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Posted 06/28/2021

Wellness Essential in Prevention and Recovery

The term “wellness” can have a variety of definitions depending on who you ask. Some will suggest that wellness is an active pursuit of strong physical health through regular exercise, mindfulness and a healthy diet. While others might believe that wellness is a state of spiritual well-being, mental clarity or intellect.

One thing is true, wellness is multi-dimensional. It is comprised of and affected by an array of factors including physical, mental, spiritual, intellectual and emotional health, as well as social, environmental, occupational and financial influencers.

Factors that affect a person’s wellness are all connected and interact with each other. If one area of life is out of balance, it creates imbalance and puts additional strain on other areas of life.

For example, the loss of a job or death of a loved one creates unavoidable emotional strain which can lead to a lowered immune system or trigger mental illness.

When the body is strong from regularly activity, healthy nutrition, proper sleep and meaningful relationships, it is more likely to respond effectively to unexpected situations.

Unfortunately, many people lack the knowledge or basic life necessities for a strong foundation in wellness leaving them vulnerable to injury and disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, bone and joint damage, and substance use disorders.

NCWR recognizes wellness as an essential component in the prevention, treatment of, and recovery from addiction and substance use disorders.

Through community education and outreach, NCWR teams identify populations at a higher risk for substance use and advocate for stronger environmental, workforce and health access opportunities.

“A wellness model also supports the knowledge that our bodies and minds are interdependent and that they are supported by strong social and built environments,” explains Julie M. Croff, Ph.D., MPH, executive director of population and clinical research at NCWR. “The concept of wellness is aligned with whole-person (holistic) health and the osteopathic principles which emphasize the combination of body, mind, and spirit.”

Addiction specialists at the NCWR Addiction Recovery Clinic teach wellness concepts as part of an integrated care plan. Several key concepts of wellness that are instrumental in addiction prevention and treatment include:

  • Choosing physical activities and nutritious foods primes your mind and body for growth and development.
  • Recharging your batteries throughout the week without alcohol or other substances allows you to focus on what’s important.
  • Understanding and implementing healthy coping skills that work for you offers better perspective when faced with challenges.
  • Maintaining a positive, never give up attitude builds strength, confidence and resilience.
  • Building healthy relationships with people you know and trust establishes an important network of support.
  • Seeking help from professionals for mental illness or physical ailments.

When asked how wellness contributes to recovery from addiction, Trevor Anderson, M.D. shared, "Wellness results in freedom from thoughts or cravings which allow you to focus on other aspects of your life.”

NCWR addiction medicine specialists provide customized care plans for adults and adolescents suffering from addictive behavior disorders. Treatment methods include medications for substance use disorders, counsel­ing and behavioral therapy and support groups. Appointments are available in person or virtually at the Tulsa clinic, as well as virtually in rural health facilities through­out Oklahoma. For more information, call (918) 561-1890.

Deanne Vick | June 2021