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

map The Gooden Center

Archive for the ‘Addiction Treatment’ Category

Sober Living Guide

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Sober Living

For anyone that has gone through rehab, going back to your normal life can be an intimidating transition. Even though you might have made a lot of progress in your work at the treatment center, you could have a lot of legitimate concerns about going back home. There may be certain people or situations that you are worried about facing.

Sober living is something that takes a lot of time and practice to feel comfortable in. After completing rehab, don’t expect to feel totally confident right away when you go back home and deal with day to day stresses. Even though it might be hard, there are steps you can take to become more stable in your sobriety while living on your own.

There are many aspects of your life that you will have to learn how to deal with as a sober person. Your job, spending time with friends and family, or just getting through each day can be difficult when you have been accustomed to using substances for a long period of time. You may be faced with a lot of triggers and not know how to handle them at first.

Sober living is a learning process that will require your energy and commitment. As long as you stay focused on your goal of being sober and living a healthier lifestyle then you can safely get through the most difficult triggers and cravings. There are plenty of strategies that can help you make it through your transition from rehab to living sober on your own.

Attending an Aftercare Program

If you feel particularly stressed or afraid of what will happen after you leave rehab, then take advantage of any aftercare programs that your treatment center offers. Most addiction treatment facilities provide some kind of option for former patients to continue receiving help and support in the first few months after they leave. Addiction treatment specialists understand how difficult it can be to return home and face numerous triggers so they are there to provide any kind of support you need.

Aftercare programs differ at each treatment center but most will allow you to continue coming back periodically so that you can speak to a therapist or a support group about the struggles you are facing at home. Aftercare may also offer important education opportunities such as relapse prevention which will teach former patients the tools that they can use if they are on the brink of a relapse. With relapse prevention you can learn about what to do in any situation where you feel overwhelmed by triggers.

Another reason aftercare programs can be beneficial following treatment is that they can also offer support for your family members. If there is tension in your household or your family members are not sure how to handle the issues you are dealing with then they can receive training and guidance. The more that your family understands about addiction and sober living, the more support and help you will have at home in difficult times.

The most important aspect of aftercare is having a place to talk or a channel of communication with people that you trust. You will be going through a lot when you go home and having professionals to talk to can help relieve stress and give you an outlet for your feelings. You can receive the guidance that you need and talk through all of your issues with people that understand.

Being Part of a Sober Community

Sober CommunityAs you attend aftercare and learn how to cope with your issues at home, it can be helpful to start establishing a support system by getting involved in a sober community. You can begin by finding a twelve step program in your local area where you can start to connect with other people going through the same issues that you are. Support group meetings are a great place to meet people you care about and make lifelong friends.

It is crucial when you go back home after rehab to have other sober friends that you can talk to in times of stress. If all of your friends still drink or use drugs then you will have no one you can rely on for support when you are struggling to stay sober. Make sure that you are a part of a sober community and have sober friends or mentors so that you have people in your life that can help keep you on track.

In some cases, building up your recovery community and network of friends that support you can mean ending some toxic relationships. You want to be surrounded by people that provide a positive influence and are there for you when you need them. If someone in your life proves to be a bad friend, a negative influence on you or doesn’t support your sobriety then it might be time to move on.

With a network of sober people you can start to feel more confident and secure whenever things get difficult. You will know that you always have someone to talk to should you experience a serious trigger or craving. Make a list of sober friends you can call whenever you are in a bad place and stay connected with them as often as possible.

Finding New Hobbies and Activities

As you spend time with your new sober friends you might start to think about what activities you can get involved in to keep life interesting and fun. Since much of your free time may have been spent engaging in substance abuse in the past, you may have to start developing new hobbies. This can be a positive experience as you can try things you have never done before and maybe even find something you love.

If there were certain activities you did in rehab that you enjoyed such as art therapy, music, hiking, swimming etc then you can continue to pursue these. Rehab is a time where people are often introduced to new experiences through the programs various classes and scheduled activities. If there was something you did in rehab that made you happy then make it a regular part of your life.

Planning group activities with your sober friends can also be a great way to keep yourself busy and learn how to have fun without the use of any substances. Instead of going to bars and parties as you might have in the past you can think of other group activities that don’t involve any alcohol. You can plan a group hike, go bowling, have a game night, go to a museum or even go on a camping trip together.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to finding hobbies and activities that don’t involve alcohol or drugs. You will find that being sober can actually open doors to things that you never thought of trying that actually make you feel much more happy and fulfilled.

Ongoing Therapy Sessions

After completing rehab it may be hard to go back to your normal life without having someone guiding you at every step. Some people need extra support in order to get through the painful transition to sobriety. Continuing to go to a therapist on a regular basis can be beneficial for mental and emotional health.

Living sober can be especially difficult if you have any mental health issues, personal problems or unresolved conflict. Having a therapist to talk to can give you the mental stability and guidance that you need as you continue to work through your problems. People with co-occurring disorders will need to have a therapist that they see regularly to prevent their mental illness from interfering with their recovery.

While your therapy sessions during rehab may have taken place every day, you may be able to continue to see a therapist on a weekly basis for support. Many people rely on therapy to help them work through the problems that they experience every day regardless of what their status is in recovery. Make sure to find a therapist that specializes in addiction recovery and has experience with helping people maintain their sobriety.

SoberGetting Involved and Helping Other Addicts

Sometimes a great way to stay on track with your sobriety is to be involved in giving back to your community. Doing something for others and providing your time, support and generosity can actually help strengthen your own sobriety. Giving back to others especially those in the sober community can be a transformative experience that helps to heal negative thoughts and emotions.

Volunteering in any way you can will help you avoid returning to unhealthy habits because it holds you accountable and creates a feeling of positivity and purpose in your life. You can work as a mentor to someone who is newly sober or work with organizations that need volunteers for charity events. Any way that you can give back will give you a chance to forget about your own issues and work to help someone else.

While they are in the midst of an addiction, addicts can become very self-centered and motivated by their own needs and pursuit of feeling good. Volunteering and working to help someone else can combat those selfish tendencies and help you focus your attention on others rather than focusing solely on yourself. Helping out in any way you can will create a feeling of gratitude that is very important in the process of recovery and sober living.

Finding Your Spirituality

Many rehab programs and support groups include some type of spiritual aspect that can help people feel more positive in recovery. Spirituality is important to maintain in sober living because it prevents a feeling of emptiness or lack of meaning that can be dangerous and negative. Anyone who wants to maintain their sobriety will benefit from some type of spiritual practice.

Being spiritual does not necessarily mean that you need to follow any particular religion or go to a church. Spirituality can be very personal and can take many different forms depending on the individual. If there are certain ideas, teachings or practices that you feel connected to spiritually then pursue those as often as you can.

Sometimes spirituality can be as simple as meditating daily to keep your mind and spirit calm. Those without a spiritual practice may feel lost and struggle to find meaning in their lives. As long as you have some sense of spiritual connection then you will find it easier to live a sober lifestyle.

Focus on Sobriety

No matter what you discover in terms of hobbies, spirituality and a sober community the most important thing is to keep sobriety as your number one goal. Remember that you need to take care of yourself and do all that you can to prevent yourself from relapsing. Although relapse can happen and it is possible to recover from it, you should do your best to maintain your sobriety permanently.

If you find yourself in any situation or around any people that you feel are putting your sobriety in jeopardy then make sure to put your recovery first. Never put any one thing above your sobriety as it is thing that matters most at this point in your life. If there are any people that you don’t trust or feel are not being supportive enough in your efforts to become sober then you might need to take a break from them.

Keep in mind that even though it might feel hard to stay sober in the early months, over time it will get much easier. The longer that you are sober, the more confident you will become in your ability to remain a sober person permanently. You will become adjusted to the sober lifestyle and feel more comfortable every day as you grow more accustomed to your new habits.

As you develop your sober routine you will eventually that your life is happier and more fulfilled than it ever was when you were struggling with addiction. Sober living can be a healthier and more enjoyable than you have ever felt in your life before.

Breaking the Stigma of Treatment

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

Breaking the Stigma of Treatment

Crippling fear, embarrassment and shame are all complex emotions that many who suffer with addiction are subject to. There are untold reasons why those who know they need help with their addiction avoid going to rehab in Los Angeles. But treatment methods are continually evolving and becoming increasingly effective. Furthermore, what was once thought of as a social stigma is now becoming an acceptable and responsible choice.

Why Seeking Treatment is a Good Idea

Realizing that there is an issue helps set in motion the process of recovery. When you seek treatment, you can finally start to address the years of addiction that you have suffered through. Trying to kick the habits cold-turkey, won’t necessarily yield the results that you would want.

The odds of relapse are greater, because you’re not working with someone trained to help those who are serious about recovering from addiction. A rehab facility on the other hand have experienced personnel and psychologists needed to help you through your withdrawal and help you address the underlying problems behind your addictions.

Growing Social Acceptability

It wasn’t that long ago that those who went to rehab were considered social pariahs as soon as others found out. However, this attitude has slowly changed over the years wherein due to greater awareness via information campaigns, people with hidden drug addictions are now being actively encouraged to seek treatment with little in the way of significant social stigma.

What to do About Work

In California, an employer with at least 25 employees must give unpaid time off for those who enter rehab, with few exceptions (one notable exception is if taking that time off would create an unreasonable burden on your employer). You would then use your accrued time off, and your company would be required to keep your treatment and reason for leaving private. Upon return, though, you have to be able to perform your job duties and not pose a risk to others. California gives additional protections to employees, particularly for alcohol rehab.

It wasn’t that long ago when addiction was considered a moral flaw and “treatments” ranged from imprisonment to asylums. But as the years have passed, our attitude towards drug usage and rehabilitation has drastically changed. Likewise, our understanding of what causes addictions has made treatments far more effective. Seeking help is no longer a big social stigma; rather, it’s seen as a necessary step in the right direction.

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.

Advantages of a Men’s Drug Rehab

Posted on: May 16th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Advantages of a Men's Drug Rehab

For many people in recovery, few parts of the rehab experience prove more helpful in supporting their sobriety than community. By engaging with other people also struggling with their addiction and substance abuse, you learn you are not alone, receive advice from other people facing similar situations, and begin to build up a network of supportive friends you can turn to when things get hard.

Though a lot of the time in rehab will be spent focusing on yourself, much of the benefits of the process come from not being alone. Many rehab centers are gender-specific, open only to men or women. If you are male, here are some of the advantages of a men’s drug rehab.

How Gender Affects Addiction: A 2009 survey by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that one in ten men abused an illicit drug, compared to only one in fifteen women. Men are more likely to engage in substance abuse, more likely to develop serious physical or physiological problems from their drug use, and more likely to be driven to angry and violent behavior because of their substance abuse.

Furthermore, certain treatments have been shown to more effective for most women then most men. Many men are less comfortable with the deep and direct sharing their emotions in traditional group therapy. Alternatives such as art or music therapy, engaging in physical activities together, or sports that build trust and bonding are often more effective at getting men to dig deep into themselves.

Focus on Men’s Issues: Addiction affects people of all genders and walks of life, but the way forward is not the same for everyone. This is because men and women face different challenges, and different social pressures that are manifested in the ways addiction festers and disrupts life. Men are often more likely to need help managing anger, whereas women may struggle with low self-worth. Without confronting the reality of socialized gender differences, many issues related to recovery may go unaddressed.

In a men’s recovery facility, you are able to appreciate commonalities in how you process information, express emotion, and view the world around you. This common ground can help you reveal many important things about the recovery program that will work best for you.

Safety and Honesty: Masculinity can often be a mask. From the time we are little boys, we are often punished for revealing emotions, expected to be “big and strong,” never reveal weakness or victimhood, and never admit we need help from anyone else. These lies often cause men to repress internal pain, ignoring the ways they hurt, and hiding their traumas from both the world and themselves. In a men’s recovery group, you have the opportunity to let go of the mask. You must admit your weaknesses and vulnerabilities, going against tremendous social conditioning.

Fortunately, a lot of other men are right there with you, and they will treat you with respect and show you a non-judgmental attitude that lets you know that you are safe. Together, you are working on a new way to be men, one rooted in honesty, self-reflection, and respect for each other. Admitting you need to change, and taking the steps to seek a lifetime of sobriety is a sign of strength, not weakness. When engaging with the opposite sex, many people are more likely to speak with less candor or comfort, even without intending to. Being in a group of men can help you feel more free to speak your own mind.

For all these reasons, a men-only drug rehab facility can be very advantageous to many men ready to begin the recovery process. A good treatment should not just stick you in with the same program as everyone else, but take into consideration your unique challenges

Dealing with Failure in Recovery

Posted on: May 15th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Dealing with Failure in Recovery

Failure of anything is a difficult feeling to overcome. During early recovery, it can be even more difficult to face failure, especially when it comes in the form of a relapse.

For many people, this failure becomes more than just a small bump in the road to recovery; it becomes an insurmountable obstacle. Failure does not have to damage the work you put into recovery. Knowing how to deal with failure and respond in a healthy manner can help you remain strong.

Recognize that Failure is Not Always Bad

Too often, people only look at the negative qualities of failure. They become so afraid of failing that they will not even try something because they believe they will fail. However, by overcoming this fear of failure, you can have the strength to try. Often, one must fail in order to finally succeed, and it might even take several failures to find the right path. Instead of focusing on failure as something dreadful, see it as a normal part of life. Sometimes people fail and other times they succeed, and it is not always completely up to a person as to which of the two happens.

Learn from Failure

Failure can be a positive thing, especially if you take the time to learn from it. Instead of wallowing in the fact that you failed, take the time to consider what you did wrong and learn from your mistakes. Maybe you were introduced to a trigger too early or something else happened that you can change the next time. Instead of focusing on the bad, look at how you can learn from it. This means that you should not deny that you made mistakes or failed. Instead, own up to the fact that you failed and use it as a way to learn so that you avoid doing so in the future.

Stop Associating your Self-Worth with Failure

Another reason people have such a difficult time with failure is that they let it define their self-worth. When they succeed, they see themselves as strong and good. Alternatively, they become terrible people when they fail — also known as failures. If you no longer associate your self-worth with whether you succeed or fail, then you will be freer to try. Acknowledge and respect the effort you are putting into something, not the outcome. Eventually, you will succeed, especially if recognize that there are many definitions of success.

Learn Healthy Ways to Cope with Failure

When failure happens, whether directly related to your recovery or some other type of failure, you need to have a healthy way to cope with the negative feelings that occur. Most addicts used to turn to their substance of choice when they encountered failure. Therefore, recovering addicts need to replace these unhealthy coping mechanisms with a healthy one, such as meditating, yoga, praying, or some other mindfulness or relaxation techniques.

Express your Feelings

When you experience failure, do not feel like you have to hide it form the world. Discuss your feelings with a trusted family or friend. This can help you to get an objective viewpoint of the failure, which can help you to learn from it and see the positive aspects. If you do not feel comfortable talking about it, you can journal or express your feelings through a creative outlet.

Failure is not the end of the world. All successful people have failed again and again. How you deal with failure can make a huge difference in your recovery. Do not let it overwhelm you and make you feel hopeless. Instead, embrace it and let it teach you how to do better next time.