Woman Running for Healthy Immune System

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.

Sober Living Home Welcome Mat

Sober Living Homes in Boston and Beyond

Sober living homes are a great living option for individuals who are making progress with their battles with addiction.  For those who have done the work to get sober, it can be hugely beneficial to live in communities with like-minded individuals to help maintain sobriety.

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What is a Sober Living Home?

A sober living home can serve as a bridge between an inpatient rehabilitation facility and the “real world.” After a person leaves an inpatient facility and returns home, they may have difficulty adjusting back to their daily life.

Sober homes can give someone a type of in-between recovery option that gives them the opportunity to practice the lessons they learned in rehab and the support of a sober community before jumping right back into their lives. For some people in recovery, a sober living home can make the difference between staying sober and relapsing back into their addiction.

These homes do not provide residents with the same level of structure as they would experience in an inpatient facility; however, sober living homes have the benefit of providing residents with an intermediate form of sober environment that encourages its residents to work on healthy habits and coping skills for when they return to their homes.

Sober Man at Mountain Overlook

What Can You Expect in a Sober Living Home?

Before making the decision to move into a sober living home, it can be helpful beforehand to get an idea of what you can expect.

When you stay in an inpatient treatment center, as a patient, you are completely immersed in the center’s rehab programs, and you typically do not have a lot of independence. In sober homes you have more freedom and get the chance to have some of your independence back.

Residents living in a sober living home are not required to stay there at all times; rather, they have the ability to come and go as they please. Having this freedom gives individuals in recovery the chance to ease back into their normal life and begin resuming their daily responsibilities and tasks.

Although sober living houses tend to be less restrictive than inpatient facilities are, these homes still do have rules that residents are required to abide by. Some of these rules include attendance at group meetings, events, and a curfew.

What Are the Benefits of Residing in a Sober Living Home?

There are certainly many benefits to living in a sober living home. Residents have the opportunity to attend 12-step programs close by, often on the premises. Sober living homes also provide the benefit of a structured lifestyle while creating an environment for sober friendships and companionships to thrive.

Staying in a sobriety house helps you to be better able to hold yourself accountable to take ownership of your sobriety and overall progress. A big of this is creating positive friendships that allow you to help each other to abstain from alcohol and drugs.

Having such a great support system gives residents the opportunity to avoid the isolation that can sometimes occur during the process of returning to their former homes while in recovery. It also provides residents with an environment to help support them during their recovery from substance abuse and also addiction, from those who are just transitioning over from their stay in rehab.

Sober living homes provide a unique combination of structure and freedom that can help an individual in recovery start to readjust to life outside of rehab. In fact, these homes are set up specifically to serve as a transitional housing option for people who are just coming out of treatment for addiction.

A Sober Living Home Can Help You to Maintain Your Sobriety

Sober living homes can act as a supplement to a person’s recovery from addiction. These homes are an alternative from going straight from an immersive care environment to an unstructured home environment. Since sober homes are designed to replicate normal and everyday life situations while also instilling healthy habits, these homes help to reduce a person’s chance of relapse.

Other benefits of sober living homes may include:

  • Helping with things that will help you progress with their recovery and maintain their sobriety, including making amends with family and friends who were impacted by their substance abuse and helping their residents to adjust to sober living in an unstructured environment.
  • Help finding a job with resources provided by the facility, such as computer access, and often provide transportation services so residents can attend job interviews.
  • Sober living houses are not meant to be forever homes, so they can also provide you with the resources to locate more permanent housing when ready.
  • Help with creating carefully designed plans for aftercare. These plans should include a relapse prevention plan that can be individualized to each resident. This can be done by therapy sessions that either take place on the premises or are conducted electronically.

Sober Living Therapy Sessions

Therapy sessions can be helpful for sober living home residents in many ways.

Through therapy, residents may learn to identify triggers that could entice them to go back to engaging in substance abuse once they leave the sobriety house and re-acclimate into the community. It can also give residents the tools to learn and practice healthy coping skills during times of high stress and cravings or urges to use.

With therapy, residents can create a plan of action to prepare themselves for those times that will inevitably occur in the future and help them to make the right choices and avoid relapsing.

Sand Hourglass

When is the Right Time to Move into a Sober Living Home?

A good time to move into a sober living home is after you have completed an inpatient rehab program and are ready to begin acclimating back into society. Sober living homes are good transitional residences for those who feel almost ready to go back into their normal lives—but want to have extra support and learn additional coping strategies beforehand.

Moving into a sober home has the benefit of helping you create a solid support system with friends who are going through the same or similar things that you are. These friendships can help you not just during your time residing at the sober living house, but can help you in many ways down the road and throughout the rest of your life.

Sober living homes provide residents with many benefits and can be significantly useful for many people during the process of recovery from addiction. In many cases, people who choose to stay in them tend to live there for at least ninety days, but it is possible to stay longer if necessary.

How to Find a Sober Living Home that Fits Your Needs

Once you have made the decision that living in a sober living home is the right choice for you at this stage in your recovery, you will next need to start your search to find the right home.

When you begin your search, there are some things to keep in mind that are considered red flags. First, you should be wary of a sobriety house that claims to be free or seems particularly cheap. As it is a residence, you should expect to pay an amount at the very least, similar to rent in your area. While the exact cost will differ depending on location and amenities offered, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few thousand per month to $10,000 per month.

Another thing to do while you search is to make an appointment to tour the sober living home in person. You should not just rely on website pictures prior to making a commitment. Viewing the home in person not only gives you a clear picture of what the residence actually looks like, but you can also get a general vibe of the place.

Woman Writing Down Benefits of Living in a Sober Home

Look for a sober living home that has a set of rules / minimum requirements. The biggest requirement should be that all residents are alcohol and drug-free in order to promote a positive environment for addiction recovery. These facilities should conduct some sort of background check on potential residents in order to ensure the safety of their current residents.

It is also important to learn about the sober living home’s safety and privacy policies. As a resident, you are entitled to a certain amount of privacy in your living area. There should be safety precautions put in place, such as locked doors and a no-weapons policy. It is also beneficial to have security cameras in common areas and in entrances and exits.

It’s a red flag if the sober home you are considering does not have trained or certified staff. It is important that the staff working at a sobriety house has a certain amount of training and experience to ensure that they can handle issues that may arise during a resident’s stay. A well-trained staff can also lead more effective group meetings and other events offered by the sober living home to its residents.

Tharros House—A Sober Living Home in the Boston Area of Massachusetts

If you are looking for a sober living home in the Boston Area of Massachusetts, the Tharros House is a stand-out facility that can help you maintain your sobriety and grow as a person in the process. The Tharros House combines a sober living community with aftercare in order to assist their clients in acquiring new skills to meet life’s challenges.

Tharros House’s mission is to help their clients find success with long-term recovery and move on from negative things in their past. Their sober living home places a high value on integrity and honesty, and the staff members take the time to help their residents cultivate a new and constructive sober lifestyle.

With over 40 years of combined experience with recovery, the team at Tharros House understands the difficulties that their residents face, and they have a genuine desire to help their residents get back to leading a fulfilling and happy life.

Why Choose Tharros House?

The team at Tharros House prides itself on taking a custom approach with each of their clients, beginning with making sure that they have a full understanding of each person’s individual needs. Our team makes sure to build a connection which each resident’s clinical providers in order to help fully understand what support is needed before that resident moves in.

At Tharros House, the team takes the time to connect with local Boston-area professionals and providers that can help our residents in many areas. We can help with referrals to clinical therapy, couples and family counseling, addiction classes, therapy groups, nutrition and wellness services, life coaching, stress management, exercise and physical training.

All clients at Tharros House receive an introduction to wellness and nutritional eating, including group discussions with a registered dietitian. We also offer nutritional cooking classes, mindfulness, and recovery yoga on site.

Tharros House amenities include a full chef’s style kitchen with high-end appliances, a ping pong table, flat-screen TVs, and a quiet dining room. There are seven large bedrooms, six full bathrooms, and two outside deck areas, along with an office with computers and printers that are available for clients to use.

The Tharros House in Boston, Massachusetts has many benefits to offer its residents. In addition to referral services and local connections, Tharros House also offers many fun onsite activities that encourage residents to let loose and have a good time without the use of alcohol or drugs.

Residents at Tharros House have the opportunity to make life-long friendships that can help them maintain their sobriety and, overall, enrich their lives. To learn more about what Tharros House has to offer you, contact us today at (617) 249-1087 or fill out the contact form on out site.

Tharros House is for men only. If you are interested in learning more about sober living for women, please check out Tera’s House.

Cactus at sober living home in Boston Massachusetts

Sober Living in Massachusetts

Making a commitment to sober living will change your life for the better. If you have committed to sober living in Massachusetts, you should consider living in a sober living home. Sober living homes have many benefits, including the benefit of residing with other people who are working to recover from addiction in an environment free of alcohol and other addictive substances.

The Tharros House in Massachusetts

The Tharros House in Massachusetts is a sober living home where residents live with other people at the same stage of sobriety. There are many benefits to choosing the Tharros House. It is a smaller community, with eleven clients living there at a time. This sober home also offers a large variety of activities for its residents. These activities include a weekly activity, such as bowling or cooking.

Tharros House also encourages its residents to participate in the weekly Saturday group activity. The Saturday group activities vary but may include participating in an escape room, riding Go-karts, or even sailing. There are also many other activities that the residents at Tharros House partake in. Events like a weekly BBQ for residents, yoga classes, and ping pong tournaments. These activities help the residents of the Tharros House build strong, lasting bonds with one another, as well as improve their health through nutrition and exercise.

Addiction Recovery Support at the Tharros House

In addition to these activities, Tharros House assigns each resident a case manager to help them on their journey to full recovery from addiction. The residents living at Tharros House are asked to meet with their case manager at least once a week. In addition, residents are also asked to participate in morning meetings, which are scheduled during the week (Monday through Friday). There is also a Sunday evening meeting each week at 6 PM that the residents of Tharros House are asked to attend.

addiction recovery boston Massachusetts

Addiction Recovery

Recovering from addiction can be a difficult process.  The path to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction is never quite the same for any two individuals.  When looking into rehabilitation and recovery programs for yourself or for a loved one, you will recognize some common steps.

Getting Sober and Drug-Free

To begin with, a person choosing to fight their addiction to become sober and drug-free needs a strong desire and serious determination to get clean.  If you are seeking help for a friend or family member fighting an addiction, it is important to realize that your loved one must be completely on board with the concept of recovery if they are to have a true chance at beating the addiction and staying sober.  If they have not realized that they have a true problem, you may need to have an intervention.

Starting the Path to Recovery

The early stage of recovery typically involves a detox of alcohol and drugs in order for the person suffering from the addiction to remove the unwanted chemicals and substances from their body.  The next step usually involves intense addiction recovery therapy.  Often, the recovery therapy can take anywhere from 28 to 90 days.  A recovery therapy program can provide the tools that are necessary to remain substance-free.

After leaving a rehab program, it is advisable to join a support group for recovering addicts.  Another way to continue with sobriety that may be beneficial for many people is to spend some time residing in a recovery home, or sober living facility.  The former addict will learn the tools they need to stay away from drugs and alcohol through relapse prevention taught in recovery programs, as well as learning healthy coping skills to continue their path to full recovery.

The Tharros House is a sober living home in Lexington, Massachusetts.  This sober living facility is designed to help individuals who are committed to maintaining sobriety live in a safe environment for recovery.

Sober Living Home Fence in Boston Massachusetts

How a Sober Living Home Can Help You

Staying in a sober living home is a great option for people looking to stay clean once they become sober.

While rehab is great for getting clean and taking that much needed break to work on personal matters, many times it just isn’t enough to stay clean during everyday life.

Sober living homes are a great transition from rehab to give you the tools you need and help you live more independently without the use of narcotics.

What is a Sober Living Home?

A sober living home provides you with a safe, peaceful environment usually alongside other’s that are also recovering from addiction.

Although you may need to be home by a certain time or take random drug tests, the goal of a sober living home is to help you become responsible for yourself. Therefore, compared to rehab centers, there is much more freedom to come and go as you please.

Benefits of sober living homes may include:

  • Organized meetings
  • A safe, drug free environment
  • Help finding work if needed
  • Connections to outpatient recovery programs
  • Empowers and supports your journey to become free from substances
  • Provides the time and support needed to restructure your life, free from your old environment that may not have been as healthy
  • Coordinated in a thoughtful way to help you with recovery

Are sober living homes actually effective?

Yes, there is anecdotal and empirical evidence that sober living houses actually make a significant difference. People that reside in sober living homes generally have better results and are able to stay sober more consistently and for longer periods of time with a lower rate of relapse.

Tharros Sober Living House in Boston Massachusetts

Tharros offers a highly supportive version of sober living, which includes an extensive peer support model.  To learn what’s different about Tharros, view our Tharros Experience Page.

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.

man in backpack thinking about addiction recovery programs

Types of Addiction Recovery Programs

There are many different types of addiction recovery programs out there.  For someone who is working to recover from an addiction, it is important to consider the pros and cons of the different programs in order to choose the best option for their individual needs.  A few of the addiction recovery programs available are explained below.

Alcohol Anonymous: This program is a 12-step program that provides support and guidance in the form of a support group for the recovering addict as well as their family and loved ones.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT):  Cognitive Behavior Therapy has been shown to be effective at using an understanding of how thoughts influence behavior and emotions to manage addiction.  It also works to change the underlying thoughts of an individual that contribute to the maintenance of the addiction.

Detoxification (Detox): A detox program involves a patient going through the withdrawal process being monitored and treated with necessary medications in order to manage the symptoms that occur during withdrawal.  A detox can be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis.  This is not a complete type of treatment and should be followed up with additional treatment methods.

Family Therapy:  Family therapy involves a therapeutic approach that takes into account the recovering addict’s family’s strengths and resources in order to help the individual live their life without the use of alcohol or drugs.  This method seeks to reduce the consequences of addiction on both the substance abuser and their family.

Group Therapy: Group therapy uses a group setting to provide positive peer-to-peer support and assistance and coping techniques.  This type of therapy can be more cost-effective than others.  Group therapy is often used in inpatient and outpatient facilities in addition to individualized therapy treatments.

These are just a few of the many addiction treatment methods out there.  Each person going through the recovery process will need to weigh their options and choose the best method for their own recovery.

sober living home backyard path to recovery

What Are Sober Living Homes?

Sober living homes are places where recovering addicts can live in a safe, drug-free environment to continue with their recovery.  These homes do not provide actual treatment, but they do provide a clean-living space for recovering addicts to work on discontinuing their destructive habits.  Sober living homes have rules for their residents, which provide structure.

Benefits of Sober Living Homes

Additionally, they have organized recovery meetings.  Sober living homes also help their residents find work or connections with school programs.  They also provide their residents with connections to outpatient recovery programs.  Sober living residences also require regular drug tests, and of course, drugs and alcohol are banned from the homes.  Sober living homes are less costly than staying in an inpatient rehab facility while providing someone in recovery the same type of safety net of being separated from their temptations and having the benefit of being surrounded by others who are also working towards recovery from addiction.

Who Lives in Sober Living Homes?

Many residents in a sober living home are in active treatment or attending a twelve-step program of some kind.  The homes only provide indirect support during the recovery process, but this indirect support can make a huge difference.

How Effective Are Sober Living Homes?

There is evidence, both anecdotal and empirical, that sober living homes do make a significantly positive difference in the process of recovery.  Generally, those who reside in sober living homes show better overall results over time on their path to recovery.  Typically, recovering addicts who live in sober living homes tend to stay sober longer and more consistently, avoid legal trouble, hold a consistent job, and have a lower rate of relapse.

Sober living homes can be hugely beneficial to those working towards recovery from addiction.  While everyone is different and there are a variety of different approaches to take in recovery, these homes are a good place to start the journey.

Tharros offers a highly supportive version of sober living, which includes an extensive peer support model.  To learn what’s different about Tharros, view our Tharros Experience Page

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.

Sober Living Home Fence in Boston Massachusetts

Sober Living Homes

For those suffering from addiction, sober living homes can be helpful when trying to maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol.  A stable and drug-free environment is important for continued recovery from addiction.

Sober Living House Expectations

While there are different types of sober living home arrangements, there are some general expectations that apply to sober living houses.  These include:

-No stealing from the house

-Paying fees/dues on time

-No drinking alcohol

-No taking drugs

-No sexual activity with other residents

-No violent actions

Tips for Staying Sober in a Sober Living Residence

  • Attend a 12-Step Program – A 12-step program is a support group for people working to overcome addiction.  There are meetings every day that you can attend as needed.  Many people in the support group have experienced similar circumstances and can offer guidance on how they overcame their own personal setbacks on their path to recovery.
  • Exercise Three Times a Week – Exercising releases endorphins, which make you feel good and elevate your mood.  Exercise can also help reduce compulsive behaviors.
  • Eat Three Meals a Day – Eating healthy foods on a regular schedule is an important part of your overall health.  A person dealing with substance abuse is more likely to relapse if they also have unhealthy eating habits.
  • Get a Sponsor and Contact Them When Needed – A sponsor is a mentor for someone recovering from addiction.  A sponsor is usually at a point in their own recovery where they have already worked through many of the issues that someone newly dealing with addiction recovery is experiencing, so they can be a helpful resource.

While in the process of recovering from addiction, it is important to set goals for yourself and come up with a long-term recovery plan.  Living in a sober living residence, such as the Tharros House can help you progress with recovery from your addiction.