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 epidemic’

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 DrugAbuse.gov 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.

PTSD

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.

Treatment

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.

References:

https://www.militarytimes.com/pay-benefits/2019/10/14/combat-troops-at-higher-risk-for-opioid-heroin-addiction-study-says/

https://www.military.com/spouse/military-life/wounded-warriors/opiate-addiction-and-veterans-how-to-get-help.html

https://www.vox.com/first-person/2019/11/11/20955190/veterans-opioid-addiction-shame

 

 

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.

Controversy

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

 

References:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/10/12/sesame-street-characters-mom-has-an-addiction-experts-say-thats-valuable-lesson/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6330457/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50003560

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sesame-street-addiction-childrens-show-addresses-opioid-crisis-as-muppets-mother-battles-addiction/

https://www.nichq.org/insight/treating-opioid-epidemic-childrens-health-crisis

 

 

 

The Rural vs Urban Opioid Crisis

Posted on: March 2nd, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
The Rural vs Urban Opioid Crisis

As the opioid epidemic continues to grow, researchers are beginning to recognize trends in how abuse and overdose affect different areas throughout the country. Opioid addiction is more dramatically affecting people living in rural areas rather than those in urban cities especially when it comes to prescription opioids. Older adults in rural areas are more frequently dealing with addiction and fatal overdoses than those in other parts of the country.

One of the reasons opioids have hit rural areas so hard is that people living these areas have nearly two times the odds of being prescribed opioids than those in urban cities. Studies have revealed that even though opioid prescriptions have been declining overall they still remain relatively high in rural areas. People in rural counties actually have an 87 percent higher chance of receiving an opioid prescription compared with people in metropolitan areas.

Prescription habits among primary care doctors may be at least partially to blame for the differences in prescription addiction in rural areas. Rural adults tend to be the ones that experience the highest rates of opioid issues and more are being hospitalized on a regular basis for their problems with prescription painkillers. Physicians in rural counties are often providing these kinds of drugs for people with pain problems because they feel they may not have the time or resources to get physical therapy or surgery.

There are also many barriers for people in rural areas to receive the treatment they need for addiction because they may have to travel long distances or experience long wait times to getting help. It may be more difficult for them to get the support they need to recover. It is important to establish more access to care for people in rural areas and to prevent rural doctors from overprescribing opioids in order to effectively reduce the opioid crisis.

Are We in a New Phase of Opioid Crisis?

Posted on: February 26th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments
Are We in a New Phase of Opioid Crisis?

Even though the level of opioid abuse and overdose has already reached epidemic proportions, the problem is continuing to escalate into a new and more dramatic phase. Researchers are predicting that the problem will keep growing and shift into a different form as new kinds of opioids are being consumed more often. They also predict that some of the programs aimed restricting access to prescription painkillers may not be enough to stem the tide of abuse.

One of the biggest issues that is changing the path of the opioid epidemic is the introduction of new and powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl. This synthetic drug is 50 times more potent than heroin and even a small amount can lead to an overdose if the user doesn’t have enough of a tolerance. Fentanyl has led to overdoses in areas throughout the country and even a mass overdose where 13 people at the same party needed to be revived.

The number of overdose deaths attributed to fentanyl has been steadily rising and causing health issues all over the U.S. Fentanyl is dangerous not only because it is so potent but also due to its low “therapeutic index” or the line between a safe dose and a fatal one. It can be very easy to overdose on fentanyl because even a microgram can be too much for a person’s body to handle.

Researchers predict that fentanyl will cause an increase in opioid abuse and overdose in the near future. It may be some time before the U.S. is able to reduce instances of opioid addiction and deaths related to opioid abuse. Our current programs may not be enough to prevent the growing number of deaths resulting from both prescription opioids and fentanyl.

New tactics may be necessary to try to change the current course of the opioid epidemic.

Are You Considered High Risk for Opioid Abuse?

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

Risk of Opioid Abuse

As the opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc on the health of the nation, experts are working to understand the factors that can lead to opioid addiction or misuse. Certain people may have an increased risk for opioid abuse and should be very cautious about using opioids for any medical reasons. Knowing your own risk level can help keep you informed and safe from the dangers of opioid addiction.

Certain genetic factors can influence whether someone is more likely to become addicted to opioids. If you have had issues with another type of addiction in the past or if a close family member has had addiction problems then you may be at higher risk. Addiction can be an inherited trait so people with a family history of drug abuse should avoid using opioids or other addictive drugs.

People with mental health issues are also more likely to be at risk for opioid abuse and addiction. Someone with a mental illness may be more likely to abuse drugs as a way to alleviate their symptoms. The tendency to self-medicate makes mental illness sufferers much more vulnerable to addiction.

Another complicated risk factor is the issue of chronic pain. People who suffer from chronic pain are more likely to become addicted to opioids because they may be prescribed the drug on a long term basis due to their condition. Alternative pain treatment methods may be preferable for people with chronic pain who are concerned about their vulnerability to becoming addicted to opioids.

There are many other risk factors that can make someone more likely to abuse opioids such as living in a rural area, being unemployed, or having financial problems. The important thing to keep in mind is that opioids are a highly addictive drug and even with the absence of these risk factors, it is still possible to develop a problem with abuse.