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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Addiction Treatment LA

Posted on: November 26th, 2016 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Addiction Treatment LA

If you feel like you’ve hit a “bottom” that goes lower than you ever thought you would, it may be easy to give up hope.  You may feel totally powerless, wanting desperately for things to change, but unsure of how that is possible. Falling back on old patterns, or simply trying again to strengthen your willpower to abstain or “control” your alcohol or drug use is not going to be enough. In order to overcome a lifestyle of addiction, you need a radical transformation of how you live your life, and this is not something you can do by yourself. Fortunately, you don’t have to continue in old patterns by yourself. An addiction treatment facility, like the Gooden Center in Los Angeles, can offer many different resources to help you turn your life around.  

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Some people assume “rehab” means spending an extended period of time cut off from their regular life, spending a month or more focusing only on issues of their addiction. However, there is another option for people to get the positive benefits out of a addiction treatment while living and working as normal. The Gooden Center offers intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) as another option that can work around your schedule and your financial needs. Each IOP session is three hours in length, Tuesday through Friday mornings and evenings, or Saturday mornings. Each session will include both processing groups where you can discuss your struggles with other people, and education opportunities to learn more about ways to care for yourself in all aspects. Both of these can be very helpful in helping you maintain your sobriety.  Here are some reasons why an intensive outpatient care might be right for you:

  • You have completed residential treatment, and need a boost to continue in recovery.
  • Your level of substance abuse and addiction has reached a level mild enough to not require full treatment
  • Active participation in a peer support group, like 12-step programs or their alternatives, doesn’t feel like enough.

The more you are able to keep up treatment for your addiction, the more likely you will be able to sustain your commitment to sobriety. Outpatient care can be a great way to extend your care, and continue gaining tools to hold onto your important, life-saving commitment.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment

In 2009, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that  23.5 million adults in the U.S. have a serious drug or alcohol abuse problem in need of addiction treatment. That’s 23.5 million people with their own stories and experiences. Yet it is also 23.5 million people with a lot of things in common. The right addiction treatment program for you will recognize these truths, and strive to create a balance, having both a solid foundation of evidence-based treatment that will work for everyone, and openness and flexibility to find the right treatment plan that works for your unique situation.

Addiction is something that affects every aspect of your being. Treatment must also deal with multiple aspects that contribute to your full thriving. Your physical health, emotional and mental well-being, social support network, ability to function with and feel supported by family, and ability to do well in school or employment are all important aspects that support full recovery. This is why a treatment should involve a wide variety of programs and therapeutic options, all of which can contribute to helping you get and stay sober.

How the Gooden Center Stand Out From Other Addiction Treatment Centers

There are many potentially wonderful addiction treatment centers out there – that may be capable of giving you personalized evidence-based care. The Gooden Center has a few particular strengths and uniqueness, including that it is gender-specific for men, allowing for greater intimacy, safety, and sharing.  It also offers a great deal of personalization, and a low staff to client ratio that insures you will always have access to its services. At the Gooden Center, there is space for  your needs to be truly listened to.

Dual Diagnosis Drug Rehab

Posted on: October 26th, 2016 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Dual Diagnosis Drug Rehab

Full sobriety is more than discontinuing substance abuse. Recovery must also take into consideration the factors that led to your addiction, helping you to heal from wounds of your past, and live a life where you can love yourself the way you are. This is especially true for dual-diagnosis, or people dealing with a mental illness or mood disorder alongside an addiction. Mental illness and addiction often have a strong symbiotic relationship, where having one can easily cause the other.

The 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 25 percent of people with mental illness had used an illegal drug in the past year, compared with only 12 percent without a diagnosis. If you are struggling with both a mental illness and an addiction, it is vitally important to find a treatment that will take both of these conditions seriously, deal with them both, and recognize the ways they may be interconnected.

The Relationship: Many people afflicted with mental illness self-medicate, or turn to alcohol or drug use in problematic ways as a way to tamper down or deal with their disorder. If therapy or medication is unaffordable or unavailable, or trauma and painful emotions are not dealt with directly, they may turn to any number of substances that can dull the pain or distract them, using substance abuse as a tool for repressing. For example, people with depression or bipolar disorder treatment may use alcohol as a way to improve their mood in the short-term. This can make them feel better in the moment, but when the substance wears off, the unwanted feelings frequently come back stronger than ever.

Furthermore, long-term drug or alcohol abuse leads to tolerance, as the body and mind adjusts to the substance-abuse, and is no longer affected in the same way. This means the user must take more and more of a drug in order to feel “normal,” in a cycle that puts them at greater and greater risk. The relationship can also go the other way, as well. Many mental health issues can be caused or worsened by substance abuse.

Drugs can distort your grasp on reality, “turning up the volume” on your brain’s internal dialogue, in a way that often intensifies anxiety, paranoia, or depression as they do lasting harm to your brain chemistry. This means that a person with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders can easily get trapped in a cycle. They self-medicate to deal with unwanted thoughts or emotions, but they only end up feeling worse in the long-run, making them turn to even more and higher doses of a drug or alcohol. Treatment: For a person with a dual diagnosis, their challenges with mental health and substance abuse are intimately connected, and so should be treated together.

The main goal of Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment (IDDT) is to provide individualized care that places both the psychiatric disorder and the addiction on equal footing. This means that every provider should be aware of both issues, and treat them together. All areas of your unique situation are taken into consideration as we think about what treatment plan may best work for you to find both healing and sobriety.

Some of the methods used include: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, meeting one-on-one with a trained therapist to work on ways to deal with self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, recognizing and replacing them with ones that can help you thrive. Mindfulness techniques that teach you to deal with painful emotions, and increase your ability to accept yourself. Holistic therapies can help you recognize triggers for depression treatment, anxiety, or mania, and work out developing replacement coping mechanisms, more effective and more healthy than self-medicating.

Group therapy and meeting in support groups, as people struggling with related issues practice vulnerable sharing and offering support to each other. Aftercare services to ensure you can continue to get help dealing with the stresses of the “real world,” maintaining your plan to treat the mental illness and remain sober.

Hope: Untangling the knot of co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis can be a very complicated. These deeply entrenched difficulties may take a lot of work, and deep self-examination. The good news is that you are not alone; but a highly trained staff and people struggling with related issues can help you along, as together you take things “one day at a time,” and learn the best ways of making it through life, together.

5 Goals to Accomplish in 2015

Posted on: January 28th, 2015 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Many people take advantage of the New Year to set resolutions to stop bad habits or pick up good ones, and think they will be able to radically transform their lives. For some, it can be a very exciting time of hopefulness and thinking through what they can change about their lives.

However, many people’s resolutions do not stick, and people end up settling back into old routines, discouraged and feeling like a “failure.” That’s why it’s better, rather than making a resolution, to think about setting goals. Whereas a resolution is a hard and fast rule working on a surface issue, a goal is a more far-reaching, yet more achievable commitment to self-transformation.

To help you get started, here a few goals that might help you live a more complete life.

1. Cut yourself a break every now and again

Throughout the day, most people have a running internal dialogue. Everyone has emotions and memories, either coming from within or triggered by something outside that alter the way they see themselves and the world around them. This self-dialogue can often be extremely self-critical and harsh, and get in the way of your ability to enjoy life around you.

Practicing mindfulness is one important way to learn how to bring these thought under control, by bringing your attention back to the present moment, rather than carried away by thoughts or anxieties.  When an anxious thought comes, breath slowly to bring you attention back to the present moment.  Focus on something calm or joy inducing in the outside world and then speak truth to yourself. Practice speaking affirming truths to yourself, rather than beating yourself up.

2. Create routines that you can follow through with

Taking time to take care of your body and be healthy benefits more than your physical self. Your entire self is deeply connected, so having a healthy body will help with your emotional and physiological self too. One of the best ways to help your body is to make sure you get an adequate amount of:

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise

This can be accomplished by setting routines throughout the day in which you take time to make sure that you are caring for yourself. Some routines you might want to try are:

  • Setting a sleep schedule up where you are asleep by a certain time and awake by a certain time
  • Take 20 minutes every day to exercise
  • Stay in contact with friends and family
  • Clean your living space

Developing these simple routines can make a huge difference for your health.  

3. Laugh!

It can be very easy to get bogged down in the mundane and stressful parts of life and ignore reasons you have to be grateful. Life can get overwhelming sometimes, so be sure to take time to take care of yourself.  

Figure out what you can do to be happy, and then make that an important part of your schedule. Laughing and being happy renews your energy to keep living life, and is a vitally important part of what it means to be a healthy person.

4. Help Others

Helping others gives your life purpose and connects you to a community of people. Find opportunities to volunteer or be part of exciting organizations doing good in your community.  Or, you can simply reach out to those around you, and make yourself more available to friends.

Simply being able to listen to someone’s story, and offer your support and encouragement, can do an incredible amount of good.  

5. Take the High Road

Yet at the same time, people can sometimes be very frustrating. Pay attention to when you feel irritated or frustrated or angry at someone else, and try to find ways to be calm, and respond with gentleness in that situation. The words you speak in a moment of cleverness or frustration could be very hurtful, so learn how to pause, and think about the impact before you speak. 

These are just a few of the goals that can lead to you having a life filled with joy, healing, and gratefulness. But ultimately, you should be setting your own goals. Take some time to think about what is important to you and what you would really like to see changed about your life, and then work on crafting goals for your new year.

If you really commit to these goals, and work at breaking them down into manageable, positive steps, you may be very surprised at how deeply your life will be transformed.

Using the Holiday Season As Motivation

Posted on: January 20th, 2015 by The Gooden Center No Comments

One of the best ways to help yourself and support your healing is to help other people.  Doing good for others fills your day with good feelings of gratefulness from people you helped, takes your mind off your own problems, and gives your life meaning.

Thus, finding opportunities that resonate with your values and make the world a better place is an essential part of long-term recovery.  The holiday season can often be an especially helpful time to find ways to be of service to others.  Here are a few ways you can use the holidays and the spirit of the season to find ways to do good for others.

1. Think about what Gifts You can Give

Lots of cultures have holiday traditions that revolve around giving presents, or hospitality, or other tangible gifts to others. Sometimes this can become a stressful thing, as you stress out over finding the “perfect” gift and end up losing focus on the true meaning of gift giving – showing love and appreciation to someone else.

A recent study by Adam Grant and Jane Dutton found that people were far more likely to be generous if they spent time thinking about times they had been giving in the past.  Reflecting on the joy you can bring to someone with a simple gift can be a powerful incentive to think of other ways you can contribute to the world.

2. Look For Opportunities To Give Back

Whether it’s on “Giving Tuesday,” or through toy drives, special holiday dinners, or other special community events, many groups that are doing good things take advantage of the holiday season to increase their visibility.  Local newspapers, radio stations, and community events web sites will probably be filled with opportunities for you to volunteer and help.  

Try to find something that resonates with you in particular, and then just try going out and doing it.  You may find whole new passions and life-meaning created out of the experience.

3. Practice An Attitude Of Gratitude

Becoming aware of how much you have to be grateful for can help you realize how much you have to offer someone else. Keep a gratitude journal, or a reminder of things you have to be thankful for.  This will in turn help you realize not everyone has the privileges you do, and this in turn can enlarge your giving spirit.  

It could be a tangible material possession, but could also be a sense of joy, peace, connections with others, or an ability to create.  Whatever it is that you find yourself being thankful for, take time to also think about ways you can share that gift with others.

4. Holiday Traditions And Their Deeper Meaning

It’s very easy for the stress related to holiday observances to distract from the reasons these holidays exist in the first place. No matter how busy or stressful things are getting, take time to reflect more deeply on what the holidays mean to you.

Think about the needs of the world, and bring them to the sense of hope, family, light, and promise that the holidays offer.  One of the best ways to connect the holiday to its deeper purpose is to make it about the good you can do for others.

5. Reach Out To Other People

The holidays are often observed very publicly and part of wider celebrations of joy.  Strangers may be more likely to interact with each other.  As you are comfortable from your culture and your personality, pay attention to other people’s openness to you, and seek to learn about others.

 Simply greeting people, wishing them a happy holiday, and taking the time to get to know them or hear their story will enlarge your own view of human experience, and help you think about ways you can be of service.

Cities Crack Down on Feeding Homeless

Posted on: November 10th, 2014 by The Gooden Center No Comments

In almost every city in the United States, there is a sizable group of people living on the streets because they are too poor to have any other options. According to a report by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 3.5 million people will experience homelessness in a year. The issue of homeless people is one too big to be ignored, and one that often invites a response of compassion from people with a wide variety of backgrounds.

Many people from both religious and secular backgrounds have responded to the crisis of homelessness by giving out donations of things that can meet tangible needs of the very poor, including food. However, giving food can sometimes be controversial, particularly the mass feeding of people in large groups.

Several cities have passed laws either restricting or criminalizing the giving of food to the homeless, and trying to figure out why can help people determine ways to respond, and work to treat poor and homeless human beings with the respect and help they deserve.

The Extent Of Laws, and Their Effects

In this past year, 33 cities have considered laws that make food-sharing programs more difficult, joining more then 50 cities with anti-food sharing laws, including Philadelphia, Phoenix, Orlando, Houston, and Cleveland.

Houston’s law demands that anyone giving free food to more then five people could be fined as much as $2,000, unless they first registered with the city. A recent law in Fort Lauderdale, FL requires all feeding sites to be 500 feet away from each other, and 500 feet away from any residential property.   In enforcement of these laws, members of groups in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale have been arrested for giving out food in parks.   

A Debate About the Effects Of Feeding

Although some of this law may seem to be rooted in compassion fatigue, a denial to see homeless people as human, or a not-in-my-backyard response, there are people offering arguments why unlimited food sharing is not always the best thing for the homeless.

Mayor’s offices and city councils behind these laws say that want to encourage more homeless people to seek out indoor shelters, where they will be safer and have access to more long-term care, and where they can eat safely in situations with better hygiene. In their view, giving people food in parks or on the street is simply enabling people to stay in unhelpful situations.

However, homeless advocates, like the National Coalition for the Homeless argue that this reasoning is based on an unrealistic understanding of the conditions and desperation of the homeless. They argue that people are going to be on the street, inevitably, because shelters aren’t able to take everyone in, and those people left outside the system will starve to death unless their tangible needs are met.

They argue that restricting the ways people can give food serves as a deterrent, diminishing the number of groups that will give food, and thus meaning more homeless will go hungry. They argue that food sharing does not perpetrate homeless, and that criminalizing the outward sign of poverty does nothing to solve  the root causes.

How To Respond

By educating the public about the true causes of homelessness, poverty, and hunger, we can help to change the conversation and culture to one that is more compassionate to people’s true needs and realities.  The homeless population faces a lot of stigma and misinformation, so helping to appreciate and hear their story is an important first step.

Both short-term and long-term solutions to the problem of hunger are needed, so it must be made possible for well-intentioned people to give food to those in need, but there must also be more money available for food assistance programs.