Table with addictive substances under black light

What Are the Most Addictive Substances?

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that more than 21 million Americans aged 12 and older have had a substance abuse disorder. Drug and alcohol addictions are common enough that if you haven’t experienced it yourself, someone you know most likely has.

Learning more about what substances are the most addictive can help you avoid developing an addiction problem in the future. If you are worried you might already have an addiction, this information might help you realize when it is time to get help.

What Is a Substance Addiction?

A substance addiction is a disease that impacts your brain and behavior. It is characterized by an inability to control your use of the substance. Addictive substances activate the pleasure center of the brain, which can cause someone to continue to use that substance repeatedly to get that experience or feeling.

What Are the Most Addictive Substances?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse regularly conducts studies and analyzes data regarding addictive substances. It has found that the top five most addictive substances include the following:

1.      Alcohol

Alcohol is a legal substance and is one of the most abused. It enhances mood by altering dopamine levels, however it also works as a central nervous system depressant.

2.      Heroin

Heroin is an illegal drug that works by activating opioid receptors in a person’s brain, which blocks feelings of pain, increases feelings of relaxation, and induces a sensation of euphoria with the way that it impacts dopamine levels.

3.      Nicotine

Nicotine is another legal substance that many people are addicted to. It triggers the brain’s reward center, which causes people to continue to use it and eventually become addicted.

4.      Methamphetamines

Methamphetamines are powerful stimulant drugs that cause a euphoric high. It is a particularly dangerous type of drug because tolerance develops quickly.

5.      Cocaine

Cocaine works by flooding the brain with dopamine, which is connected with pleasure. The effects are short-lived, so it is a substance that can quickly become addictive.

Trying to Stay Sober?

Tharros House is a sober living home that can help you live a sober life more enjoyably and effortlessly. Contact us today to learn more.

Sober community with hands on top of each other

How Can My Community Keep Me Sober?

Becoming and remaining sober can be challenging, but it is genuinely worth it in so many ways. By staying sober, you can begin to rebuild former relationships that may have suffered throughout your addiction and become healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally. Your community can also have a significant impact on helping you stay sober.

Find Support Groups and Meetings in Your Community

Support groups and meetings are designed to help former addicts come together to share stories, advice, and support. There are many different types of support groups, so you are sure to find one that fits your needs.

Some support groups are religion-based, so if that is something important to you, it can be an excellent way to get started finding others like you in your community. Other support groups are activity focused. These types of support groups are great for people who share similar hobbies, and it is an easy way to make new friends with the same interests as you.

Sober Living Communities

Another way that your community can help you to stay sober is to move into a sober living home. A sober living home is geared toward individuals who have been sober for a while and want to remain sober while starting to get their life back on track. Many people living in sober living homes have begun searching for jobs or have even started to work again.

These living communities are a great resource because you can live with other people who have gone through similar struggles as you have. It can be a place for support and encouragement, and even true life-long friendships. Many sober living communities also have group activities on a regular basis, such as game nights and other entertaining activities. The can not only be fun, but also work to build lasting connections with others.

Tharros House is a sober living home in the Boston, Massachusetts area. We are a sober living community that offers our residents many benefits, such as onsite support groups, group activities, and more. If you are thinking about joining a sober living community, we would love to speak with you to help you decide if we’re a good fit. Give us a call today to learn more about what Tharros House has to offer.

Asian couple reading a book in nature

How Do I Deal with Cravings as They Arise?

After you make the decision to stop drinking, it is common to continue to experience cravings for alcohol for some time. Also, after committing to a sober lifestyle, you might be more aware of your cravings since you have made a conscious decision to avoid alcohol.

To remain sober, you will have to face your cravings head-on and stay strong. Knowledge is power, so one crucial step you can take moving forward is to plan for how you will handle cravings when they pop up.

What Causes Alcohol Cravings?

Cravings often occur as a response to a trigger, which can be automatic. Triggers can be different from person to person. Common triggers for many individuals include stress and specific emotions and memories of something associated in some way with alcohol.

People who experience cravings for alcohol often have both internal and external triggers. Internal triggers can include emotions, thoughts, memories, or even physical sensations that give you the urge to consume alcohol. External triggers include environmental cues that you associate with alcohol—such as places, people, certain situations, and the time of day (such as the end of a workday).

Managing Cravings

While cravings for alcohol can be intense, the good news is that they often can pass after a few minutes go by. When you experience cravings for alcohol, it can help to remind yourself that the craving will soon disappear. Positive distractions are another excellent way to manage your cravings. Reading a book, watching a funny show, and going for a walk are all positive distractions that can help.

Tharros House Sober Living

The early stages of sobriety bring many challenges. One thing you can do to have a better chance at remaining sober is to live in a sober living home. Tharros House is a sober living home in Massachusetts that has helped many residents continue their sober journey. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help.

Woman in pink exercise gear stretching her arm.

How Can I Listen to What My Body is Telling Me About My Health?

If you pay close attention, you can catch certain signs about your health by listening to cues from your body.

One thing to keep in mind is that every person is different, so it is essential to learn your own body cues. Various health indicators can show up in different ways from person to person.

How to Listen to Health Cues from Your Body

The first way to make sure that you are ready to listen to your body’s cues about your health is to make sure that you know what is normal for you.

To get used to your baseline health indicators, you can keep a journal of how you are feeling daily. You don’t have to limit yourself to writing down just physical changes—tracking your emotions and mental health is beneficial, too.

There are many apps out there that you can use to log how you are feeling each day. Of course, writing things down in a notebook or journal works too.

By tracking your health and any changes each day, over time, you will have a good understanding of your general health and well-being, and you will be able to notice small changes that could be significant.

If you notice something unusual, consider doing a little research to clarify or isolate your concerns. While online research is certainly not a substitute for medical care, it can give you a little more clarity on the topic and allow you to explain your concerns to your doctor better.

Listening to your body and paying attention to any changes is crucial for your health, especially as you move forward in your sobriety journey.

A sober living home facility can be beneficial in many ways. If you are interested in learning more about this option, contact us today at Tharros House.

Addiction to drinking and gambling in Massachusetts

What Constitutes Addiction?

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a primary chronic disease of brain reward, memory, motivation, and related circuitry, which is reflected in an individual pursuing reward or relief by substance abuse. Addiction to nearly any substance can have a substantial negative impact on your life and the lives of those around you.

What Are the Basic Characteristics of Addiction?

Multiple unhealthy emotional responses or behaviors typically characterize addiction. Some examples of these behaviors and emotional responses include:

  • Impairment in behavioral control
  • Dysfunctional emotional responses
  • Cravings
  • Inability to abstain from using a substance or engaging in an activity
  • Diminished recognition of interpersonal and behavioral problems.

Additionally, substance abuse and dependence can cause impaired perception, learning, impulse control, and judgment. Because of these effects, individuals who suffer from addiction can have a hard time recognizing the extent of their problems. When someone with an addiction seeks out help, it is often due to close family or friends encouraging them to get help for their addiction, rather than seeking help on their own accord.

Signs of Addiction

If you believe that you or someone you care about is suffering from an addiction, there are some signs and indicators that you should be aware of that can help you move forward with seeking help. These signs include:

  • Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
  • Excessive time spent recovering from the usage of alcohol or drugs
  • Substantial focus on pursuing addictive substances
  • Adverse physical and emotional consequences from substance use
  • Worsening preoccupation with drugs or alcohol
  • Lack of desire to give up problematic behavior

Tharros House

For individuals who have suffered from an addiction in the past and are now living a sober life, moving into a sober living home can offer many benefits. Contact us today at Tharros House to find out if our sober living residence is a good fit for you.

Woman laying down smoking in Massachusetts

What Are the Best Ways to Quit Smoking?

Many people decide to quit smoking once they realize the negative impact of the habit on their overall health. Fortunately, once a smoker does quit, there are significant health benefits that take place almost immediately.

Why Is Smoking So Addictive?

Smoking is an addictive habit due to the active ingredient in tobacco called nicotine.

When you smoke cigarettes, your brain quickly adapts to the nicotine, causing you to crave more and more of the chemical to feel the way you did after your first cigarette.

Over time, your brain begins to predict when you are ready to smoke a cigarette, then you have one, and then the cycle repeats again.

How to Quit Smoking, Once and For All

It probably won’t come as a surprise that the most challenging days of quitting smoking are the first few days.

Although it probably will not be easy to get through the first couple of days after quitting, it is essential to stick with it.

One helpful way to quit smoking is to choose a day and commit to being done with smoking that day and beyond. Having an end date that you commit to will make the process feel final and give you a better chance at success.

Another way to quit smoking is to make a list of all of the reasons you want to stop smoking and write down all of the benefits you will gain once you achieve your goal. Having a plan written out in front of you with reminders of why you are quitting in the first place can help you focus on your goal and move forward.

You may also want to consider nicotine replacement patches, gum, or prescription medications that can help curb cravings. These options can be extremely helpful.

Tharros House

Tharros House in Massachusetts is a sober living home facility where individuals can live and work on maintaining their sobriety in a collaborative atmosphere. Give us a call today to learn more about how we may be able to help you.

Man and woman holding up home blocks for sober living house

How Do Sober Living Homes Work?

Sober living homes are group living residences for people who are in the process of recovery from addiction. Most sober living homes have a set of house rules that the residents must follow in order to live there. The most critical house rule is that the residents must remain sober and free from substance abuse.

Residents of sober living homes also often contribute to the house in different ways, such as completing chores based on a schedule. A structured living environment like a sober living home can be a great way for someone to adjust to life during and after treatment.

There are many people that use sober living homes to help them in the transition from rehab to independent living. Generally, those living in sober living homes can come and go as they please as long as they are following certain rules established by the home. For example, residents may be required to be home by a particular time or may have a curfew.

Who Can Live in Sober Living Homes?

There are some basic requirements for individuals who are considering living in a sober living environment. Most importantly, residents of sober living homes must be sober and be committed to remaining sober while they live in the home.

In the majority of cases, sober living home residents have already completed a substance abuse rehabilitation program before they move in. Residents who have already started living a sober lifestyle and have begun learning tools to help keep them sober tend to be more successful with adjusting to a sober living environment.

Tharros House and Sober Living

Tharros House is a sober living home in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Sober living homes offer many benefits to someone who is in recovery from addiction and wants to live with other sober individuals before living independently. Give us a call today for fill out the contact form on our site to learn more about how a sober living home can help you maintain your sobriety.

Woman in yoga clothes meditating to battle addiction in park.

Does Meditation Help with Addiction?

Meditation has been found to support addiction recovery since it can help you feel calm, cope with triggers, and ultimately, help you to avoid a relapse. Although meditation cannot wholly replace a full addiction treatment program with professional medical support, it can still be a helpful tool.

Many rehabilitation facilities include mindfulness and meditation as therapy techniques. Whether you are currently battling an addiction, in treatment, or have been sober for many years, practicing meditation can be incredibly beneficial for your recovery.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a mind and body activity that is intended to promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. It can also help people improve their well-being and cope with illnesses.

You can begin meditating by sitting comfortably in a quiet environment. Next simply and effortlessly notice your thoughts as they come and go, allowing internal and external distractions to pass by without assessing them. Meditation may also involve deep and purposeful breathing during times of stress.

There are two main types of meditation. These types include guided meditation and unguided meditation. To practice guided meditation, a trained meditation or mental health professional will guide you through the session and work with you. Unguided meditation simply refers to meditation that is practiced on your own.

How Does Meditation Help Someone with an Addiction?

For those dealing with drug and alcohol addictions, everyday stressors can be challenging to cope with and may even contribute to a relapse. Multiple studies have concluded that mindful meditation can reduce certain symptoms like anxiety, depression, poor sleep, and drug cravings. Meditation can also help people feel more aware of their thoughts and have better control over their emotions.

Compassion with Meditation

As you begin to simply allow thoughts and distractions to come and go, you may notice all kinds of wanted and unwanted thoughts / emotions. This is completely normal. It is important to keep an open mind no matter what comes up, and understand that there are people everywhere experiencing very much the same thing.

By sitting and allowing without getting involved, it is allowing your mind and body to activate its natural healing capabilities. Much of the excess thoughts and feelings are simply reverberations of past experiences, so this sitting meditation allows all of the noise to pass by. At first it may seem daunting, but as with anything, practice makes perfect.

Sober Living at Tharros House

Tharros House is a sober living community located near Boston, Massachusetts. Sober living communities are a great place for sober individuals to thrive and continue working on their sobriety among peers who share similar goals. Contact us today so that we can help you decide if our sober living community is right for you.

Man with cloud of cigarette smoke wondering if he is addicted to something.

How Do I Know If I Am Addicted to Something?

People can enjoy many pleasurable activities in a healthy way that does not cross the threshold of addiction. However, sometimes the line between healthy enjoyment of an activity and developing an addiction to it can be crossed without someone even realizing it.

What Is an Addiction?

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as a chronic disease that impacts the brain’s motivation, reward, and memory functions. A person with an addiction will feel as though they crave that substance—and may even ignore other areas of their life in order to fulfill their desires and support their addiction.

What Are Some Typical Signs of Addiction?

While addiction may be hard to recognize at first, there are some indicators of addiction that everyone should be aware. This may help you notice it as soon as possible in order to turn it around. Some signs of addiction include:

  • An inability to stop engaging in a behavior or using a substance
  • Lack of control
  • Decreased socialization and neglecting relationships
  • Ignoring risk factors, such as sharing needles even though there could be severe health consequences to doing so
  • Physical effects, such as experiencing withdrawal symptoms

For someone with an addiction, it can be challenging to recognize that the addiction exists and take steps to overcome it. Many addicts will continue to find ways to continue and justify their behavior. It can be beneficial and even life-changing for supportive people in their lives to get them help if they begin noticing these signs of addiction.

Tharros House Sober Living Home

Tharros House is a sober living home that can be found in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Sober living homes are an excellent option for people who have gotten sober and wish to maintain their sobriety and live among other sober individuals. Contact us today at Tharros House in order to learn more about how we can help you continue and strengthen your sobriety.

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.