many people suffering from various forms of anxiety use drugs and alcohol to turn off their mind’s chatter. This is especially true for people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), who struggle to find ways to quiet obsessive thoughts. However, it is often also the case for people with other forms of anxiety.

Since anxiety can lead to insomnia, as the individual struggles to shut down their mind despite being exhausted, some sufferers turn to drugs or alcohol to help get to sleep.

There are many avenues which lead people suffering from anxiety to substance abuse. How is anxiety treated in drug rehab centers?

Dual-Diagnosis

All good rehab centers take a dual-diagnosis approach to recovery. This means that they treat any co-occurring mental illnesses concurrently with the substance use disorder. As with anxiety, many other mental illnesses correlate with substance abuse, and in order to fully recover, patients need to treat both.

Therefore, anxiety treatment in a drug rehab center is given high priority. On some occasions, addiction treatment coincides with proven anxiety treatments.

When Anxiety and Addiction Treatment Intersect

When Anxiety and Addiction Treatment Intersect

Many common treatments for substance use disorder intersect with treatments for anxiety. Group therapy is a fundamental part of drug rehab. It gives residents the opportunity to voice their issues, rather than obsessing over them internally. The sense of community helps individuals know they are not alone, and the support reassures them.

Mindfulness training is also useful for both addiction and anxiety. Mindfulness techniques help individuals quiet their minds, letting the troubling thoughts come and go rather than holding onto them or trying in vain to get rid of them.

Individual Therapy

While every patient in a rehab center will receive individual therapy, it provides those suffering with anxiety to confront the problem head-on. In individual therapy, patients can focus on their own personal issues and not just their substance use. They work with the therapist to understand where their anxiety originated and identify the narratives that drive the anxiety. With this understanding, they can begin changing those narratives in a significant, paradigmatic way.

In addition, individual therapy gives the person the chance to learn specific techniques to deal with anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is perhaps the most popular therapy used for treating anxiety in particular. In CBT, the individual learns to identify and challenge troubling thoughts. Often these thoughts are irrational, and challenging them brings this to light, helping the person let go of them. Even if the thoughts are rational, obsessing over them is often irrational and, with practice, the individual learns to let them go.

CBT provides a range of other techniques to manage anxiety. For example, some therapists recommend setting aside “worry time” to spend considering the anxious thoughts, while compartmentalizing them.

Medication

In many cases, psychiatrists will prescribe medication to help individuals manage their anxiety. Rehab centers have psychiatrists who specialize in dealing with addiction. This is important, considering many anti-anxiety medications are addictive. The benzodiazepine class in particular – including Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and other well-known tranquilizers – are known to build dependence.

Instead of prescribing these drugs, which are at best temporary solutions, psychiatrists in rehab centers will prescribe long-term alternatives. Seroquel can help with anxiety and depression, as well as facilitating better sleep. Antidepressants are proven to reduce anxiety. Your psychiatrist will have a wide range of knowledge about the best non-addictive chemical options to treat anxiety.

Occupational Therapy

The rehab center, or your individual counselor, may also provide occupational therapy. This is training that helps you in practical ways, such as creating structure, managing anxiety through day-to-day activities, practicing for job interviews, and much more.

The Importance of Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

The Importance of Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

Rehab centers place a high importance on treating anxiety and other mental illnesses, as they can lead to rehab. If an individual’s drug use began as a way to deal with anxiety, they need to find adaptive ways of dealing with that anxiety, or drug use will be the most attractive option.

Anxiety disorders and substance use disorders are closely linked. Good drug rehab centers treat anxiety concurrently with addiction.

References:

  1.  Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2016). Substance Use Disorders
  2. Franken, I. H. and Hendriks, V. M. (2001), Screening and Diagnosis of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Substance Abuse Patients. The American Journal on Addictions, 10: 30-39. doi:10.1080/105504901750160448

  3. Mancebo, M. C., Grant, J. E., Pinto, A., Eisen, J. L., & Rasmussen, S. A. (2009). Substance use disorders in an obsessive compulsive disorder clinical sample. Journal of anxiety disorders, 23(4), 429–435. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2008.08.008

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Otte C. (2011). Cognitive behavioral therapy in anxiety disorders: current state of the evidence. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 13(4), 413–421

  7. Vasile, R. G., Bruce, S. E., Goisman, R. M., Pagano, M. and Keller, M. B. (2005), Results of a naturalistic longitudinal study of benzodiazepine and SSRI use in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia. Depress. Anxiety, 22: 59-67. doi:10.1002/da.20089

The Fundamentals Of Treatment For Drug Abuse

Posted on: August 8th, 2019 by The Gooden Center 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

The Rural vs Urban Opioid Crisis

Posted on: March 2nd, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
The Rural vs Urban Opioid Crisis

As the opioid epidemic continues to grow, researchers are beginning to recognize trends in how abuse and overdose affect different areas throughout the country. Opioid addiction is more dramatically affecting people living in rural areas rather than those in urban cities especially when it comes to prescription opioids. Older adults in rural areas are more frequently dealing with addiction and fatal overdoses than those in other parts of the country.

One of the reasons opioids have hit rural areas so hard is that people living these areas have nearly two times the odds of being prescribed opioids than those in urban cities. Studies have revealed that even though opioid prescriptions have been declining overall they still remain relatively high in rural areas. People in rural counties actually have an 87 percent higher chance of receiving an opioid prescription compared with people in metropolitan areas.

Prescription habits among primary care doctors may be at least partially to blame for the differences in prescription addiction in rural areas. Rural adults tend to be the ones that experience the highest rates of opioid issues and more are being hospitalized on a regular basis for their problems with prescription painkillers. Physicians in rural counties are often providing these kinds of drugs for people with pain problems because they feel they may not have the time or resources to get physical therapy or surgery.

There are also many barriers for people in rural areas to receive the treatment they need for addiction because they may have to travel long distances or experience long wait times to getting help. It may be more difficult for them to get the support they need to recover. It is important to establish more access to care for people in rural areas and to prevent rural doctors from overprescribing opioids in order to effectively reduce the opioid crisis.