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How Alcohol Addiction Affects the Immune System

Alcohol can have an impact on your health in many different ways. Most people know that drinking excessively can cause damage to the liver and the cardiovascular system. However, there can also be other negative consequences, like damage to the digestive system, which can lead to malnutrition and may even increase the risk of cancer. Alcohol addiction can also cause serious problems for the body’s immune system.

Alcohol Addiction and the Immune System

Over time, alcohol addiction can cause damage to your body’s immune system, which may increase your risk of contracting potentially fatal illnesses, like pneumonia. The microbes living in your intestines (your gut’s microbiome) work to fight off diseases. When someone consumes a lot of alcohol, it is detrimental to their body’s digestive system and makes it harder for the body to absorb many necessary nutrients. This disruption to the body’s digestive system disturbs the gut’s microbiome, which alters the balance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria. Alcohol impacts the way that the body’s gut microbes interact with the immune system.

Alcohol intake also affects the respiratory system. The function of immune cells in the upper respiratory system and the lungs are impaired by excessive drinking. This can lead to an increased risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. In fact, any disease may become more severe when the immunity of the mucus is impaired in both the digestive tract and the lungs.

Another thing to keep in mind is that although regular heavy drinking has serious negative consequences for your immune system, even a single night of binge drinking can also impact your immune system. Consuming several drinks over the course of one night may temporarily impair your immune system. This can be dangerous, particularly if you are binge drinking in crowded areas. Your lowered immune system defense response may have a hard time fighting off any viruses or bacteria you encounter.

If you are in recovery from alcohol addiction, sober living homes can be a great resource. Contact the Tharros House today to learn more about how a sober living home can help you maintain sobriety.

Addiction Hereditary in Boston Massachusetts

Is Addiction Hereditary?

When it comes to addiction, a question many people have is whether or not addiction is hereditary. Substantial research has been done on this topic, and there does seem to evidence that addiction may be hereditary. Specifically, there appears to be a connection between genetics and addiction to drugs or alcohol. If one or both of your parents has suffered from addiction, it does not necessarily mean that you will also have an addiction—it would just make you more susceptible to it and more likely to have one than the average person.

Genetic Links Associated with Addiction

Presently, scientists believe that heredity accounts for approximately half of the risk that a person has of developing an addiction. This understanding is based on the analysis of patterns of inheritance. It is important to remember that addiction is a medical illness, so it develops in the same way as many other illnesses. It is not simply a “choice,” as some people believe it to be.

How Does Someone Develop an Addiction?

In many cases, addiction occurs when a person with an underlying genetic vulnerability becomes exposed to an environment that triggers the addiction. When it comes to drug and alcohol addiction, stress is one of the common environmental factors that contribute to the development of the addiction.

Another environmental factor includes the availability of the addictive substance. Often, the surroundings in which people grow up in dictate what they crave and contribute to how they act—but ultimately, a person has the choice whether or not to consume alcohol or try a drug in the first place.

For individuals who have gotten sober and want to maintain their sobriety by living with other sober people, a sober living home is a great option. Contact the Tharros House today to learn more about the benefits of sober living homes.

I am not my addiction in Boston Massachusetts

You Are Not Your Addiction

One thing that is important to remember as you work on recovery from addiction is to remind yourself that you are not your addiction. Your addiction does not define you as a person. Rather, your addiction is something that you can conquer and overcome.

Rediscovering Your Purpose and Passions

As you complete treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, it is important to focus on your future. While in treatment for your addiction, you likely spent some time focusing on your addiction itself. This is often an important part of the recovery process—realizing how the addiction began, what fed the addiction, and how it manifested. These insights are often helpful to understand how to move forward, and in some cases, how to fix an underlying problem that may have contributed to your addiction.

At this stage of the process, it is time to move forward and shift your focus to developing a more fulfilling future. Now, you can focus on what makes you happy and passionate in life. True recovery comes when you heal your spirit and uncover the potential that exists within you without the constraints of your addiction. Instead of focusing on the past, think of your recovery as opening the door to a richer and more fulfilling future where you can finally be your true self.

Living a Sober Life

One thing you can do to help aid in your recovery from addiction is to seek out others who are in a similar situation as you are. With others around you who are maintaining their sobriety, you will gain many benefits. Sober living homes offer those in recovery the opportunity to live in a residence free of alcohol and drugs. Other benefits to living in a sober living home include having in-house meetings available, social events to help residents build relationships with one another, and the opportunity to learn from others. For more information about sober living, contact the Tharros House today.

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How Do I Stay Sober?

For people who have recognized that they are suffering from an addiction, one of the first questions they may have is to ask for advice on how to remain sober. Fortunately, there is a lot of help out there for someone who is going through the addiction recovery process.

Focus on Your Health

One of the ways that someone can work on maintaining sobriety is by getting and staying healthy. As you recover from addiction, it is crucial to focus on your health by eating nutritious and well-balanced meals. It is also important to start exercising, which has many physical health benefits. Exercise also releases endorphins and helps with developing mental clarity. Being physically active also helps you to restore a sense of balance in your life, which is important at this stage of recovery.

Make Necessary Life Changes

Another way to help maintain your sobriety is to make certain necessary changes in your life to better facilitate recovery. It is often necessary to cut ties with individuals who helped to encourage your addiction or anyone that is negatively impacting your life. It does not mean that you need to end these relationships forever—but it is often helpful to take a step back from these relationships and focus on your relationships with people who are helping you maintain your sobriety.

An additional necessary life change is to avoid the locations where you used to partake in your addiction. For example, if you are recovering from an addiction to alcohol, you will probably want to avoid going out to bars or other locations where alcohol is present, and people around you will be drinking.

Develop a Structured Lifestyle

Incorporating more structure into your life is a good way to help stay sober. One way to include more structure in your life is to consider a sober living home, which provides structure for its residents. Contact us today to learn more about the structure that the Tharros House provides.

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Common Misconceptions About Addiction

There are many misconceptions out there about addiction. One of the most common misconceptions is that people who appear to have their life completely together cannot be suffering from an addiction. For some people, addiction is easier to hide than for others.

Misconception #1: Addictions Are Always Obvious

Some people are able to hide their addictions and live their lives normally without most people suspecting that they are actually battling an addiction. These people often are able to maintain their day-to-day responsibilities, like working at their job and spending time with their families. The term often used to describe those able to mask their addictions from others is called a “functional addict.”

Misconception #2: Addiction is a Choice

While a person often takes the first initial step in trying a substance, such as alcohol, having an ongoing addiction is not by choice. It is important to understand that brain chemistry plays a significant role in addiction.

Misconception #3: An Addict Can Quit Anytime They Want

It is a common belief that addicts can simply quit using the substance to which they are addicted and be free from addiction. Unfortunately, this is not typically the case. It often takes more than just willpower and the desire to quit using the addictive substance.

Misconception #4: If A Person Has Not Yet Hit “Rock Bottom,” Then There is No Need to Quit

Another common misconception out there regarding addiction is that an addict must hit “rock-bottom” (meaning the lowest of low points in their life) before they finally take the steps to overcome their addiction. This is simply not the case. While some people dealing with addiction may need a big wakeup call before they seek treatment, others may come to understand the severity of their addiction and seek help before a major incident occurs.

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Identification with Addition

For those recently working toward recovery from an addiction, this process may involve a change in identity, meaning a change in how a person views themselves. During recovery, the former addict will need to change their mindset and stop viewing themselves as an addict. They will need to develop a different, more positive self-identity.

The Social Identity Model of Recovery

The social identity model of recovery involves the concept of changing a person’s identity from someone who is actively addicted to or using substances to someone who is in recovery. When a person develops a substance abuse disorder, they tend to lose their existing social identity—a good parent, a good friend, etc.—as their identity becomes more about being an addict to one or more substances. Under this approach to recovery, it is thought that regaining or restoring a person’s lost social identity may give them the motivation necessary to continue with their transition to sobriety and recovery.

Studies have shown that this change in identity is an important aspect of achieving a successful outcome. This positive identity change tends to have a better chance of occurring if the individual is involved with a network or social group that includes other individuals in recovery. This is one of the reasons that sober living homes are an excellent approach to maintaining sobriety in recovery.

Discovering a New Personal Identity

When a former addict begins the long road to recovery, it often includes a change in identification, as well as a shift in their former mindset. It can be challenging to work toward restoring your former identity. A sober living home can help someone at this stage in their recovery maintain their sobriety and continue working on their self-identity and other important aspects of the recovery process. Contact us today at The Tharros House to learn more about what we have to offer.

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Living with Addiction

Living with addiction is not easy, as anyone in this position already knows. The hardest part about dealing with an addiction is admitting to yourself that you have an addiction, and you are ready to seek help. The good news is that once you have accomplished that, then the hardest part is already behind you.

Exploring Addiction Treatment Options

Once you have decided to get sober, the next step is to decide what type of addiction treatment is right for you. There are many different addiction treatment options, including behavioral counseling, medication, and sober living homes. One or more of these options may be helpful to your recovery.

Behavioral Counseling

Behavioral counseling can be beneficial for those trying to recover from addiction. You can choose from individual, family, or group counseling. This type of counseling can help you to identify the root causes of your addiction. You can also learn healthier coping skills and how to repair broken relationships that were impacted by your addiction.

Medication

Your doctor may recommend certain medications to help you with recovery. Medication may be used to help you manage your withdrawal symptoms and to help prevent relapse. You may also be prescribed medication to help treat any underlying mental health conditions you may have, such as anxiety or depression.

Sober Living Homes

Another treatment option is to move into a sober living home. Sober living homes are generally for those who are further along in their recovery and are seeking a safe place to continue with their sobriety among others who are in a similar place in life. Sober living homes can offer group meetings and activities that can help take your mind off of the difficulties of living with your addiction. You can also meet and make close friends at these sober living home events, which will also benefit your recovery.

Contact us today at The Tharros House for more information regarding our sober living home.

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Controlling Addictive Urges

One of the difficult parts of addiction recovery is controlling addicting urges. The good news is that as time goes on, these cravings and urges will decrease in frequency and strength over time. You can help yourself to control addictive urges through the use of coping strategies that work for you.

The Acceptance Method

One way you can control these urges is simply by accepting that the urges are normal and to be expected. It is important to learn to accept discomfort as part of the recovery process. You must teach yourself that these urges will pass. When you have accepted that these urges will happen, you can have an alternative activity in mind.

The Escape Method

Another way to work on control here is to remove yourself from the triggering situation. For example, if you are in a bar with friends and feel the urge to drink, it is time to leave. If there is an ad for alcohol on TV, change the channel. Just the simple act of escaping this trigger will allow you to focus your mind on something new and help lessen the urge.

The Substitution Method

When you start to feel an urge, try to substitute an activity or thought that is fun and more beneficial. Go out and take a walk or partake in another form of exercise. You can also try to pick up a new book to read or turn on new music to listen to. The possibilities for substitution are endless. Think about and write down some ideas so that you have a list on hand to choose from when an urge happens.

These methods are some ways you can control your addictive urges. To learn more about sober living facilities, contact us today at The Tharros House. We can help you continue on your path to recovery from your addiction.

Addiction Boston Massachusetts

Addiction Can Change Forms

When most people think of the word addiction, they think of alcohol or drugs. However, there are many other addictions out there. One example is an addiction to food. It is important to realize that if a person has an addiction to one substance, as it is possible for their addiction to change forms.

For example, while cutting back on drinking alcohol, a person who was suffering from an alcohol addiction may find that they have now become addicted to food. Someone with an addiction to food may develop an addiction to smoking cigarettes when they attempt to work on healthy eating habits. There are many ways that addiction can change forms, so it is something that is important to keep in mind during the recovery process.

How Is It Possible for Addiction to Change Forms?

When you consume or use a substance that you are addicted to, it results in a release of dopamine in your brain. The release of dopamine gives you a pleasant feeling, which further fuels the addiction since you consciously or subconsciously will seek to replicate that feeling.

When you stop consuming or using the substance that you had been addicted to, you may still seek out that familiar dopamine release. Unfortunately, the addiction cycle may begin again, this time with something else. However, the good news is that you can use the skills and knowledge you learned while working past your first addiction to stop another one from forming. When you start to notice the signs of addiction, you can use what you have learned to end the addiction before it begins.

The Tharros House is a sober living home for men located in Massachusetts. While living in a sober home, you can learn skills and coping methods that can help you successfully face relapses of any kind in the future.

Celebrating Relief from Addiction Boston Massachusetts

You Are Not Alone in Your Addiction

While sometimes it may feel like you are alone, it is important to remember that you are not alone in your addiction. There are many people all over the world who are struggling with the same issues you are. According to the Huffington Post, 14 million Americans have problems associated with drinking. Millions more Americans are battling addictions to drugs or other substances.

Reframing the Way That You See Yourself

It is common for those suffering from substance abuse addictions to have negative feelings about themselves. Instead of allowing yourself to get caught up in these feelings, focus on reframing your thoughts. Think about how you are a person working through recovery and doing your best to overcome your addiction. A good way to begin reframing your thoughts from negative to positive is to listen to positive daily affirmations.

Networking with Those in Similar Situations

It is often helpful for recovering addicts to speak with others who have recovered from a similar addiction or who are in the same place in their journey to full recovery. Someone who has been in your shoes will tend to be less judgmental about things that you may worry about discussing with others. It may also be beneficial to you and your self-esteem to give advice to others and help guide them in their recovery.

Once you have begun the recovery process, a great way to stay on track with your recovery is to stay in a sober living home. The Tharros House is a sober living home for men in Massachusetts. It offers its residents support through morning meetings during the weekdays, along with a Sunday evening meeting. Tharros House also offers 24/7 peer-to-peer recovery support. You may also participate in cooking classes, and other regular activities at the Tharros House. Contact us today to learn more about what the Tharros House has to offer you.