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

map The Gooden Center

Posts Tagged ‘prescription drug addiction’

Brett Favre was Abusing Alcohol During the Prime of NFL Career

Posted on: June 5th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Brett Favre was Abusing Alcohol During the Prime of NFL Career

Legendary athlete Brett Favre has had an amazing career with the NFL but his success did not stop him from struggling with dark times and issues of addiction. The former Green Bay Packers quarterback spent 3 stints in rehab as he fought an addiction to both alcohol and painkillers. Throughout his time in the NFL, Favre recovered and relapsed several times while the public was mostly unaware.

Favre first entered rehab in 1996 when he was at the height of his fame and success with the Packers to address his problems with drinking and addiction to Vicodin. He has said that at one point he took 12 tablets of Vicodin at a time. At the time he wasn’t convinced that he had a problem but was talked into going to rehab by people in his life that were concerned about his drinking and asked him to attend.

The football star was resistant to treatment in his first rehab stay and found it too hard to admit that he had an issue with alcohol. Even after 28 days of treatment during his first stay he ended up in rehab again several years later after relapsing. His third and final stay in rehab finally helped him realize that he needed to change his ways as he found it difficult to make it through normal social situations without having several drinks.

His days of drinking and abusing painkillers are behind him after he began to understand how it was affecting his personal life. Now that Favre is sober he has since retired from football in the NFL which he played for nearly 20 years. He was a hard working athlete who played 321 straight games during his career which is a record for a quarterback.

Top Netflix Movies/TV Shows About Addiction

Posted on: May 9th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

 

Netflix

There is more content than ever in the media that deals realistically with issues of addiction and depicts the struggles of recovery, relapse and the sometimes harrowing experiences of substance abuse. Netflix offers some hard-hitting dramas, documentaries and even comedies that discuss addiction and include characters that are relatable protagonists who are vulnerable to their own relationship to alcohol or drugs. The most effective stories of addiction in the media can show both the redemption of recovery and the dangers of falling into the pattern of abuse. These are some of the best movies and TV shows available on Netflix that deal with addiction.

Heaven Knows What

Ben and Joshua Safdie directed this dark drama centered around junkies surviving on the streets of New York City. This is a remarkable film in that it stars a real life former heroin addict discovered by the directors and many of her own experiences were used as inspiration for the story including her relationship with her boyfriend Ilya who died of an overdose in Central Park. Although at times painful to watch because of the subject matter, the gritty realism makes this a memorable depiction of addiction.

White Girl

This movie follows the story of a young college student who becomes entangled in substance abuse and the NY drug world after falling in love with a cocaine dealer. Cocaine begins to take over her life as she descends deeper into addiction and struggles to make enough money selling drugs to get her boyfriend out of jail. The film also takes a hard look at issues of race and privilege that can dictate who experiences more repercussions for using and selling drugs.

Flaked

Will Arnett co-created, wrote and directed this Netflix comedy/drama series which largely draws on his own experiences with alcoholism and divorce while living in Venice, CA. The show depicts the main characters regularly attending AA meetings throughout the series and coping with their sometimes tenuous relationship with sobriety. Arnett maintains some mystery about the main character’s past which draws you into his story and struggles with alcohol.

Too Young to Die

This documentary series focuses on the stories of beloved celebrities whose lives were cut short, many of them due to addiction and overdose. Episodes of the series discuss stars like Kurt Cobain, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Belushi and Heath Ledger who were all unable to escape their drug abuse until it eventually turned fatal.

 

Can Doctors Curb the Opioid Crisis?

Posted on: April 12th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Can Doctors Curb the Opioid Crisis?

The rates of opioid abuse and overdose have skyrocketed over the past several years and the problem has reached epidemic proportions. The concern about the opioid crisis has led to many theories as to how we as a country can reduce and minimize the level of abuse and prevent more opioid-related deaths. One issue being discussed is the role that doctors can play in either enabling or preventing abuse of prescription painkillers.

Unfortunately many physicians are influenced by drug companies to prescribe their products even those that are highly addictive and dangerous like opioids. Drug companies often give out gifts, donate money and work to persuade doctors to give patients their medication. This trend is at least part of the reason why prescription drug abuse has become such serious problem in the U.S.

Preventing abuse can start in the hands of a doctor who has at least some control over whether a patient will end up using opioids. Physicians need to be much more cautious about when and how often they hand out prescriptions to addictive painkillers. They also need to be more aware of the types of patients that are asking for these drugs and carefully screen people before they are able to receive opioids.

It is important for physicians to find out whether a patient has a history of addiction or abuse, a mental illness or any other vulnerability to developing a dependency. They also need to minimize the dosage, the length of time the patient uses the drug and always provide alternative kinds of pain treatment whenever possible. The less access that people have to opioids the harder it will be for them to abuse and ultimately overdose on these powerful drugs.

Although the role of the physician is only one aspect of the opioid crisis, doctors have the power to do all they can to help reduce rates of addiction.

Opioid Crisis: Who Has the Solution?

Posted on: March 24th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Opioid Crisis: Who Has the Solution?

The U.S. has been devastated by a crisis of addiction in recent years, with people struggling to survive their dependency on prescription opioids. Fatal overdoses from opioids have been on the rise and the numbers have become shockingly high. Every day more than 115 die after overdosing on opioids and the problem only continues becoming worse every year.

One of the reasons that opioids became such a huge problem in America is that they were initially marketed as being non-addictive. In the 1990s when new drugs like Oxycontin went on the market, pharmaceutical companies assured the medical community that they were safe and wouldn’t lead to addiction, even backing up their claims with dubious studies. The sale of prescription opioids skyrocketed in the following years and it was subsequently discovered that these medications were in fact highly addictive.

Now opioid abuse and addiction has become one of our top national health challenges that causes serious damage to the U.S. The CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that prescription opioid misuse alone costs the U.S. about $78.5 billion a year including the costs of medical care, lost productivity, addiction treatment and criminal justice involvement. The economic and social burden of opioid addiction is something that needs to be addressed by the government soon to prevent overdoses from continuing to rise.

Expanding Access to Treatment

One of the biggest obstacles to resolving the opioid crisis is providing people with rehabilitation and access to the kind of healthcare they need to recover. It is important for addiction to be seen as a disease and not a moral failing so that the government can provide help to people that are in need. People are still struggling to get the kind of treatment they need because of a lack of access and availability for addiction recovery programs.

Many people are unable to get the treatment they need because they end up at the end of a long wait list or they simply can’t afford rehab and their insurance doesn’t cover it. It is an unfortunate reality that people who are on a waitlist for treatment often end up overdosing before they ever get the help they need. The government must work on providing more treatment centers, easier access and more affordable options covered by insurance.

It may also be helpful to provide people with medications such as buprenorphine or methadone as a temporary solution to help bring the number of overdoses down. When people have access to these medications it can cut the death rate by as much as 50 percent. Making it easy and affordable to access these medications can be a quick fix to save lives until people can get help from professional therapists.

Identifying Addicts and Preventative Education

Another aspect of resolving the opioid crisis is in the hands of physicians who can try to identify a patient that is abusing medication or has the potential to become addicted. Screening patients before giving them prescription opioids can help minimize the possibility of people abusing the drugs or becoming addicted instead of using them for legitimate medical reasons. Physicians can use certain guidelines such as history of past addictions, genetic predisposition to addiction and flagging patients who “doctor shop” to stop providing medication to vulnerable patients.

Whenever physicians become aware of a patient who is seeking out multiple medications from different doctors, they should provide that person with some type of treatment. Cutting off access to opioid prescriptions and providing addicted patients with medications like methadone can help them to start the process of quitting. It is important to realize that physicians need to do their part to start reducing the rising numbers of opioid misuse and overdose.

Preventative education can also be a useful tool in helping people understand the dangers of using opioids. Addictions began to steadily rise because the public was provided with misinformation about the safety of medications like Oxycontin. Educating people about the highly addictive nature of these drugs can influence people to choose alternative types of treatment so that they can avoid developing a dependency.

The combination of increased access to treatment, medication and more preventative measures are all solutions that could potentially help resolve the opioid crisis. There is no one answer as to how the country can solve this growing problem but it is crucial to start taking measures now so that the issue does not continue to escalate. The more people have the ability to receive the treatment they need and are provided with the information that can prevent addiction, the less likely that abuse will keep rising.

 

Opioid addiction is a complicated issue but treating the problem with compassion and concern can help save lives and prevent people from living with a dependency.

UCLA Offers Voluntary Mental Health Screening For All Students

Posted on: October 6th, 2017 by The Gooden Center No Comments

UCLA Offers Voluntary Mental Health Screening For All Students

College can be a stressful time for many students who are going through a difficult transitional phase and facing a lot of pressure in school. UCLA recently announced that they will be offering free mental health screenings for incoming students as well as treatment for those who need it. The school is hoping to reduce the number of students suffering from depression and anxiety and give them the opportunity to get help before their symptoms worsen.

Students often struggle with issues of perfectionism, worrying about their grades and coping with fears of failure and the stress of handling difficult courses. They are also learning to live on their own, pay their own bills and deal with being independent from their family. College life can become overwhelming for many kids who start to exhibit symptoms of anxiety and depression because they are not able to balance these issues and adjust to changes.

The UCLA chancellor Gene Block announced the new mental health screening and treatment program in September as part of an effort to combat depression at the school and also reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and receiving treatment. All mental health screenings are voluntary for incoming freshman students and transfer students to get a clinical assessment and know more about the state of their own mental health. The screening is part of the many options available for new student orientation that are designed to ease the transition into college.

The screening focuses on mental health issues including depression and related traits such as anxiety, mania and suicidal tendencies. Any student that exhibits symptoms of these issues via the screening will be offered treatment through the UCLA program. The screenings are now offered to new students but eventually will be made available to the entire UCLA community.

Reducing Mental Illness in College

When the chancellor announced the new program he spoke about how much depression affects the college community and ultimately the whole world. With 350 million people suffering from depression worldwide it is still a widespread and persistent mental illness that unfortunately remains overlooked and understudied. Block expressed concern that depression has not yet been identified as a number one health issue and still continues to affect all ages and backgrounds.

The free mental health screenings are part of the UCLA Depression Grand Challenge which is a campus wide effort to reduce the both the health and economic impact of depression by half between now and the year 2050. The new screening and treatment program is thought to be the first-ever campus wide mental health assessment in any university. Chancellor Block is now focusing on the importance of mental health understanding and implementing policies and practices that benefit the students and faculty.

The screening itself consists of an online survey that takes a few minutes to fill out and provides them with the option of taking a free cognitive behavioral treatment online. The treatment is a self-guided program that will help the individual identify their problem areas and teach them to think and react differently to certain issues and situations. Students that are identified as having greater needs will be referred to a psychologist or treated within the UCLA network of therapists.

Identifying Depression Early

One of the reasons this type of screening is so beneficial to students is that it will allow them to identify their own symptoms of depression early on before they experience more stress and pressure in school. Depression can negatively affect a student’s ability to adjust to college life and can hurt their future if they are struggling with academic issues or feel hopeless about their career outlook. Relationships can be a difficult issue in college as many students are just beginning to take dating more seriously.

If depression derails a student during their college experience it could affect them later on as an adult as they try to get started in their career. Identifying and treating depression as early as possible can help students get back on track and have a more fulfilling experience in school that will adequately prepare them for their adult life. College students are just beginning to establish their life trajectory so improving their mental health is crucial at that stage in their development.

One of the goals of this type of screening is to help students learn to be more compassionate to themselves and to reduce the stigma surrounding depression. College students often worry about getting perfect scores and how their grades affect them instead of learning to accept mistakes. They need to practice more self-care and feel less ashamed about getting help for their issues.

If students can feel more comfortable about receiving treatment and making efforts to work on better mental health then they are more likely to fare better throughout college.