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 ‘alcoholism’

How Addiction Triggers Can Affect the Brain

Posted on: July 14th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

 

How Addiction Triggers Can Affect the Brain

Most people have experienced how certain sights and smells can trigger memories or cravings for food, alcohol or smoking. People in addiction recovery must cope with these triggers on a regular basis in order to prevent relapse. Studies have shown that the concept of a “trigger” is a real cue that can light up certain areas of the brain, especially for people with addictions.

 

Scientists have researched how environmental stimuli or cues can produce certain reactions in the brain. Exposure to certain cues can strengthen the memories we associate with specific behaviors such as using addictive substances. When alcoholics are exposed to an ad for alcohol for example, it makes certain areas of their brain hyperactive including the prefrontal cortex and thalamus. 

 

Since triggers can cause our brain to react, researchers have found that our brain is constantly fighting off unwanted reward signals that cause cravings. As the brain must exert effort to fight off these triggers, when a person is under stress it can become more difficult to ignore environmental cues that lead to cravings. Research discovered that people need their full cognitive control to ignore reward signals which means that when the brain is occupied by other problems it can be harder to fight triggers.

 

Stress and anxiety can put extreme strain on the brain’s functioning and can make it harder for people with addictions to manage environmental cues. When someone is under a lot of stress it is especially important for them to avoid situations where they might be tempted by signals. If they are calm and centered it can be easier for them to manage triggers in a more tempting environment. 

 

Recent findings explain why fighting triggers in recovery can be so difficult and research provides more insight into how addicts can manage their cravings. 

 

References

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325693.php

https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/latest-science/look-drug-craving

What to Say to an Alcoholic

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

How Addiction Triggers Can Affect the Brain

 

When you believe that someone in your life may be abusing alcohol, you may not know what to do or what to say to them that may help the situation. How can you discuss a person’s problem with them without driving them further away into their substance abuse? People who are actively addictive are often defensive of their actions which can make it challenging to discuss the issue with them. 

 

A useful way to start a conversation with an alcoholic is to start by expressing concern and love. You can say “I feel concerned about you because..” and discussing certain things that may be examples of how their drinking has affected them or other people. Having concern for them but also concrete reasons can make it easier to reach them.

 

Sometimes when drinking becomes really out of control you will need to give the alcoholic an ultimatum. You might say “If you continue to drink we can’t..” if you are feeling like you need to distance yourself from them. This may not affect the alcoholic right away but they will eventually think about your ultimatum and it can help them make a decision.

 

Even though you might want to establish boundaries with the alcoholic it is also important to make it clear that you will support them if they choose to be sober. You can say “I will be here for you when you decide to get help.” This lets them know that you are not abandoning them but must remove yourself from their addictive behavior. 

 

When an alcohol does enter recover you can provide support, be there for them when they need to talk and provide encouragement as often as you can. It can be difficult to handle the situation when someone is addicted but following these guidelines can help you maintain your relationship with them. 

 

References

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000815.htm

 

The Role of Genetics in Alcoholism

Posted on: May 22nd, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
How Addiction Triggers Can Affect the Brain

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.

The Newest Sober App – a Smartphone Breathalyzer

Posted on: April 21st, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
The Newest Sober App - a Smartphone Breathalyzer

Technological advances are making it possible to stay accountable while you are in recovery.  A new smartphone app allows people to take a breathalyzer test that will help ensure that their blood alcohol level is at a safe level. The new app called BACtrack can be useful for people who have quit drinking alcohol and need their sponsors or family members to check their sobriety level.

When people are struggling with an addiction they can get wrapped up in a lot of lies and deception that becomes a habit for them. In order for friends,sponsors and family members to know for sure that someone is sober they can periodically take a breathalyzer using the app to hold themselves accountable. Someone who is monitoring an addict in recovery can set a testing schedule using the app to check in on how the person is doing.

The app can be helpful for people in treatment that need to be able to prove to others in their sober living program that they are staying sober. Knowing that they have to take a breathalyzer test can also help motivate them to stay sober and keep them in check throughout their recovery. It can be helpful for peace of mind especially for spouses or other loved ones that are concerned about the addict’s ability to remain sober.

Those using the app will breathe into a device connected to the app which will measure their blood alcohol level. They can also take a photo of themselves to prove that it is really them taking the test. They can send both the photo and the results to the person monitoring them so they can evaluate it.

The use of these kinds of apps can help make the process of recovery smoother and also build trust among the people in an addict’s life.

Socializing with People When You Don’t Drink

Posted on: February 26th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
Socializing with People When You Don’t Drink

When you are in recovery it can be challenging to maintain your commitment to sobriety, especially in social situations. Your coworkers might want to go out to get drinks after work or you might get invited to a party where everyone is drinking heavily. These situations don’t mean that you can’t socialize or have to remain isolated from people who drink, you simply need to develop strategies to handle it.

There can be a lot of awkward moments when you hang out with people who drink and you are sober. When someone offers you a beer or asks why you aren’t joining in you might feel uncomfortable. It can be helpful to have a plan in place so that you know how to respond to questions, cope with your feelings and safely get out of the situation if you should start feeling triggered.

You should have a prepared response for when people offer you a drink or ask about why you are sober. You don’t necessarily need to talk about your recovery if you don’t want to. You can tell them that you aren’t drinking today or that you are driving so you can’t drink which can easily and quickly end the conversation.

If you find social situations where alcohol is involved too uncomfortable you can bring a sober friend with you to make you feel less alienated. You can talk to them about what you are experiencing and they will understand and feel the same. Remember that you can always call a friend, arrange to get a ride home or leave early if you are feeling too upset or tempted to drink.

Being sober doesn’t mean completely giving up your social life, but it does mean that you need to be cautious and mentally prepared for situations where alcohol is involved.