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 ‘alcohol abuse’

Alcoholism and Masculinity

Posted on: May 10th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

 

Alcoholism and Masculinity

Alcoholism and Masculinity

Historically, alcohol abuse has always been more prevalent among males than females although recent statistics have been slightly shifting. Overall, men tend to become addicted to alcohol more often than women and they tend to binge drink in greater amounts. There is an intricate relationship between alcohol and masculinity as many men feel they must drink alcohol and large amounts of it to prove their manhood or affirm that they are masculine.

Social drinking has traditionally for many years been a cultural symbol of manliness which is often strengthened by media portrayals of alcohol and men. Some theories express that men with alcohol dependencies actually have the most fragile masculine identities that they are attempting to boost by heavy binge drinking.

Male Culture and Social Drinking

Studies show that men not only consume more alcohol but they also have higher frequencies of intoxication and are more likely to form a dependency than women. Certain male subculture and environments tend to encourage excessive drinking such as Greek fraternities which support the notion that alcohol is a rite of passage for men.

Men who are able to drink large amounts of alcohol without much of a physical reaction are considered more manly than those who become sick or cannot handle their booze. Alcohol abuse and a high tolerance then becomes a way to prove masculinity in many male social circles. Research has shown that men who adhere to many of these kinds of masculine norms are actually more vulnerable to peer pressure and are insecure about proving themselves.

Masculinity and the need to adhere to masculine norms can be harmful in a number of different ways. Men who try to conform to strict male codes often experience heightened psychological strain and burden that can exacerbate their alcohol abuse. Drinking alcohol then, serves as a method of both proving their masculinity and an emotional escape from the strain of adhering to these types of male norms. The male norms and codes then appear to be closely linked to alcohol abuse among many men who struggle with their own masculinity.

Men who value other qualities such as self reliance and control may be better equipped to minimize their drinking behavior. On the other hand, men who focus more on physical strength and ability to handle substances will be more likely to test their limits and consume more alcohol than others. In many cases, these are the men who develop dependencies and struggle the most with addiction.

Bradley Cooper Talks Alcoholism, Depression and Recovery

Posted on: May 7th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is a famous and esteemed actor and producer.  He first achieved prominence with his work on the television shows Alias and Jack and Bobby. Since then, he has become highly esteemed for his roles in The Hangover trilogy, Silver Linings Playbook, and American Hustle.  He has received two Academy Award nominations, and was named the “Sexist Man Alive” by People magazine in 2011.

However, like many people who seem to outwardly enjoy a great deal of fame and success, his personal life has been marked by struggles.   He has abstained from alcohol since he was 29, out of fears that “If I continued [drinking], I was going to sabotage my whole life.”  In a January 2014 interview with GQ magazine, Bradley spoke about his life’s struggles with alcoholism and depression, and told a story of hope and recovery that can serve as a great encouragement to anyone seeking freedom from the pain of addiction.  

There was a Problem

Many so-called “high functioning” addicts can use their outward success as an excuse to sink further into denial, telling themselves their addiction isn’t really out of control or something they need help for, because they are continuing to be able to do their jobs.  Fortunately, Bradley Cooper possessed enough truthful self-awareness to not fall into that trap.  His GQ interviewer, Zach Baron asked about the impact of his alcoholism, expecting stories of not showing up on set or of “work getting [expletive] up.”  

His response was that things didn’t have to get to that point for him to realize there was a problem. “The best thing I can do is embrace who I am and then do that to the fullest extent, and then whatever happens, happens.”  His alcohol abuse was taking him away from that and putting him’” farther away from fulfilling any potential I would have.” Emma Stone, an actress he has worked with on several films, noticed this transformation herself, saying “He’s gotten more and more present in his life as he got older.”

Personal Transformation

Because alcohol was interfering with his passions and his work, he threw himself into the process of recovery, and grew in a life-saving level of self-awareness and commitment to his career.  His low point occurred after an Achilles injury and accompanying depression that left him homebound and considering quitting acting altogether.  When he saw that the effects of his addiction was leading him to have less and less screen time, that was enough to motivate him to seek change.

After he got his own life in order, his film and television career enjoyed more success then ever, and he discovered that he could live a free and full life being “actually myself…I don’t have to put on all this air to be somebody.”   This outlook is showing a lot of wisdom, that the basis of recovery starts with learning to love and care for yourself. He learned how to get over his anxieties of how he came across to other people, and that led him into a career-inhibiting haze of alcohol.  Once he realized that he could be accepted as himself, he found this freeing truth enough to change his life.

It all starts with a moment of clarity, in which an addict realizes the harm he or she is doing to the well being of his or her self and others, and so seeks out help.  Because Bradley Cooper achieved a moment of clarity, we reap the benefits of his talent and creativity of a man deeply aware of and in tune with himself. 

Alcohol Poisoning and Detox

Posted on: April 27th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Alcohol Poisoning and Detox

People that abuse alcohol regularly can put themselves in very serious danger when they drink. When people binge drink often, their tolerance for consuming large amounts of alcohol continues to increase. They may no longer be aware of how much is too much and are at a high risk for accidental alcohol poisoning.

An alcoholic or a heavy binge drinker may think that they can drink however much they want without experiencing any consequences. However people with these kinds of addictions can suffer from alcohol poisoning and end up in the emergency room. It is not only a painful experience it can also be deadly in many cases.

Alcohol poisoning can occur even for people that are very accustomed to drinking heavily. Someone may not realize how much they are actually consuming especially when they are already intoxicated. After going through alcohol poisoning the victim will most likely go through a period of withdrawal during which they can choose to enter detox.

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

When someone experiences alcohol poisoning, it usually happens when they have consumed a very large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. Even though people in the U.S. consume alcohol regularly a surprisingly large amount of people experience accidental alcohol poisoning. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are about 2,200 deaths per year related to alcohol poisoning which averages to about 6 per day.

Many people don’t understand the limits of alcohol tolerance in the body and are unaware that they are consuming more than their body can handle. When someone has alcohol poisoning it is because the high volume they have consumed is flooding the bloodstream and is interfering with vital functions of the brain such as breathing, heart rate and temperature. Because the liver can only process a certain amount of alcohol at a time, too much will mean that the toxins are flooding the body.

Alcohol poisoning can cause many severe reactions in the body including-

  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
  • Irregular breathing (long gaps between breaths)
  • Blue tinged or pale skin
  • Unconsciousness or passing out

If someone seems heavily intoxicated, it is a good idea to become familiar with the signs of alcohol poisoning so that you can recognize when they need medical help. If someone is passed out or it seems like they are having trouble breathing it is crucial to call 911 as soon as possible. In order to prevent alcohol poisoning from becoming fatal, the person will need immediate medical attention.

It can be difficult to recognize the symptoms of alcohol poisoning in yourself but it is crucial if you are drinking alone or the people around you are too intoxicated to notice that you need help. If you find your breathing or heart rate slowing down and you feel cold or are shivering then you might need to go to the hospital. Getting medical help in time can save your life and prevent your body from shutting down.

Detoxing from Alcohol Poisoning

When someone experiences alcohol poisoning they may go through a period of withdrawal afterward as their body tries to rid itself of the toxins. They may feel very uncomfortable or be in a lot of physical pain as they recover from the poisoning. In the same way that an alcoholic goes through withdrawal, large amounts of alcohol can lead to intense detox in the period afterward.

For someone who has gone through alcohol poisoning, they might consider going to a detox center to help them recover from their experience. Consuming alcohol to the point of nearly dying means that you do not have a safe or healthy relationship to the drug. Even though alcohol is legal that does not mean it is normal for the body to be flooded with that many toxins.

Detox can give you a chance to rid your body of all the chemicals that are making you dependent on alcohol. Having an experience with alcohol poisoning can be a wake up call for people because they realize that they are not able to drink responsibly. There are plenty of detox centers available for people who have been through alcohol poisoning and need to get the drug out of their system.

Although drinking is meant to be a social behavior, it can sometimes turn into a dangerous habit that can mean your life is at stake. Alcohol poisoning deaths are an unfortunate reality in this country as people are not able to control their drinking or don’t know their limit. Avoiding alcohol can be a safe alternative to a risky habit.

If you want to quit drinking, contact a detox center and a rehab treatment program in your area today.

Alcohol-Related ER Visits

Posted on: April 22nd, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Alcohol-Related ER Visits

Even though alcohol is a legal drug, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any serious dangers associated with it. More people than ever are ending up in the emergency room because of alcohol-related incidents causing injury. The number of alcohol-related ER visits has risen 61 percent in the last decade.

People end up in the ER for various reasons related to alcohol but some of the most common are drinking and driving accidents as well as alcohol poisoning. People are also more reckless and less inhibited when they drink which can lead to them getting hurt. These type of accidents are taking up lots of hospital resources and driving up health costs for people who are making poor decisions while drinking.

These ER visits actually represent a public health problem because it places a strain on the U.S. emergency care system. In order to combat this problem there need to be more efforts to identify and reduce binge drinking throughout the country. Binge drinking can lead to more alcohol-related incidents because people are more likely to be highly intoxicated compared to just having a few drinks over a longer period of time.

The more alcohol a person consumes in a short period of time the more they are at risk for alcohol poisoning or other related injuries. Binge drinking is defined as 4 or 5 drinks consumed within about 2 hours. Our bodies take about an hour to metabolize one drink, so this type of binge drinking can lead to serious issues with coordination and focus.

No matter how much alcohol a person has consumed, it is never safe to drink and drive. Finding a designated driver can help minimize the toll that ER visits has on our healthcare system. Reducing binge drinking can also prevent serious injuries and maintain health and safety.

10 Ways Your Body is Withdrawing from Alcohol

Posted on: April 17th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

10 Ways Your Body is Withdrawing from Alcohol

One of the hardest aspects of quitting an addiction to alcohol is the way that your body will react to abstinence. Suddenly stopping the use of a substance you are physically and mentally addicted to can be uncomfortable and even painful at times.

Many people react in different ways and have their own experience with alcohol withdrawal. However there are certain common bodily responses that most people will find happening to them. Here are 10 ways that your body responds to alcohol withdrawal.

1. Shaking and Tremors– One of the first symptoms that people experience within the first day of abstinence or even several hours after their last drink is tremors. That means your hands or even your limbs are shaking involuntarily. The tremors may be more intense if you are especially anxious about detox and your body is responding to your anxiety.

Shaking occurs because your nervous system is suddenly flooded with more activity. People get accustomed to the depressant effects of alcohol which create less stimulation for the nervous system and the brain. Without any alcohol in your system your body responds by being hyperactive because the brain is experiencing more activity than it is used to.

2. Increased Heart Rate and Breathing – The sudden surge in activity in the central nervous system can create a number of other symptoms in the body. Many people will have a rapid heart rate or quick shallow breathing. As your nervous system goes into overdrive your heart may beat faster which can also be exacerbated by feelings of anxiety.

3. Excessive sweating – People going through withdrawal may find themselves sweating heavily especially at night. As their heart rate and breathing rate increase it can trigger perspiration as a result. It is important during detox to make sure that you stay well hydrated and replenish your electrolytes when you have severe sweating symptoms.

4. Trouble Sleeping – Most people going through detox will find it very difficult to sleep and will probably need some type of non-addictive medication to get through a full night. Issues with sleeping can begin the first day and persist for some time until the person’s body adjusts to living without alcohol. Sleep issues can be caused by a lack of dopamine in the system which can put the body into a panicked “fight or flight” state making it difficult to fall asleep.

5. Anxiety or Depression – Alcohol and other substances produce so much dopamine when they are consumed that your brain slows down its own production of natural dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that helps regulate your mood and when you suddenly quit drinking alcohol your brain is producing a much smaller amount than you are used to. This sudden drop in dopamine can cause all kinds of problems including feelings of anxiety and depression.

Your brain will need time to start producing normal amounts of dopamine instead of the depressed levels it was creating when you were drinking alcohol. Without enough dopamine you will have much higher stress levels which will cause you to feel worried, anxious and depressed in addition to making it hard to sleep. It is important to find ways to handle this extra stress so that it does not become overwhelming.

6. Delirium Tremens – The most severe kind of alcohol withdrawal that people experience is delirium tremens or DTs which can be very intense. The symptoms can occur within 48 hours of your last drink and tend to include severe confusion, seizures and hallucinations. People usually only experience delirium tremens if they suddenly quit a very severe alcohol addiction.

7. Headaches and pain– Your body is adjust to drinking alcohol on a regular basis and when you suddenly quit it may respond by causing aches and pains throughout the body. Many people get a serious headache or a feeling of achiness throughout their whole body. This pain will eventually subside but taking over the counter aspirin can help minimize the discomfort.

8. Nausea and Vomiting– Within the first day or two of withdrawal your body is likely to respond with feelings of nausea and vomiting. The chemical dependency causes your body to react and many people feel queasy or uncomfortable in their stomach.

9. Fever or Increased Temperature – Along with an increased heart rate some people may also experience an increase in their body temperature as a reaction to abstinence. Taking fever reducing medicine may be necessary to keep their body temperature from rising.

10. Mood Swings – One of the most difficult reactions that people have to abstaining from alcohol is severe mood swings. Their body is used to using alcohol to relax and calm their emotional state. Without a drink they may feel agitated, angry or tearful and sad.

Alcohol withdrawal can be painful and uncomfortable for a period of time but ultimately you will experience positive benefits for your physical and mental health by abstaining from alcohol.