Bride to addiction treatment Boston Massachusetts

Three Alternative Addiction Treatments

Emotional Freedom Techniques

Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT, involves using your fingertips to tap on a sequences of body areas which are related to acupressure points.  It is an energy psychology technique with the purpose of balancing you “energetically” and also benefits you by freeing up areas of blocked energy.  EFT is used to help work on the underlying causes of a person’s addiction and is believed to help an addict cope more efficiently with their cravings.

Mindfulness-Based Therapies—Yoga

Mindfulness-based therapies can be useful in that they help an addict increase awareness and give them the tools to reconnect with themselves in order to have a better understanding of the way their addictions play out in their lives.  This type of therapy can help addicts better respond to stressors in their lives.  An addict can learn to practice mindfulness by learning to be more present in their own daily life.  Another way to practice mindfulness is formal meditation.

Equine Therapy

Equine-assisted therapy involves assistance by a licensed mental health professional along with an equine specialist.  It is not required for you to have the knowledge and experience of riding a horse, since the activities you will partake in are performed on the ground.  You may be encouraged to participate in activities which are directly connected to taking care of the horse, or you may focus on more structured activities which are done in order to help you address therapeutic issues.

By developing your relationship with the horse, you will better understand how you relate to yourself and to others, since this relationship with the horse will mirror your own relationships.  Throughout the process of equine therapy, your therapist will help you to identify patterns that fuel your addiction.  You will also learn to practice new ways of feeling, behaving, and thinking.

Tharros House

The Tharros House is a sober living home located in Lexington, Massachusetts.  This facility is a type of alternative addiction recovery support that can benefit addicts by giving them a live-in support group.

Living Sober in Massachusetts Sun Meditation

15 Tips for Living Sober in Massachusetts

Although there are a variety of programs available to help you on your journey to sobriety, living sober in Massachusetts can still be a daunting task if not prepared.

From specific addiction targeted sober living programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, to sober living homes, finding a strategy that works best for you is what matters most.

The following tips, while simple, may each make a huge impact on your path towards living a clean, sober life.

15 Tips for Living Sober in Massachusetts

  1. Get involved with the community.
  2. Dump the friends that bring you down and make friends with the people that lift you up.
  3. Take it one day at a time.
  4. Take responsibility for your life – no blaming others or making excuses.
  5. Be forgiving.
  6. Discover your passions and pursue them.
  7. Take on a hobby that allows self-expression.
  8. Spend more time around nature.
  9. When you wake up, close your eyes and picture 5 things in life that you are grateful for.
  10. Create goals for the type of person you would like to be and the things you would like to do.
  11. Use mindfulness to become more self-aware.
  12. Meditate.
  13. Never underestimate the control that your addiction may have.
  14. Learn more about living sober.
  15. Explore the sites and scenery in Massachusetts without drugs and alcohol.

Above all try not to be too hard on yourself; we all have weaknesses that can trigger a relapse. No matter what happens there is always help and various sober living programs to help you in living a clean, sober life.

Tharros Sober Living Home in Boston, Massachusetts

Tharros house brings together a sober community of like-minded individuals with aftercare, allowing you to learn new skills to overcome the challenges ahead in a fresh, fun, and encouraging way. Learn more about how Tharros House can help you.

Green Recovery House Sign

Alternatives to Twelve-Step Programs

When many people think of addiction recovery, one of the first things that come to mind is the group Alcoholics Anonymous (or AA) and the 12-step program for recovery.  While Alcoholics Anonymous and similar groups are typically thought of as treatment, they are more accurately defined as support groups.  Unfortunately, according to addiction treatment researcher Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., studies seem to indicate that only 25-35 percent of addicts who attend an AA meeting actually go on to continue with the program and attend meetings regularly.

Women for Sobriety

Women for Sobriety was created by Jean Kirkpatrick in the 1970s.  Jean Kirkpatrick held a doctorate in sociology and focused her program on the premise that women with drinking problems require a different recovery approach and plan than men do.  Women for Sobriety is an abstinence-based program which sets out to first tackle the emotional issues that may lead to addiction.

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery uses a cognitive-behavior approach that encourages its members to first acknowledge the emotional and environmental factors for drug and alcohol use and then to respond to these factors in new and more productive ways.  SMART Recovery is abstinence-based; however, it does welcome individuals who are ambivalent about their recovery.  It has over 600 groups based in the United States, and it also has a youth program along with a Family & Friends program.

LifeRing Secular Recovery

LifeRing Secular Recovery was formed over a decade ago.  It has three main principles— sobriety, secularity, and self-help.  This group focuses on human efforts instead of divine intervention.  It also holds the belief that the key to recovery is within the individual and is based on their own motivation and effort.

Refuge Recovery

Refuge Recovery is a nonprofit, mindfulness-based addiction recovery organization. They provide a community that uses Buddhist philosophy to help people recover from addiction. Inspired by the teachings of the Four Noble Truths, Refuge Recovery places emphasis on being more empathetic and understanding.

Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery was founded by John Baker in 1991. Focusing on a Christ centered approach, Celebrate Recovery has spread to recovery houses, rescue missions, universities, and prisons around the world. To date over 35,000 Celebrate Recovery churches have been opened with over 5 million individuals having completed the Celebrate Recover’s Step Study, a program created to bring the healing power of Christ to those that are suffering, broken, and having life difficulties like as addiction.

Although Alcoholics Anonymous is not for everyone there are many other support groups available, such as the groups listed above.  These other groups may be more useful approaches if someone struggling with addiction does not find Alcoholics Anonymous to be the best approach.

Meth Addiction Artwork

Methamphetamine Symptoms and Treatment

Methamphetamine, or meth, is one of the most devastating drugs someone can take.  Meth works by forcing the brain to pump dopamine – a neurotransmitter that induces and elevates the mood and creates a high in the person taking the drug.  While there are many different activities that can increase dopamine in a person’s brain, drugs can hijack the brain and force the brain to secrete more dopamine than is healthy and typical.

Meth is a powerful drug and is habit-forming, which opens the door to the potential for addiction and long-term consumption.  When used over a long period of time, meth destroys dopamine receptors in the brain.

Symptoms of a Meth Addiction

There are certain telltale signs and symptoms to look for if you believe you or someone you love has a meth addiction.  These symptoms include weight loss (because meth stops your brain’s hunger centers from becoming activated), dehydration, decreased libido, osteoporosis (because bones and teeth become more easily breakable as a result of meth use, skin abscesses (due to injecting the drug into the skin rather than a vein), elevated body temperature, and sleep deprivation (due to constant stimulation impacting the need for sleep).

Treatment for Meth Addiction

Treating an addiction to meth can be difficult, as it requires comprehensive detoxification courses.  The first step in treatment includes purging the presence of meth from an addicted individual’s body and helping them reacclimate to functioning without the use of the drug.  Since there can be significant psychological damage to a person’s mind over time due to use of the drug, treatment should also address rehabilitation of the mind.  Treatment for meth should include showing former users of the drug how they can regain the ability to function in everyday life without going back to old behaviors of seeking out the drug.

Treatment After Rehab

At Tharros House in the Boston area of Massachusetts, we work with people who have already completed some form of treatment.  We believe that learning how to live life without picking up a drink or a drug is critically important, but only half of the process.  At Tharros, we focus on skills to maintain sobriety, but also on helping each client build a life that they want to live in sobriety. To learn more about our approach and get answers to common questions, please visit http://tharroshouse.com/faq/.

Drug Detox Symptoms and Treatment in Boston Massachusetts

Drug Detox – Symptoms and Treatment

From Drug Consumption to Drug Dependence

Most users of substances started using with the idea that they would try the substance, and maybe use it recreationally.  No one plans to become dependent, and many don’t even realize it’s happening.  Casual consumption turns to dependence psychologically and physically.  As use becomes more frequent, drug tolerance is developed, which can start the path to drug dependence, and drug addiction.  Drug tolerance simply means that the drug effects diminish, and more of the drug is needed to achieve the same feeling.  As users take more and more to get the desired effect, the risk of drug overdose becomes higher.

 Drug Addiction and Drug Withdrawal

As drug consumption continues, and drug tolerance is increased, our brains change to account for the increased use.  Stopping or reducing use, with many substances, can lead to drug withdrawal, as drug detoxification takes place in the body.  With opiates/opioids, cocaine, alcohol, and even nicotine, this physical drug withdrawal can be very uncomfortable.  People feel physically sick, and their brain craves the drug, often motivating individuals to take actions that they would not normally take- like stealing, skipping work, and lying to family and friends.

Drug Detox and Drug rehabilitation

Drug detoxification serves multiple purposes.  It provides external accountability to help people not give up and use, it provides medical care to ensure that the user is safe during the body’s detox process, and it also serves to keep the user more comfortable through the process.  Detox is still hard, but a professional detoxification can make the process considerably safer and more comfortable, than doing it on your own.  Once the body is detoxed, the process of rehabilitation can start.

What does it mean to enter drug rehabilitation?

Drug rehabilitation is the process of making changes in your life to avoid falling back into drug use and drug addiction.  There are a great number of ways that people can start a path in recovery, and many times this starts after drug detox, with some kind of treatment.  If the user has the opportunity to engage an inpatient or residential treatment, this is often a great start to the recovery process.  What’s commonly referred to as “rehab” is this kind of treatment, where someone lives at the treatment center for a period of time; this allows for the focus to be placed solely on recovery, and it also helps the person remain accountable to their sobriety.

After treatment has taken place, it’s time for the person in recovery to re-enter their lives.  This may include returning to work or family.  It may also include designing a new life that is very different from what they engaged during active addiction.  At Tharros, we focus on this stage of recovery.  To learn more about our approach, and what you can expect at Tharros, visit our website at www.TharrosHouse.com

 

Recovery House Covered by Sober Hands

Recovery Homes for Lifelong Recovery

Staying at a recovery home can be one of the most important steps you can take to on the path to lifelong recovery. The battle through addiction can be a daunting task for anyone, yet with the proper tools and help getting and staying clean can become much more manageable.

Benefits of a Recovery Home vs. Rehab Alone

Drug detox and rehabilitation can do wonders for a person stuck in the depths of an addiction. It takes them out of the toxic surroundings for a bit and helps them get clean – but staying clean is another matter.

People with addictions generally build a life around them that helps feed that addiction; from friends to the places they choose to live. While rehab is great and can be the answer for some, many times it takes building out new habits and living in a friendly sober place away from all of the old temptations.

A recovery house provides you with a safe drug-free environment with like-minded individuals on the same path to recovery. There is an emphasis on spirituality, connecting with others, and learning new habits / ways of thinking to make it through the most difficult times in life without using drugs or alcohol.

Tharros Sober Living Recovery House

When looking for a recovery home it’s important to find one with experienced staff, safety & comfort, and structure. At Tharros House we have all of the above and then some, going above and beyond to ensure you feel safe and secure while learning how to live a sober life.

Our program leadership are all Boston Massachusetts natives. They pull from experiences with various sources of intervention including: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , Psychoanalytical Therapy, Hypnosis, Acupuncture, Yoga, Meditation, Family  Therapy, as well as  Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step programs.

For more information on Tharros Recovery House visit our website at http://www.tharroshouse.com.

Meth Addiction Artwork

Meth Addiction – Symptoms & Treatment

Meth is one of the most destructive and addictive substances in the world today and those who fall privy to meth addiction will usually have an extremely hard time getting clean without the proper help. In fact, meth has the highest rate of relapse compared to any other type of drug.  But don’t let these statistics haunt you if you or a loved one is trying to get clean; with the proper treatment getting sober can be achieved safely and effectively.

Why is Meth Addiction so Hard to Shake?

Much like cocaine addiction, meth addicts are faced with a ton of obstacles to overcome. Meth becomes a way of life for many meth users. Oftentimes they will alter their lives around the drug – from the friends they hang out with to the daily obligations they may have. Therefore when a person wants to get clean, they’re usually not only giving up a drug but a way of life.

Once an addict gets clean there is the added difficulty of overcoming the acute withdrawal effects that can last from six months to two years, depending on how long the person has been addicted to meth.

Other difficulties to overcome may include:

  • Depression
  • Weight Gain
  • Fatigue
  • Psychosis
  • Memory Loss

Staying clean in the early stages of sobriety can be incredibly difficult which is why it’s recommended to find treatment instead of going at it alone.

Meth Treatment

Getting clean is just the first step to meth recovery. Once people finally put down the meth amphetamines and try a sober life they may feel ‘stuck’ and start connecting to various feelings that they haven’t had in a while. Feelings of not being good enough or not measuring up can creep up. This, along with the various symptoms listed above, is a huge reason why people relapse and start doing drugs again.

The trick is to challenge those beliefs and ultimately change them. According to drugabuse.gov, the most effective treatments for methamphetamine addiction are behavioral therapies. Although everyone will have a different path on the road to recovery the treatment option that you ultimately choose can have a massive impact on getting and staying sober from meth use.

Getting sober alone usually doesn’t work – it helps to have the support of the people around you. Recovery is best achieved with others, and that may be a scary thought for many that are getting help with their meth problem.

Tharros Sober House

At Tharros House Structured Living in Massachusetts, people have the most success battling meth addiction when exposed to various ideas and are given the power to choose their own path to recovery. It’s important to identify what’s meaningful for you in order to direct your own recovery. Visit www.tharroshouse.com to learn more about this approach.

Alcohol Withdrawal Signs and Symptoms List

Alcohol Withdrawal Signs, Symptoms, and Solutions

Alcohol withdrawal is both uncomfortable and dangerous.  For those witnessing someone in a state of withdrawal, it’s often easy to tell that something is very wrong.  But it’s not uncommon for people who don’t know what’s going on in the person’s life, to miss the fact that these are signs or symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

What are some symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?

Alcohol is a drug.  While it does take significant alcohol abuse to develop a physical addiction to alcohol, alcohol addiction is very real, and medical treatment is often needed to avoid life threatening dangers that can result from withdrawal in a person who has alcohol dependence.  Some common symptoms observed during an alcohol detox are irritability, anxiety, agitation, tremors, and of course DT’s and seizures.

Alcohol facts:

It’s important to identify several facts about alcohol.  Excessive alcohol consumption on a regular basis can lead to alcohol dependence.  Continued alcohol intoxication leads to alcohol tolerance, which often leads to greater consumption.  Alcohol percentage in someone’s blood is identified as BAC, which is measured to determine the level of alcohol intoxication.  As people build a tolerance, it’s possible that they will not feel the effects of the drug, yet their BAC level will still be elevated.  This is a common contributor to drunk driving incidents.  It’s also possible to suffer from an alcohol overdose, which can be fatal.

As a person engages in more consistent alcohol consumption, the risks for alcohol dependence increase.  As the body and mind become addicted to the alcohol, the neurotransmitters are suppressed.  During withdrawal, the neurotransmitters become hyperactive, which leads to the symptoms listed above.  These symptoms are essentially the opposite of what alcohol does to someone when they use.

What are the solutions?

Alcohol awareness month is April.  Each year, The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) takes measures to educate people on the dangers of alcohol.  It’s important that family and friends are aware of the risks associated with alcohol withdrawal, as there are many fatalities each year that result from seizures related to withdrawal without medical supervision.

If someone has alcohol dependence, it’s probable that the signs will include shaking, sweating, irritability, anxiety, agitation, etc.  These symptoms show up when the person is away from alcohol for a period of time, and the body starts to enter withdrawal.  We have heard many stories in which initial symptoms were noticed first at family events, as the person with alcohol dependence does not want to drink when it’s not socially acceptable.  Depending on the level of alcohol addiction, the symptoms can show up in as little as two hours from the last drink.  When symptoms are present, it’s best to enlist medical help and seek out an alcohol detox.  Of course, if the symptoms become very severe, calling 911 is the best option.

There are many alcohol detox programs available.  Some are affiliated with alcohol and drug treatment centers, while others are independent detox facilities, or affiliated/connected to hospitals.

To learn more about alcohol addiction, signs, and symptoms, we encourage you to visit the CDC site dedicated to Alcohol Awareness Month at http://www.cdc.gov/features/alcohol-awareness/

Writing Alcohol Detox in Boston Massachusetts

Alcohol Detox – What to Expect

The terms alcohol detox and rehab, for an individual suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism, can be overwhelming and scary.  This holds true for both the individual and the family members involved. Many times family members of those suffering from alcohol abuse or drug abuse are unsure what steps to take once someone has an alcohol or drug dependency.

Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol and drug addiction are very hard to define, unless you are a person abusing the substance. Many times, family members and friends see an alcoholic or addict’s consumption as a problem, yet, until the user admits that they have a problem, undertaking treatment or entering a rehab facility, poses many challenges and produces very few good results.  Sadly, there are many individuals who are not able to come to terms with their addiction.  However, there are steps that family members can take to help an individual reach a place of willingness.  Support groups like Al Anon and Learn 2 Cope help families identify ways to stop the enabling behaviors that prolong substance abuse.

Alcohol Detox and drug detox

Once a person is dependent on a substance, it is important that the individual receives proper medical help to detoxify their body.  Many recognize the need for a medical detox from narcotics such as an opioid or benzo.  However, it’s important to recognize that alcohol is a drug too.  When an individual builds a high alcohol tolerance, their body can become physically dependent on alcohol.  Alcohol withdrawal and alcohol poisoning are two very serious medical conditions that require medical attention to avoid an alcohol overdose, alcoholic seizures or even death.

Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal differs for each individual as it is largely dependent on the amount of alcohol consumed.  After an alcohol evaluation is completed at a medical facility, alcohol withdrawal medication may be prescribed, and the patient is closely monitored.

Treatment and Recovery

Once an individual has detoxed from the substance(s), the real work of “recovery” can begin.  In most cases, residential or inpatient treatment is recommended.  Programs can range from two weeks to many months, and some as long as a year+.  Years of addiction and escaping feelings through substances cannot usually be healed overnight.  Recovery is the process of learning to live a full life, including good and bad feelings, without an escape.  The process is significant, but so are the rewards.

Alcohol Quiz

Addiction recovery starts with willingness to make changes.  That is the catalyst required to stop alcohol use disorder or any other addictive behavior.  If you’re not sure if you have a drinking problem, try taking some of the self-assessments like those offered by SMART recovery: http://www.smartrecovery.org/resources/library/Tools_and_Homework/Interactive_Tools/problem-drinking-test.htm

Remember, it’s okay to complete this kind of tool for a loved one, but it’s critical that the substance user acknowledges their issue with the substance.

There are many recovery fellowships.  The largest, and best known, is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).  If you’re thinking about participating, it’s good to try at least 3 different meetings.  Each meeting is different and it’s important to try a few before making a judgement.  With regards to the program offered in AA, here is a questionnaire offered on AA.org to help you decide is it’s the right choice for you.  http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/is-aa-for-you-twelve-questions-only-you-can-answer

Alcohol detox and drug detox is the first step to building a life in recovery.  While it can be a scary concept, many detox centers make the process comfortable, while ensuring that your body is safely rid of the physical symptoms and dependency.  The rewards that come through real recovery are certainly worth any temporary withdrawal discomfort.