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’

E-Cigs and Vaping Addiction

Posted on: November 6th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

E-Cigs and Vaping Addiction

Electronic cigarettes or “e-cigs” have surged in popularity over the past couple years. Although less people smoke traditional cigarettes, e-cigs and vaping have become the new standard, making this vaping trend reach epidemic proportion especially within younger age demographics. According to Psycom, 1 in 5 high school students (3.05 million) and 1 in 20 middle school students (570,000) use e-cigs and vape pens. This dramatic increase in teen usage has resulted in high schools out right banning any vaping paraphernalia from school campuses across the nation.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by heating up the nicotine liquid. Some liquids are nicotine free and are solely flavored vapors awhile others have THC. These pens deliver high levels of nicotine, making the product extremely addictive. What was supposed to be a smoking cessation aid has actually formed a whole new throng of nicotine addicts. The number of lung illnesses linked to vaping has risen again across the United States.

Anti-tobacco made impressive gains over the years with smoking rates progressively down and even went so far to challenge millennials and Gen Z to be the generation that ends smoking. However, these anti-smoking groups have now met a whole new monster. Now their main fight is against vape pens, most popularly,

Their new video campaigns titled “No One Knows The Long-Term Effects of JUULing. Not even… the CEO of JUUL.” has garnered thousands of views. Although there are a number of e -cig brands and dozens of startups, Juul makes up a huge portion of the market and receives a lot of lot of backlash and blame. Juul has landed in lot of trouble for “accidentally” being marketed to young people via social media and for using their consumers s lab rats.

Adolescent Brain Development and Addiction

What is the most troublesome is that many teens believe that vaping is safer than cigarettes and that they are making a responsible health decision. The prefrontal cortex, also known as the decision maker, is not fully developed until the mid-20s. The pre-frontal cortex forms judgments and controls impulses and emotions and when it’s still in its immature state, immature behavior mostly results.

Not only does this make teens and young adults more risk-seeking but another part of their brain that is fully developed is the nucleus accumbens, also known as the reward system. Unfortunately, this combination makes teens and substance abuse very dangerous. Studies show that teens and young adults are more likely to become addicted to alcohol and drugs because of this brain plasticity.

Mental Health and Treatment

A study report by the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports that people who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns are twice as likely to try e-cigs and three times as likely to use vape pens.

Many adolescents don’t believe they can become addicted to nicotine but face challenges when they try to quit. Those that do manage to quit encounter many daily relapse triggers including their friends or classmates that continue to vape, locations they would normally vape or general boredom. In this case, prevention is key. Taking time to educate your teen or young adult about the very real dangers of e-cigs and vape pens.Treatment including cognitive behavioral therapy, individual psychotherapy and group therapy as well as mindfulness treatment can help with nicotine addiction.

References:

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/vaping/vaping-illness-epidemic-shows-no-sign-slowing-n1064546

https://observer.com/2019/11/juul-e-cigarettes-addiction-tobacco-harm-reduction/

https://childmind.org/article/teen-vaping-what-you-need-to-know/

https://www.yalemedicine.org/stories/vaping-nicotine-addiction/

https://www.socialworktoday.com/news/dn_062014.shtml

https://www.psycom.net/mental-health-wellbeing/juuling-teenagers-vaping/

Is LA’s Homeless Crisis Fueled By Mental Health and Addiction?

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

Is LA’s Homeless Crisis Fueled By Mental Health and Addiction?

According to The Addiction Center in 2017, there were approximately 554,000 homeless people in the United States. Many believe the number to be much higher due to the challenges in accurate data collection. The number of homeless increases each year, especially within the younger age demographic.

Causes of Homelessness

Although substance abuse can lead to homelessness, in many cases the end result of homelessness is substance abuse. Unfortunately, homelessness and addiction do often go hand in hand across age and ethnic groups. Other common causes are the result of a financial hardship including job loss, home forecloses and a lack of affordable healthcare or housing.  According to Harvard Health, “The mentally ill and people addicted to alcohol or drugs are the first victims of housing shortages.”

The National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) also lists addiction and mental illness as “two of the primary personal factors that lead to financial instability and the loss of permanent housing.” It is also important to note there do exist homeless individuals who do not have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Although rates of substance use are disproportionately high among those experiencing homelessness, homelessness cannot be explained by substance use alone as many people who suffer from addiction never become homeless

Mental health

Those experiencing homelessness may also develop mental health issues due to the harsh lifestyle. Not only do individuals who are homeless  generally face hunger and a lack of shelter, they also experience violence, sexual assault and many forms of harassment.

Homeless women suffer from gender-based trauma which in turn results in higher amounts of drug use compared to homeless men. The majority of homeless women also suffer from mental and emotional disturbances that often develop even before they become homeless.

Some mental health issues that homeless people experience include:

  • Severe anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Paranoia/Delusions/Disorentiation
  • Schizophrenia/Schizoaffective disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Major depressive disorder

The Cycle Continues

Without proper shelter, security and a lack of access to affordable treatment for substance abuse and mental health care, the homeless population continue deeper into the destructive cycle of abuse and often relentlessly withdraw from mainstream society.

There are numerous programs and continuous efforts to “solve the homeless crisis” but those involved face many challenges. Recently, Mayor Eric Garcetti allocated funding to emergency shelters with “A Bridge Home” program for those waiting to be placed in a more permanent form of housing. However, connecting those in need with these services are hard because of the widespread substance abuse and mental illness. The timing and bureaucracy of finding solutions also pushes those away.

Stigma

Unfortunately, negative narratives and a general misunderstanding of homelessness continuously lead to an ongoing negative stigma. Many believe the end to homelessness starts with the end of the homeless stigma. When attitudes are shifted and more people are informed of the causes and challenges, they can treat those experiencing homelessness with empathy and respect.

References:

https://www.addictioncenter.com/addiction/homelessness/

https://www.dailynews.com/2019/10/07/a-new-look-at-las-homeless-count-numbers-has-some-wondering-if-there-will-be-a-shift-in-conversation-around-mental-illness-drug-addiction/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/The_homeless_mentally_ill

 

Teen and Young Adult Smoking on the Decline

Posted on: June 29th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Teen and Young Adult Smoking on the Decline

The number of teens and young adults who report using cigarettes has been steadily declining over the years. Information about the dangers of smoking and changes in trends may have contributed to lower rates of smoking among young people. In spite of the progress made in reducing smoking, statistics show that 1 in 12 teens and 1 in 3 young adults still smoke cigarettes.

A study revealed that during the period between 2004 and 2010 the percentage of adolescents who said they smoked declined from a high of 12 percent to a low of 8.3 percent. Young adults aged 18 to 25 also showed a reduction in cigarette use during the same period with the number falling from 40 percent to 34 percent in 2010. Researchers believed the decline in the number of smokers was due to antismoking campaigns as well tax increases, higher prices of cigarettes and laws prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to minors.

The study also found that the number of teens and young adults who smoked every day fell as well as the number of cigarettes smoked by daily users. That means the frequency and amount of cigarettes used has declined overall among young people. The largest group of young smokers in the study included those who smoked fewer than five cigarettes a day.

The findings are encouraging when looking at the overall trend of smoking but addiction experts and health advocates feel that there is more progress to be made. The number of teens and young adults who smoke is still much too high as these young people are endangering their health and possibly their lives. Smoking remains one of the nation’s leading causes of preventable deaths and teens who get hooked early on may have more trouble quitting in the future.

Is Rock Bottom Always Necessary for Recovery?

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

 

 

E-Cigs and Vaping Addiction

The concept of hitting rock bottom is a traditional view of addiction that many people believe is a crucial part of the process of quitting. The idea behind rock bottom is that the person with an addiction will finally reach a point where they have experienced so many negative consequences from their behavior that they decide they need to get help. Rock bottom is essentially reaching the lowest point of your disease so that the only way to move forward is to admit you have a problem.

Even though rock bottom can be a useful idea in framing the narrative of addiction and understanding people’s motivation to quit, it is not how every addiction story occurs. In fact, believing that hitting rock bottom is the only way that someone can recover can sometimes be dangerous. If loved ones take no action and avoid helping an addict because they are waiting for them to hit rock bottom then they are leaving them alone to cause more damage.

For some people it may take years to finally hit rock bottom and during that time they can cause a lot of problems in their relationships, their physical and mental health and their finances. The gradual changes that they go through as a result of their addiction may become complicated to resolve once they finally do get help. Allowing those issues to build up over many years can take its toll on their lives and make recovery even more challenging.

Getting help as early as possible is usually preferable to hitting rock bottom so that addicts will not have to suffer for a long time. It is important to see if there is anything you can do to help an addict feel motivated to recover before they hit rock bottom.

The Role of Genetics in Alcoholism

Posted on: May 22nd, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
E-Cigs and Vaping Addiction

Addiction tends to run in families for a few different reasons but genetic predisposition is one of the most common causes of problems like alcoholism. The environment and culture that a person grows up in can influence them to drink and use drugs but their genes can also have a powerful effect. Certain distinct sets of genes can also determine whether someone will be a heavy drinker or if they will suffer from alcohol abuse disorder.

People who drink heavily and those who are alcoholics have many genetic similarities that make them more inclined to use substances. There are distinct regions of their genes that are associated with both groups of people and there are five that are linked to alcoholism alone. The genetic variants that are specifically linked with alcoholism tend to be associated with neuronal function.

The gene variants that are associated with alcoholism are also closely connected with the genetic risk of developing other types of psychiatric disorders. This may play a role in the likelihood of someone developing both an addiction and a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. Research has revealed that overall, genetics can account for about half of the risk of developing alcoholism.

Understanding the role that genetics play in alcohol abuse disorder and other psychiatric disorders can help people prevent or manage potential illnesses. If you are aware of a genetic predisposition for alcoholism or other types of disorders then you can take measures to avoid developing these issues through abstinence, therapy and other types of lifestyle changes.

Although genetics can be a strong influence on a person’s tendency to develop addiction, their lifestyle and personal choices are the key to whether they can manage their vulnerability. Alcoholism rehab can help people who have genetic vulnerabilities to recover and learn to live sober in spite of their inherent risks.