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.

Water Lily Sober Living Boston Massachusetts

Preventing Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) utilizes early intervention strategies in its efforts to reduce the impact of substance use and mental disorders in America.

Mental and Substance Use Disorder Statistics

Substance use and mental disorders can have a major impact on the health of individuals, along with their families and their communities.  Approximately 9.8 million adults aged 18 and older in America had a serious mental illness in 2014, and 1.7 million of these adults are classified as young adults, aged 18 to 25.  Additionally, about 15.7 million adults and 2.8 million youth (aged 12 to 17) reported suffering a major depressive episode during the last year.

Drug and alcohol use can lead to the development of other chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes.  Dealing with the impact of substance abuse is thought to cost Americans an estimated $600 billion dollars per year.

In 2014, about 22.5 million Americans that were 12 years old or older reported needing treatment for illicit drug use or alcohol.  These types of disorders are included in the top conditions that result in disability and have a high burden of disease in the U.S.  As a result, these disorders result in high costs to families, health systems, and employers.  It is estimated that by the year 2020, mental and substance abuse disorders will become a major cause of disability throughout the world, surpassing all other physical diseases.

Mental Illness and Substance Abuse Prevention

Selective prevention strategies focus on assisting people to develop the attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary to make positive choices and change harmful behavior.  These strategies can be implemented in a classroom setting.

Universal prevention approaches incorporate the usage of environmental prevention strategies.  Environmental prevention strategies are tailored to local communities and address root causes of risky behavior by creating healthy environments.

Are you or a loved one dealing with substance abuse?

Sober living houses, like the Tharros House, can be a helpful place to begin your recovery process. Visit www.tharroshouse.com to learn more.

Prescription Drug Abuse in Boston Massachusetts

The Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse

More American adults than ever before are turning to prescription drugs to cure their ailments.  At least thirty-four percent of Americans are taking one or more prescribed medications.  Prescription medications are quickly becoming the go-to way to resolve all types of common conditions, including stress and anxiety.

Prescription Medication Safety

Americans may be lulled into a false sense of security regarding prescription medication, figuring it must be safe because their doctor prescribed it.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has conducted studies involving patients who share prescription medication with friends and family.  The studies found that many people were unaware of the dangers that sharing medication may bring.

The Dangers of Narcotics and Addiction

One of the most dangerous categories of prescription medication includes narcotics.  It is estimated that approximately three out of four overdoses each year involve narcotic drugs.  Narcotics can be extremely addicting, requiring higher doses of the medication to maintain the same level of relief to the body.  After a person has been taking certain drugs for an extended period of time, their body’s tolerance for the medication builds.  Most people are aware that you can become addicted to medication that you are taking for recreational use and may not be actively prescribed to, however addiction can also occur even when you are taking prescribed medication, so it is important to discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Commonly Abused Prescription Medications

Some prescription medications are more commonly abused than others.  The top three categories of drugs that are abused the most are opioids (narcotic painkillers), stimulants, and central nervous system depressants.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Addiction

Addiction may not be easily noticeable at first.  There are many different side effects associated with a wide variety of medications, so some side effects of addiction may simply be side effects of taking the medication.

One symptom that may signal addiction to prescription medication is an onset of erratic behavior.  You may notice erratic behavior in someone addicted to medication if they are desperate to replenish their medication supply or engage in risky behaviors in order to get more of the medication.  Some addicts even resort to forging prescriptions or trying to get their prescription filled at multiple pharmacies at once.

Treatment and Recovering From Addiction

Addiction can be very difficult to overcome, but there are many resources available to help individuals suffering from addiction to medication.  There are rehabilitation and treatment centers that specialize in helping addicts recover.  These facilities can help addicts through all stages of recovery, including the initial withdrawal physical symptoms.  Trained professionals also work with people suffering from addiction to help them work through their emotional dependency on the medication.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends behavior therapies for the treatment of addiction in conjunction with detox treatments.

Reducing Medication Dependency

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has begun monitoring prescription dispensaries such as pharmacies in an effort to help control the prescription drug use epidemic.  As of 2011, there are thirty-seven states that have implemented prescription drug monitoring programs.  These efforts may help to fight the epidemic of prescription medication abuse.

Tharros Sobriety House

At Tharros House Structured Living in the Boston area of Massachusetts, we find that people have the most success battling prescription drug 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.

 

Types of drug abuse in Boston Massachusetts

Treating Drug Abuse in Massachusetts

There can be a fine line between regular use of drugs and drug abuse. To find out whether or not someone that is using drugs is dependent on them or just taking them recreationally you can ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Why does the personal use drugs?
  2. What happens when they are under the influence of drugs?

What makes someone abuse drugs?

Many times people with alcohol dependence and/or drug problems use the drugs to acquire a specific effect, such as escaping emotions.  While there may be many reasons for someone to use drugs, the people that become addicted usually all desire the escape.

It is still possible to like the escape / feeling that comes with alcohol and drug use while not having a drug problem, which brings us to the second question of ‘What happens when they are under the influence of drugs?”. Behaviors such as blacking out, uncontrolled drinking, and not caring about the negative consequences that come from drinking alcohol / taking drugs can all point towards a drug abuse problem.

Ignoring the Consequences

A major sign that someone has a drug abuse issue is that the user will continue using despite all the negative consequences of their actions. Take a DUI for example – a normal users would try to ensure that they never get in this situation again and avoid it completely. People with drug abuse disorders would recognize that they definitely don’t want another DUI but would continue to get themselves in the same situations and still take the risk.

Treating Drug Abuse

Once someone has accepted that they have a drug problem the first step, depending on the severity of the problem, is to go to a drug detox facility. Going cold turkey after years of abusing drugs or alcohol can have serious life threatening consequences, so it’s important to do it the right way.

Once completely detoxed the most important thing to do is to go through primary treatment, aka rehab. Rehab is essential to drug recovery as it removes the person from all the daily stresses and triggers in everyday life that play a role in their addiction. When the person leaves rehab there are oftentimes many challenges in the day to day life.

This is where sober living comes in. Living in a sober house helps by giving you the tools you need to succeed in everyday life. At Tharros, we work with people who have already finished some form of major alcohol or drug treatment.  Our clients are sober and free from drugs.  A commitment to staying free from all mind changing drugs is a condition of living at Tharros House.  People usually stay between 4-6 months, however some reside as long as a year, or longer.

We believe that learning how to live life without having to pick up a drink or a drug is seriously important, but it’s just part of the process.  At Tharros House, we concentrate on skills to maintain sobriety, but also on helping each client to build a life that they want to live in being sober.  Our staff helps each client to recognize how to include purpose, meaning, success, and other key factors of a joyful life.  Clients direct their personal recovery with support, suggestions, and accountability provided by our team and community.  Learning the skills of life are incorporated both on an individual basis through activities like grocery shopping, meal planning, and service commitments, and on a group basis, like cooking classes.

Rehabilitation from drug abuse isn’t usually a quick process.  It requires effort, and it takes time.  Building a solid foundation will serve you for your entire life, which is the reason why we solely accept clients ready to put sobriety and recovery as their top priority.  To learn more about our approach and get answers to common questions, please visit https://tharroshouse.com/faq/.