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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Posts Tagged ‘addiction recovery’

Celibacy as a Part of Addiction Recovery

Posted on: April 20th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Celibacy as a Part of Addiction Recovery

Quitting an addiction can be a very complicated process and there are many different elements to consider in making sure you can stay sober. Even though the main focus of recovery is abstinence from the drug you were addicted to, there are other aspects of a healthy lifestyle that can help support sobriety. Many recovery programs recommend that people take a break from dating at least for a period of time until they are more stable.

Relationships can be difficult to handle at any point in your life but when you are just beginning to work on your sobriety they can be too much to handle. Being celibate can be a good way for people to focus solely on themselves and their own recovery so that they don’t complicate their situation with sex. Although the goal can be different for everyone, many people avoid intimate relationships for at least a year until they are more confident in their sobriety.

People in recovery often don’t have the skills to maintain a relationship and be fully present with a partner because they are learning how to clean up and manage their own lives. Dating will most likely be a distraction from their goals and could even trigger a relapse if it becomes too emotional or intense. Celibacy is important because there is always the danger of replacing a drug addiction with sex as a way to self-medicate.

Recovery requires a lot of focus on the self and hard work in a treatment program. In order to fully heal and manage their life as a sober person, people in recovery need to be single until they feel ready to date again. When they have succeeded in developing their communication skills and are feeling more comfortable in their sobriety then they can once again be open to healthy and supportive relationships.

Support Groups for Families and Friends of Addicts

Posted on: March 20th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Support Groups for Families and Friends of Addicts

People that are struggling to become sober have lots of support from their treatment center and regular group meetings so that they can handle the experience. What about the family and friends of addicts that are also grappling with this difficult time? Support groups for those that have loved ones with addictions can be a very helpful and healing resource.

Twelve step and other types of treatment programs understand that it is not just the addict that is negatively impacted by substance abuse. When someone has an addiction it can hurt them and everyone around them. The way that a person behaves while they have an addiction can be very painful and confusing for their loved ones.

Support groups for an addict’s close friends and family can be a place for people to talk about what they are dealing with now and what has been problematic in the past. There are many frustrating aspects of knowing someone with an addiction and being able to talk about it can help ease some of the stress and make it more manageable. These kinds of support groups are designed to give people an outlet for dealing with their feelings about a person’s addiction and the recovery process.

Why Family and Friends Need Support

There are many reasons why people who know an addict need help from a support group to get them through the other person’s recovery. Addiction is a long-term problem and the things that an addict goes through can affect everyone around them. Close loved ones have many difficult and conflicted feelings about the addict and they need to talk about them with people that understand.

The dynamic between family members when there is an addiction in one or more individuals can be very complicated. Some family members may be angry and resentful, trying to exert control over the person’s addiction by hiding bottles taking away their car keys. Others may unwittingly become enablers by helping take care of the addict, hiding their behavior or lying to other people about their substance abuse.

People within a family and even close friends often take on different roles when dealing with an addict. They may not even be aware of how they are coping with this person’s addiction and how they are enabling or causing more conflict with them. Support groups give people a chance to get feedback on their relationship and learn better ways of dealing with these problems.

Spouses of addicts can have especially complex issues with their partner and may not know how to improve their relationship. The addict’s intense focus on their drug or alcohol use can leave their partner feeling unloved, neglected and resentful. An addict may also neglect their role as a parent leaving their partner to take on the duties alone.

Different Kinds of Support Groups

Because there are a multitude of issues that can come up when a person has a relationship with an addict, there are a variety of support groups available for help. There are support groups specifically for spouses because their relationship leads to unique dynamics that need to be addressed. Spouses of addicts need to be around others that have experienced similar problems with their partners so that they can receive the advice and support that they need.

There are other support groups available for specific family members such as parents of addicts. It can be especially painful and disappointing to have a son or daughter who has developed an addiction. Parents may be dealing with feelings of failure and may be unknowingly enabling their child by helping them.

Addiction can be especially hard on children who witness the addictive behavior of a parent on a regular basis. Children with an addicted parent often live in chaos or fail to receive the care and parenting they need to become a functioning adult. Support groups for children of addicts can be a safe place for people to confide in others who have also grown up with an addicted parent.

There are even support groups especially for siblings of addicts that are dealing with their own unique issues of living with someone else’s addiction. Siblings often feel ignored because the addict requires so much attention from parents and everyone else in the family. Siblings can also worry about the addict and their safety or feel unable to help them.

Whatever your relationship is to an addict, there is a support group available to help you work through your feelings about the situation. The more you learn about addiction from the group the more you will have a better understanding of how to cope with your loved one’s problems. Support groups can help everyone involved with the addict feel that they can handle them and their recovery.

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.

How to Motivate Your Loved One to Go to Drug Rehab Treatment

Posted on: February 9th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

How to Motivate Your Loved One to Go to Drug Rehab Treatment

When someone you love has a drug problem and you feel that there are clear signs and symptoms of an addiction then the next step is talking to them about treatment. Telling someone that they need help is a very delicate subject and requires a lot of tact so that you don’t end up offended them or pushing them further away. People with addictions are often in a very complicated psychological state because of the effect that their drug use has had on their brain and emotions. They could be defensive and want to protect themselves and their ability to continue their habit without any interference. Sometimes their level of denial is so strong that they may believe that they do not need help or their drug use is completely under control. Understanding how to motivate someone to get help can make you an important catalyst for change in this person’s life. When you know for sure that a person has a dangerous addiction, you should get educate yourself on how to approach the situation and get involved so that you can prevent the problem from getting worse.

The Wrong Approach for Helping Drug Addicts

Before you get a sense of how to talk to someone about their addiction you should first learn the “don’ts” of approaching an addict. If you have a negative, angry attitude then you will not be able to convince them to get help because they will try to defend themselves. Being accusatory, preachy or condescending will cause more harm than good because they might only get more upset and turn back to drugs to escape. On the other hand, pleading or begging them to quit may cause them to ignore you because they are in a self-centered state of mind and do not care about pleasing other people. Even telling them about the dangers of their addiction will not always work because they may have little regard for their own life or health at this point. A better approach helping drug addicts is to help them see for themselves and lead them to the conclusion that they are drinking or using too much. This can be difficult because of the problem of denial.   

Overcoming Denial to Fight Drug Addiction

One of the biggest obstacles to someone deciding to seek treatment is their own powerful sense of denial that prevents them from seeing the situation objectively. Denial makes it almost impossible for people with addictions to admit that they need to quit and if you want to talk to someone about their drug use you need to have a strategy for approaching their denial. At times addicts can begin to break through denial on their own because the negative consequences of their drug use have built up and led them to hit rock bottom. It can actually be a good time to talk to someone with an addiction when they have just experienced a very serious consequence for their behavior because they may be more inclined to listen and admit that they have a problem. Timing is important and certain circumstances can make someone more prone to reach the conclusion on their own that they need to get treatment for their substance abuse.

Helping them Consider Rehab Drug Treatment

To get someone to at least consider rehab drug treatment you need to avoid being too aggressive or commanding about the situation. Sometimes the best way to start the conversation is to ask questions and get them discuss what is going on in their life. The more questions you ask, the more you are getting them to really think about the negative things that are happening in their life and whether their drug abuse is root of most of their problems. The truth is that addicts may think more positively about treatment if they feel that they have really made the decision for themselves. It is truly the best scenario because instead of them entering treatment as a way to fulfill an obligation to the people around them, they are choosing sobriety for themselves. Asking a lot of open ended questions can help effectively lead an addict to consider treatment rather than ordering them to get help because you believe it is the right thing for them.

Empathy for Addiction Recovery Help

Whenever you speak to someone about their addiction, you will have to constrain certain emotions and judgments that you may have about them. Even though you might feel angry, frustrated, or fed up with their behavior you will have to put those feelings aside and focus on empathy in your conversation. You might feel that you want to disagree with them when they say certain things but being antagonistic or not going with the flow can cause the discussion to go off the rails. Before speaking with them try to tap into your feelings of empathy and love for them. Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand where they are coming from so that you will be less likely to lash out or say the wrong thing. Always make empathy a priority when you are attempting to motivate someone to go to treatment. As long as you realize that underneath all of their selfish behavior, they really are suffering in their addiction and hurting themselves more than anything you can show compassion rather than judgement.

Encouraging Responsibility to Get Help for Alcohol Abuse

If you are trying to motivate someone to enter treatment your role is to help them recognize they have a problem and personally choose rehab as the right solution. The most effective way to do this is to encourage the addict to take responsibility for their actions and their addictive behavior. People with addictions often blame others for their problems and may want to avoid taking responsibility by saying their alcohol or drug use is everyone else’s fault. They may try to say that family difficulties or other people’s treatment of them drove them to addiction. While there could be family dynamics or other issues that influenced them to drink, it is important for them to realize that their behavior has always been their own choice. Taking ownership of their problems and taking responsibility for what they have done in the past helps to create a greater desire to change. Once they realize that it is up to them to make changes they will be more open to getting rehab treatment.

Creating Boundaries before Treatment for Drug Addiction

Sometimes when you have a close relationship with a person who is addicted to drugs or alcohol you end up getting too involved in the situation. As the friend or family member of an addicted person you can get caught up into the chaos and lose your sense of freedom and personal space, causing you extra stress in the process. One way to motivate a person to seek treatment is to begin to set boundaries with them so that they begin to realize how their actions are affecting other people. It is also the healthiest choice for everyone involved so that you do not fall into the habit of enabling the addict and putting the burden of their mistakes on yourself. You can tell them that you will not lend them any more money, bail them out of jail or even be around when they are drunk or high. Setting these boundaries is not an attempt to punish them for their actions but rather to keep you at a safe distance and allow the addict to fully experience the consequences of their actions. If you are always there to soften the blow of their mistakes, they will never completely understand the problems they are causing.

Enlisting Help for Drug Treatment Options

It might feel overwhelming and too complex to be responsible for helping an addict to get drug treatment options. If you feel that you can’t handle the task on your own, you should find help among a group of concerned friends and family members who also want them to start rehab. You may feel embarrassed or scared to bring up the subject to other people but you might find once you open up the topic that they are experiencing a lot of the same feelings that you are. Sharing your concerns about the conversation with a group of other people will help you collectively come up with a strategy that everyone thinks will work best for convincing them to get treatment. You can also reach out to a counselor and discuss your plans with them to get some professional advice about how to deal with an addicted person or even talk to someone you know who has been through treatment themselves and might have some personal insight into the situation.

Staging an Intervention for Recovery from Addiction

In the end you might decide that the best way to motivate your loved one to get treatment is to set up an intervention rather than have a one on one conversation. If you have tried to talk to them before and have made no progress than getting the help of a professional interventionist could help you ensure that you get the best possible outcome. An intervention can be carefully planned with the help of an unbiased third party who is there to facilitate conversation and prevent emotions from running high. Professionals with a lot of intervention experience will know the right way to approach the addict and handle their reactions to anything that is said. They know how to deal with issues of denial and defensiveness that might be preventing your loved one from making the decision to get help. An intervention is also a way to include a group of people in the person’s life that are worried about them and want to see them get better.

Talking about How to Treat Alcohol Abuse

Whether you choose a one on one conversation or a group intervention about the treatment for alcohol abuse, the discussion should always circle back to professional treatment as the solution. The first step of course is getting the addict to admit that they have a problem but the ultimate goal of talking to them is to convince them that they must go to rehab. Some addicts might insist that they can handle recovery on their own and can either moderate their drinking or go cold turkey without any help. You must be firm in persuading them that this is not an option because it will only create more problems and be dangerous to their health. By the end of your conversation they should be resolved to go into treatment starting with detoxification and then living in a residential facility. The only way to fully treat an addiction is with an intensive program that will help address the many physical and mental health issues that accompany substance abuse. Always make sure that your loved one will go to treatment and not attempt to quit on their own before the conversation ends.

Support as the Best Way to Beat Addiction

If you are successful in convincing someone to enter a treatment center for their addiction, then your involvement should not stop there. The best way you can help them recover is to be there for them and support them throughout the whole process. Stay in contact with them while they are in treatment and check in to see how they are doing and what kind of progress they have made. People with addictions need friends and loved ones to rely on for help when they are struggling to stay sober. Your role should be to keep encouraging them, listen to them and allow them to confide in you because recovery is too difficult to accomplish alone. You can be involved in their recovery by spending time with them doing sober activities and providing positive reinforcement whenever they need it the most. When they complete their treatment, they will still need your help in the transition to living at home again. If you help them stay on track and avoid relapse then they will be able to achieve a successful recovery.