Chart for Substance Abuse Statistics in Massachusetts

Substance Abuse Statistics in Massachusetts

If you have recently beat a substance abuse addiction, you may be wondering about what the latest statistics show about substance abuse and recovery. If you live in Massachusetts, the state website can be a good resource to learn about these statistics.

Statistics on Substance Abuse in Massachusetts

The State of Massachusetts tracks the number of residents who seek help for substance abuse. These statistics include a breakdown of gender, race, age, and other factors. This information can be useful to watch for trends and find ways to intervene in groups that are the most at risk. The latest available data on the state website is for the year 2017.

Types of Abused Substances

In the year 2017, there were 98,944 total admissions for treatment for substance abuse. Heroin was the most common substance for which Massachusetts residents sought treatment, making up 52.8% of primary reasons for admittance. Alcohol was the next most common primary substance, with 32.8%. Other reasons for admittance included substance abuse of cocaine, marijuana, stimulants, and opioids.

Other Categories of Statistics

The same set of data also included a breakdown of substance abuse-related admissions for treatment according to gender, age, and race. In 2017, of those seeking treatment for substance abuse, 67.8% were male, and 32.2% were female.

The age group of 31-40 had the most people seeking treatment, making up 30.9% of the total. The next highest age group was from 26-30, which made up 21.7% of the total.

In 2017, 77.1% of those seeking treatment for substance abuse were white. African American individuals made up 7.3% of the total, while 6.3% were multi-racial. 9.3% of those seeking treatment identified as “other.”

The Tharros House is a sober living home in Massachusetts where you can learn the necessary tools to live a sober life and make friends with other like-minded people on a similar path. This living environment is proven to promote sobriety and healthy habits to help make living a sober life more fun and less stressful.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

Cigarettes of an addict

How Do I Know If I Am Addicted to Something?

It can be difficult to recognize when something has become an addiction.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is defined as a chronic disease that affects the brain’s memory, motivation, and reward functions.

A person with an addiction will experience feelings of craving that substance. In many cases, those with addictions may ignore other parts of their life in order to support or fulfill these addictive needs.

What Are Common Signs of an Addiction?

There are some commonly recognized signs of addiction that everyone should be aware of. These signs include:

  • Lack of control
  • Inability to stop engaging in the behavior or to stay away from a substance
  • Physical effects such as withdrawal or requiring higher dosages
  • Ignoring risk factors like sharing needles
  • Decreased socialization such as ignoring relationships or abandoning commitments

Typically, a person with an addiction will exhibit one or more of the above signs. The degree of intensity for each of these signs tends to depend on how long they have been battling the addiction.

Recognizing Addiction

When a healthy person notices a negative behavior, in many cases, they are able to get rid of it. However, this is not the case with someone who has an addiction.

Someone with an addiction will often find ways to justify and continue their behavior rather than admit that they have a problem. With real addiction, if it is left untreated, it can increase a person’s risk of illness or develop into a debilitating habit.

If you become aware that you are dealing with an addiction, it is essential to seek help right away.

After you have begun the recovery process, you can also look into sober living homes such as the Tharros House to live in to retain your sobriety.

Friends for Accountability

How Does Accountability Help with Staying Sober?

Holding yourself accountable in life can help tremendously in maintaining your sobriety. It helps you add the necessary structure to your life to achieve your goals and build a better life for yourself.

Sobriety and Accountability

Having family, friends, and counselors in your life who hold you accountable for your actions can be very helpful. These people can help a person in recovery keep their focus on what matters and to stay on track with their sobriety.

During a person’s recovery process, it is important for them to work toward an addiction-free life with good health and positivity. Accountability plays a crucial role in this recovery success. Without having accountability, a recovering addict will not be able to recognize their faults and take responsibility for their actions.

Accepting accountability will help to provide the tools that you need to stay sober. Accountability can also help people maintain their motivation throughout the recovery process.

Why a Lack of Accountability Can Be a Problem

It is not uncommon for people who are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse to place the blame for their actions and behaviors on the substances that they have been using.  Some people use their addiction as an excuse to avoid dealing with certain emotions.

The recovery process forces people to face these behaviors and emotions head on to begin healing. Failure to take accountability for your own actions can only hurt you in the long run, ruining relationships and leading to bad decisions.

Sober living homes can help people in recovery remain accountable for their actions. These homes also often have strict rules and regulations to assist you in building a better life for yourself.

To learn more about sober living homes and what they can offer, contact the Tharros House today at (617) 249-1087.

Group of friends looking out into the sun outside of a sober living home

How Do I Know If a Sober Living Home is Right for Me?

If you are committed to remaining sober and want to work toward becoming more independent, a sober living home may be the right choice for you. Sober living homes are group residences, where people who are recovering from addiction can live.

Life in Sober Living Homes

Sober living homes typically require that their residents follow certain rules. One of the most serious rules that must be followed is that residents must remain sober. Other common rules include a mandated curfew and a ban on any form of violence. Different sober living homes have different rules; however, the main goal is to provide structure and responsibility for residents.

Residents living in a structured environment tend to have a better chance at lasting recovery. Sober living homes allow residents to adjust to life and its responsibilities both during and after treatment. Many residents opt to reside in sober living homes while they make the transition from rehab to independent living.

Thriving in a Sober Living Home Environment

A sober living home is a great residence for someone who has completed inpatient rehabilitation and feels almost ready to live independently. Sober living homes provide independence in many aspects, but also serve as a helpful community.

Job searching is encouraged for residents, and on-site job training programs are available at some homes. Some homes also offer transportation for their residents so that they can more easily get back to work. If you feel ready to go back into the workforce and begin the steps necessary to reacclimate into society, a sober living home may be the right choice for you.

If you are thinking about moving into a sober living home, contact us at the Tharros House today at (617) 249-1087. The Tharros House is a sober living home for men that is located in the Boston, Massachusetts area.

Importance of Structure for Addiction Recovery in Massachusetts Squares

Why is Structure So Important for Addiction Recovery?

You have likely heard that structure is an important aspect of addiction recovery. The importance of structure for addiction recovery cannot be overstated. Structure helps to treat the underlying issues that contribute to addiction.

Structure Helps Treat Addiction Behaviors

When people suffer from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, they have developed certain behaviors and ways of thinking. Whether they realize it or not, these behaviors and ways of thinking enable their addictions and discourage healthy habits.

Many addicts who seek treatment choose to because their lives have become too difficult and unmanageable due to their addictive behavior. When someone has an addiction, it becomes hard for them to prioritize things other than obtaining and using the addictive substance.

For this reason, their addiction causes them to create new habits that are stronger than their old ones. The new habits and compulsions cause their lives to become more chaotic and disordered. Sober living homes often focus on providing structure back into the lives of residents. This structure helps to put a former addict onto a path toward healthier habits, thoughts, and actions.

Structure Helps Combat Stress and Anxiety

Many people who struggle with drug dependency have dealt with a lot of uncertainty. They may have even faced dangerous and risky situations. With a structured and safe recovery program, these individuals can remove some of the pressures from the outside world. They can now feel at ease to begin the hard work of self-reflection.

Structure Promotes Long-Term Recovery

Addiction can cause long-term changes in the brain that affect behavior, attitudes, and thinking habits. It is not easy to simply change these patterns. To continue with sobriety, a sober person must apply what they learned in recovery treatment to a long-term lifestyle.

One way to do this is to live in a sober living home. The Tharros House in Massachusetts offers many benefits to its residents. Contact us today on our website or call (617) 249-1087 to learn more.

sober living home hourglass in Massachusetts with Sun Shining

How Long Should I Stay at a Sober Living Home?

Many people decide staying in a sober living home is a great way to maintain their sobriety. If you are considering sober home living, you may be wondering how long you should stay there.

There are many benefits to staying in a sober living home. Studies have shown that time living in a sober living home has a positive impact on rates of employment, sobriety, and relapse prevention. Sober living home residency has also been associated with a decrease in incarceration.

Factors That Determine How Long You Should Stay in a Sober Living Home

The exact length of time that you should stay in a sober living home will vary depending on the person and their unique situation. You should make the decision based on what you feel is best for you and your sobriety after taking in all of the factors.

One of the biggest factors in determining the length of stay is your financial situation. Some sober living homes can be expensive, so you will have to consider your financial needs.

Another factor that impacts the length of your stay in a sober living home is your willingness to follow the rules. Sober living homes often have strict rules and guidelines in place. Residents must follow these rules to continue living there.

Even if following rules is difficult for you, you may find that staying in a sober living home helps improve this and brings much needed structure to your life.

Some sober living homes offer their residents job training programs. These programs help residents prepare themselves for long-term recovery and independent living.

If you wish to learn more about sober living homes to determine whether it is the right step for you, contact the Tharros House today. The Tharros House is a sober living home for men in the Boston, Massachusetts area. You can give us a call at (617) 249-1087 to schedule a tour or visit.

Beautiful yellow flower representing a fresh start to sober living

Letting Go of Addiction

In many cases, there are two things that keep people with addictions trapped in the addiction cycle: physical dependence and psychological dependence on a substance.

Physical and Psychological Dependency

A person is physically dependent on a substance when their body has become dependent on the substance in order to continue functioning and avoid withdrawal symptoms. A person is psychologically dependent on a substance when they become afraid to stop drinking or using drugs because as much as it may cause problems in their life, the thought of being completely sober seems worse to them. It is often difficult for non-addicts to truly understand psychological dependency. From an outsider’s standpoint, it is hard to picture anything being worse than the mess that addiction often makes of people’s lives.

Letting Go of Your Addiction and Starting Over

Conquering an addiction and becoming sober is not just about the physical detoxification. This process also includes a psychological detox. When it comes to letting go of something, humans have a natural fear that they will just end up with nothing.

However, that is not really what happens. Letting go of everything when it comes to getting sober and beating your addiction simply means that you have given yourself a fresh start and a clean slate. It means that anything is now possible. You can use rehab and the recovery process to give yourself a new beginning and move forward with your life, focusing on the positives.

Once you have made the decision to let go of your addiction and begin recovery, you will have a fresh start. When you are ready to start reacclimating into an independent home environment, the Tharros House can help. The Tharros House is a sober living home located in Massachusetts, where residents can live among other sober people as they maintain their sobriety.

Sober girl on top of the mountains in nature

How Nature Can Help with Sobriety

Nature seems to have a certain healing power that simply cannot be explained. When you go outside and experience what nature has to offer, there seems to be a healing and uplifting balance that restores and nurtures your mind, body, and soul.

Nature and Physical Recovery

One of the ways that nature can help a person maintain their sobriety and advance in their recovery is through physical activity. There are many different ways to go outside and experience nature, such as swimming, running, hiking, or biking. All of these activities can help you maintain a healthier lifestyle. These outside activities not only strengthen your body, but they can also strengthen your mind and mental state.

Nature and Renewal

For someone who is recovering from an addiction, nature can offer the perfect place for a fresh start. Nature itself is a great example of life and recovery. Each new day begins with the rising of the sun, while every spring brings new life. People who have experienced difficult situations due to their addictions can also find their fresh start and new beginning while at one with nature.

Nature and Sober Living

An effective tool that can assist someone with sober living is nature. Experiencing nature outdoors in a natural environment can help to restore and support your recovery process. Sometimes, even just getting a breath of fresh air can make a big difference in your outlook and the way you are feeling.

The Tharros House is a sober living home located in Boston, Massachusetts. At the Tharros House, you will have many different opportunities to get outside and experience the joys of nature. We offer different outdoor group activities, such as hiking, rock climbing, and sailing in the Boston Harbor. Our residents love the many opportunities they have to experience all that nature has to offer.

Man holding blank card, not identifying with his addiction.

Identifying with Your Addiction

An individual’s identity, or self-image, constantly adapts to the environment, rather than just remaining static.

Most people are able to incorporate multiple different identities into their daily life. For example, someone may have a work identity in the workplace, along with a different identity while they are relaxing with friends and family.

Since identity is never fixed, as an adult, a person may have an evolved identity or self-image from their teen years.

The Identity of An Addict

People who fall into an addiction tend to adopt a certain new type of identity. Their new self-image is typically influenced by other substance abusers.

An addict identity may involve different beliefs, ideas, behaviors, and motivations, such as:

  • The priority in life is getting drunk or high
  • A belief that substance abuse causes people to be more creative
  • A distrust of addiction professionals
  • The idea that sober people are boring
  • A higher tolerance for sexual promiscuity than the average person
  • A willingness to use dishonesty to achieve a goal
  • An “us against them” mentality used to bond with other groups of addicts

How to Escape the Addict Identity

When an addict decides to become sober and to recover from their addiction, part of the process involves shedding the negative aspects of the addict identity. A recovering addict will often need to avoid friends and acquaintances with whom they used to drink or do drugs. These individuals will only pull the recovering addict back into their former identity.

To escape the addict identity you may decide what type of person you would like to become, and then move forward with building those positive personality traits.

The environment that you are in can have a huge effect on your identity. Therefore finding a sober living home can be one of the best steps to changing your life.

Contact the Tharros House today to learn more about how a sober living home may benefit you in your recovery.

Man Thinking About Alternatives for Alcohol and Drugs While Stressed

Alternatives to Drugs and Alcohol for Stressful Times

Experiencing stress can be a trigger for the consumption of alcohol and drugs. For former addicts, stress can contribute to a relapse of alcohol or drug abuse. Since many substances can give you temporary relief of the negative effects of stress, it may be tempting for former addicts to return to using these substances again. In order to be able to maintain your sobriety during stressful times in your life, it is crucial to learn to cope with stress without using alcohol or drugs.

Identify What You Can and Cannot Control

One of the first steps to coping with stress is to identify the source of your stress. From there, you can begin to identify what aspects of it you can and cannot control. For example, during this nationwide pandemic due to COVID-19, you may not be able to control whether or not you contract the virus—but you can control the steps that you take to protect yourself.

Make Time in Your Day to Do Something You Enjoy

Distraction can be a powerful tool in managing stress. During stressful times in your life, make sure to take time for yourself and engage in an activity that you enjoy. Having a happy experience may help alleviate some of the stress you are experiencing. At worst, it may provide a welcome distraction.

Participate in Physical Activity

Another way to cope with stress is to do a physical activity. One example would be to go for a run, as physical activities can release endorphins, which make you feel better. Staying physically active also has many health benefits—not only for your physical health but also for your emotional and mental health.

Sober living homes can provide structure for former addicts who are working hard to maintain their sobriety. These facilities can also help their residents by providing the tools to cope with stress in other ways. Contact the Tharros House today to learn more about how sober living homes may benefit you.