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 ‘opioid crisis’

Military Personnel At High-Risk For Opioid Abuse

Posted on: November 24th, 2019 by emarketed No Comments

Military Personnel At High-Risk For Opioid Abuse

The United States opioid epidemic is hitting the military population especially hard. According to rates of prescription opioid misuse are higher among service members than among civilians. Veterans are also more likely to suffer a fatal opioid overdose than civilians. Most professionals believe the rates are mostly due to alleviating PTSD symptoms. Specifically, combat exposure puts active duty military and veterans at a great risk for abusing prescription opioids.

Additionally, Military Times reports that about a third of opioid abuse among service members and veterans could be explained by a war injury and subsequent chronic pain. Service-related injuries are almost always prescribed prescription opioids. The National Bureau of Economic Research reports the government health care costs associated with the treatment for active-duty service members and veterans who misuse prescription painkillers is $1 billion per year.

Of the military branches, the Army and Marine Corps had showed the highest rates of use, followed by the Navy and then the Air Force. The VA also reported a significant upsurge in opioid use disorders from veterans following combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which used to be known as “shell shock” is common for military personnel. Exposure to combat stress, witnessing the loss of a friend, and natural disasters can all cause PTSD. Most common symptoms include negative flashbacks, avoidance, negative changes in thoughts and moods, numbness, irritability and insomnia. Multiple deployments, injury and high stress also affect the mental health of military personnel.

Other Mental Health Issues

While PTSD is the most talked about when it comes to military mental health, issues including depression, anxiety, mood disorders are common as well. Service members can experience depression during deployment or suffer from severe anxiety leading up to deployment. Military stress can affect the entire family, with more children experiencing behavioral issues if they have a parent deployed

The Department of Veteran Affairs Challenges

The VA along with the Department of Defense has made efforts to curb opioid prescriptions by funding research and implementing guidelines. Their Opioid Safety Initiative encouraged military personal to explore alternative pain management treatments as well as educating healthcare providers on the risks of prescribing opioids.The prescription of opioids from VA has been decreasing due to the reluctance of doctors.

The military also enforces a strict zero-tolerance policy which creates a stigma around drug abuse and addiction. Those with substance abuse issues often suffer in silence due to fear of losing rank or being discharged and can also resort to isolating themselves resulting in additional mental health distresses.


Those diagnosed with PTSD or Opioid Abuse Disorder can greatly benefit from one on one psychotherapy as well as group therapy and other forms treatment. The VA has multiple resources available here that also include helpful resources for spouses and family members. Military personnel and their families form a tight-knit community and opening up and supporting one another in these times is most valuable.




When Opioid Addiction Meets Sesame Street

Posted on: October 26th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

opioid addiction sesame

Many people are familiar with the classic children’s television show Sesame Street, which first debuted in 1969 and has become a staple in the lives of many families across the globe. The show’s impact has cross many generations and has made numerous lists for being one of the greatest shows in television history. The fun yet educational television series has introduced many iconic and beloved characters including Big Bird, Elmo, Bert and Ernie and so many more. The award-winning show is known for its mix of puppetry, live-action, improv and animation and its ability to capture children’s attention and educate them.


The show has touched on numerous cultural and societal issues throughout its long run and though mostly celebrated for its positive and progressive attitudes, has occasionally made headlines for what some deem “controversial” subject matter. Over the 40-year show history, scandals including Bert and Ernie’s sexual orientation, Katy Perry’s risqué costume choice and issues involving the character’s voice actors have all made waves.

The show has introduced characters over the years to bring awareness and education to issues including Autism, HIV, race relations, incarceration, homelessness and even high political tensions. This year Sesame Street has introduced a character whose mother is struggling with opioid addiction. Many people have applauded this choice  to delve into something so real and widespread while others feel it is an inappropriate and extremely sensitive subject matter.

The truth is, the opioid crisis is rampant and has devastated different areas throughout the country, with children of those battling addiction becoming extremely affected.  Children of parents that abuse opioids often experience neglect, anxiety and depression and long term psychological trauma. Many children often find themselves in foster care or in the custody of other family members, especially their grandparents care. According to the NCBI, between 2009 and 2014, nearly 3% (2.1 million) of US children age 17 years and younger lived in households with at least 1 parent struggling with a substance use disorder. Other statistics reveal 5.7 million children under age 11 live in households with a parent with substance use disorder. “

Sesame Street Statement

A statement released by the shows President of Social Impact and Philanthropy reads, “Having a parent battling addiction can be one of the most isolating and stressful situations young children and their families face. Sesame Street’ has always been a source of comfort to children during the toughest of times, and our new resources are designed to break down the stigma of parental addiction and help families build hope for the future.”

The goal is to bring awareness to many of life’s circumstances, both good and bad, and teach children empathy and understanding. The characters encourage other children to speak openly about how they feel, top understand it is not their fault and most importantly that treatment is important for their parents to get better.

The Sesame Workshop offers resources for both children and their caregivers that include helpful information including addiction education, coping strategies including stress management tools, as well as constructive talking points






Doctors Urged to Screen All Patients for Drug Abuse

Posted on: August 18th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Military Personnel At High-Risk For Opioid Abuse

As the opioid crisis in the U.S. continues to escalate, the government is looking for solutions that may help alleviate the situation and save lives from the dangers of opioid abuse. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is recommending that doctors screen all their patients for signs of opioid addiction in order to address the problem early on. The more opioid abuse is recognized and treated in a medical setting the more likely overdose rates will start to decrease.

The national panel of health experts that make up the task force asserts that all U.S. adults who are 18 and over need to be screened to see if they are at risk for opioid addiction. The experts are hoping that if doctors are able to detect addiction and are more aware of the problem in every one of their patients then it will help reverse some of the growing problems with prescription drugs. In the past, health experts were unsure whether screening would be effective but they now believe that it could result in successful intervention.

Physicians are now recommended to use short written questionnaires or private conversations with patients in order to find out if they have a problem with opioids. There may be challenges involved such as getting honest answers from patients who may fear the stigma associated with their addiction. Doctors may need special training in order to handle the situation so that they can accurately identify an addict and refer them to a treatment program to get help.

Screening may be the next step in trying to combat the increasing rates of opioid addiction throughout the nation. Urging physicians to be more aware of possible drug abuse issues can increase interventions and get more people into treatment before it is too late.



New Addiction Drug for Opioid Addiction May be Blocked

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


Military Personnel At High-Risk For Opioid Abuse

The opioid crisis has taken its toll on the U.S. with the staggering number of deaths from overdose and the growing need for treatment resources. More than 130 people die from an opioid overdose every day in the country and the number has been continuing to grow. It has been proven that one of the most effective ways to prevent overdose and treat opioid addiction is through replacement medications like methadone and buprenorphine.

Unfortunately a new addiction drug may be blocked from coming on the market for years because of a loophole in federal law. Having different options for medications can be helpful for opioid patients because they may have to try a few until they find one that works best for them. With limited options, it can be more difficult for people in treatment to be able to stick with a recovery program.

Many people in recovery use methadone which they need to take every day and others use Vivitrol which is injected only once a month and can be more convenient. Others use buprenorphine which comes in a dissolvable tablet which they can take twice a day. A new form of buprenorphine called Sublocade that is only injected once a month may now be the only one of its kind available on the market for five years.

Sublocade was given 3 years of exclusive access to U.S. markets because of FDA laws and it may even be granted seven years exclusive access if it is designated an orphan drug. Competitive drugs that have already been deemed safe by the FDA may not be allowed to enter the market because of these laws in spite of the great need for alternative options for patients. Allowing alternative versions of injectable buprenorphine could help save lives if the FDA decides to avoid giving exclusive access to one drug during the crisis.