Burnt cigarettes on table against green background.

Is Addiction to Substances Common?

If you have recently gotten sober after battling an addiction, you may be wondering just how common it is to deal with a substance use disorder.

While statistics vary between different types of substances, generally speaking, there are approximately 20 million people in the U.S. who currently struggle with a substance abuse disorder of some kind.

What Is a Substance Use Disorder?

Some drugs or alcohol unnaturally increase dopamine levels in the brain’s reward system.  Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, or chemical messenger, in the brain that is involved in feeling pleasure and motivation. Common examples of dopamine-raising substances include nicotine, cocaine, prescription painkillers, alcohol, and other illicit substances.

When someone abuses one of these substances, the increased dopamine teaches the brain learns to associate the substance with pleasure. This can cause the person to become addicted and develop an uncontrollable urge to use that substance. They might also begin engaging in other harmful activities, even though they know there could be negative consequences. A person with a substance use disorder they may be mentally or even physically unable to stop using the substance, even when they want and try to quit.

Consequences of Substance Use Disorder

When someone with an addiction does not get treatment, they can cause lasting damage to important relationships in their lives, lose their jobs, suffer health issues, and develop financial and legal problems. Over time, excessive drug and/or alcohol use can also lead to a range of severe health issues and may result in overdose or death.

Due to the serious consequences of a substance addiction, it is crucial for people dealing with an addiction to seek treatment as soon as possible. Treatment for a substance abuse issue can involve many different methods, including medication, rehabilitation, and therapy.

Sober Living at Tharros House

Once a person is ready to overcome their addiction and enters recovery, looking into sober living homes can be a good next step in maintaining sobriety. Tharros House, in the Boston area of Massachusetts, is a great choice for men looking for somewhere to live among other sober individuals to help rebuild their life following a battle with addiction. Call us today at 617-249-1087 to learn more.

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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.


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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Three Alternative Addiction Treatments

Emotional Freedom Techniques

Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT, involves using your fingertips to tap on a sequences of body areas which are related to acupressure points.  It is an energy psychology technique with the purpose of balancing you “energetically” and also benefits you by freeing up areas of blocked energy.  EFT is used to help work on the underlying causes of a person’s addiction and is believed to help an addict cope more efficiently with their cravings.

Mindfulness-Based Therapies—Yoga

Mindfulness-based therapies can be useful in that they help an addict increase awareness and give them the tools to reconnect with themselves in order to have a better understanding of the way their addictions play out in their lives.  This type of therapy can help addicts better respond to stressors in their lives.  An addict can learn to practice mindfulness by learning to be more present in their own daily life.  Another way to practice mindfulness is formal meditation.

Equine Therapy

Equine-assisted therapy involves assistance by a licensed mental health professional along with an equine specialist.  It is not required for you to have the knowledge and experience of riding a horse, since the activities you will partake in are performed on the ground.  You may be encouraged to participate in activities which are directly connected to taking care of the horse, or you may focus on more structured activities which are done in order to help you address therapeutic issues.

By developing your relationship with the horse, you will better understand how you relate to yourself and to others, since this relationship with the horse will mirror your own relationships.  Throughout the process of equine therapy, your therapist will help you to identify patterns that fuel your addiction.  You will also learn to practice new ways of feeling, behaving, and thinking.

Tharros House

The Tharros House is a sober living home located in Lexington, Massachusetts.  This facility is a type of alternative addiction recovery support that can benefit addicts by giving them a live-in support group.