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 ‘sobriety’

Dealing with Negative Influences in Recovery

Posted on: May 27th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments


Dealing with Negative Influences in Recovery

Almost everyone has a person in their life that is a negative influence on them in some way. For people with addictions, they may have friends and drinking buddies who guide them down the wrong path and have prevented them from being healthy for a long time. While in recovery, these same friends might in denial of your choice to quit and will not want to let you grow.

It is important to be able to recognize negative influences especially when you are in the early stages of recovery. You do not want all your progress to be jeopardized by a friend who coaxes you into having just one drink or using again because they can’t cope with you changing. Their negativity about your recovery can bring you down and make you feel tempted at dangerous times.

There are certain signs that a person in your life may be a negative influence. If they seem critical of your efforts to improve yourself, are avoiding facing their own addiction, or guilt trip you about your sobriety then they are probably are not able to deal with your new lifestyle. It is important to have people in your life that give you positive feedback about your choice to become sober and are going to be there to support you.

When someone becomes too much of a negative influence sometimes the best solution is to have a direct conversation with them about their behavior. You will need to tell them that you are committed to your choice to recover and if they can’t stop pushing you in the wrong direction you will need to move on. Friends who care about you will agree to accept your choices and for those who can’t, you may have to distance yourself from them.

Is FOMO a Part of Recovery?

Posted on: January 9th, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Fear of Missing Out

Millennials came up with a term to describe the feeling of being on the outside of something that you want to be a part of. FOMO or “fear of missing out” is actually common issue that people experience when they are going through recovery. It is natural for people to worry, especially for those who have made a major lifestyle change, that they are missing out on fun and memorable experiences.

The term FOMO is something that came about due to social media and our generation’s tendency to compare their lives to others online. The fear of missing out can be pervasive, however, and can lead to dissatisfaction with life, depression and anxiety. For people in recovery, they may constantly fear that they are being excluded from the excitement of parties and drinking that their friends are still able to enjoy.

It can be helpful to analyze why we experience FOMO and find ways to understand the cause of negative thoughts or fears. For people in recovery, they often get to a point where they only remember the good times they associate with drinking and parties and forget all the reasons they decided to quit. Reminding yourself that not every drinking experience was fun and there were a lot of negative consequences can help put things into perspective.

For those who are really struggling with their fears and negative thoughts about their life, you can try to track your thoughts and talk to a therapist about them. They may give you ideas about why you are feeling this way and suggest ways to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones. Part of recovery is working through the fear of being on the outside of certain experiences you may have had in the past and learning to embrace your new lifestyle.

Sobriety as a New Year’s Resolution

Posted on: December 28th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Sobriety - New Year Resolution

The new year is a time when people make an effort to start over and change some of their habits for the better. It can be a good time to focus on health and well-beingg so that you live a more positive lifestyle. Sobriety can be one of the best resolutions that you make in the new year as long you have a plan to stay committed and follow through with your decision.

Becoming sober is a big change to go through and in order to succeed you will need to make a number of smaller resolutions to support your choice. Getting sober means talking to friends and family about your addiction and telling them that you want to quit. Letting other people know about your resolution can make it easier to be accountable and you will be less likely to give up.

The next step for becoming sober is seeking professional help if you have a serious addiction. You can find a therapist who specializes in addiction or you can enroll in an inpatient or outpatient treatment center to detox and get adjusted to a sober lifestyle. Quitting an addiction can be much easier in the environment of treatment and sobriety offered at a rehab center.

If your alcohol use is not severe enough to require inpatient treatment you might consider attending a twelve step program to help you get oriented with a sober lifestyle. These group meetings are designed to help people to deal with cravings and allow them to strengthen their resolve to be sober. You can also start to build a social support system with the people you meet in twelve step groups so that you have sober friends who will keep you on track with your goals.

Sobriety can be a great new year’s resolution as long as you take the right steps toward making a lasting change.

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.

Should Sober People Drink Kombucha?

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

People Drink Kombucha

A recent health trend that has been growing more popular every year is the drink known as kombucha. Sold mostly in health stores initially, it is now available in almost any grocery store and many restaurants. People drink kombucha for its fruity flavor and probiotic properties that are said to improve digestion and boost the immune system.

One of the issues with kombucha that makes it mildly controversial is the fact that the drink is essentially a fermented tea. Through the natural process of fermentation, there is a trace amount of alcohol in every glass or bottle of kombucha. Although the specific percentage is often not listed, most brands will state on their label that the alcohol content is less than 0.5%.

However, there are certain types of kombucha which contain more than the legal amount of 0.5% and now require the buyer to present their I.D. before purchasing it. The alcohol levels in these brands are still minimal but it raises questions about how to classify kombucha. Although kombucha is not technically a beer, wine or other typical alcoholic drink, is it still safe for people in recovery to drink?

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a simple drink made from some type of tea, usually black or green tea, sugar for fermentation, fruit juice for flavor and a “scoby” or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. These ingredients are combined and allowed to ferment for a period of time. The drink is said to have great healing properties and contains numerous enzymes, probiotics and polyphenols which are good for digestion and helping the liver.

Even though it has been touted as a superfood, kombucha had some controversy in recent years after the popular GT brand had to pull all of its bottles from the Whole Foods shelves. It was discovered that their black label kombucha contained more than the legal limit of 0.5% and it was then that the drink became more regulated with certain brands and flavors requiring I.D. to be purchased. Some brands even purposefully make higher percentage kombucha with drinks containing as much as 7% alcohol.

Sobriety and Kombucha

Although kombucha that doesn’t require I.D. is not technically an alcoholic drink, some people may still be weary of drinking it. People in recovery or those that choose to be sober may feel that kombucha is not safe for them. The question of whether a sober person should drink kombucha depends on the individual and their personal stage of recovery.

Someone who recently quit drinking and is still experiencing cravings for alcohol should probably avoid drinking kombucha. It is believed that even trace amounts of alcohol can trigger the body to crave more alcohol. That is why many people in recovery need to avoid cooking with alcohol or using other products that might contain some alcohol.

Twelve step programs tend to discourage members from drinking things like non-alcoholic beer because it becomes a slippery slope that can lead them down the road to relapse. Even the smell of alcohol can be enough to trigger cravings and relapse. Non-alcoholic beer typically has about 0.5% alcohol content which is the same as many kombuchas.

When considering whether to drink kombucha or not, a sober person should evaluate how it makes them feel. Does drinking it make them feel healthy and happy or does it simply make them crave a real beer or wine? Some people might be able to drink kombucha without experiencing any triggers or cravings but it depends on the individual person.

Health and Recovery

A good way to test whether a person should drink kombucha is to think about their motivation for doing so. Are you drinking it because it makes you feel relaxed or reminds you of the way you felt when you had a beer? Or are you simply enjoying it for its health properties and the taste?

When a drink is reminiscent of alcohol for someone it can become a problem because they will eventually want to have a real drink. If you are concerned about drinking kombucha there are plenty of alternative choices for probiotics and health drinks that can be just as effective. Many drinks and foods have probiotics added but are not fermented so there is no trace alcohol that could be harmful to recovery.

The decision to drink kombucha is a personal one and something that the individual has to make for themselves. If you don’t feel stable in your recovery then you should avoid it but if you are finding your sober life easier then it might be okay to at least try it. You need to listen to your body and your mind to make sure that you are making the right choice for your own recovery goals.