The Importance of Wellness in Rehab

The Importance of Wellness in RehabThe World Health Organization defines health as a state of physical, mental and social well-being not just the absence of a disease or physical ailment. Addiction destroys your health. Drugs ravage your body as the unhealthy chemicals destroy major organs like the heart, lungs and liver. Drugs also destroy your emotional well-being as you become psychologically dependent on the drugs thinking that you cannot live without drugs and will do anything to get your next fix. Your social community is affected as well as your friends and loved ones bear the brunt of your addiction subjected to the lies, the theft and the verbal and physical abuse that often occurs.  According to a 1999  report by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, treatment (rehab) must be designed to address all aspects of your life not just your addiction. To ignore the others will mean relapse in the end.

Physical Addiction and Health

One element of recovery that you cannot ignore is physical wellness. When you take drugs, you begin to become physically addicted to it. According to Psychology Today the body adapts to the presence of a drug. Over time the drug does not produce the same pleasurable sensations, which is called tolerance. Because the body has become adjusted to a drug, the body will respond with that drug is no longer present. This is withdrawal. Undergoing detox, which is the process by which you rid your body of drugs, is only the first step in restoring your physical health. You must also seek to improve your overall physical wellness as it plays a role in your recovery.

Elements of Physical Health

One of the adages of recovery is H.A.L.T., which is the reminder not to become hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. These situations often lead to drug use or relapse. Two of these situations are purely physical (hungry, tired). These elements, along with several others, are important to your overall wellbeing and recovery.

Elements of physical health include the following:

  • Healthy diet – According to the National Institutes of Health, people with poor eating habits are more likely to relapse. For example someone in recovery may not remember the physical sensation of hunger and instead think this feeling is a craving for drugs. This underscores the importance of regular, balanced meals. Balanced nutrition improves mood and helps you feel better physically. This means eating at regular intervals and choosing high-protein, low-fat foods along with complex carbohydrates and lots of fiber (fruit).  In addition make sure you drink enough water and stay hydrated, which is a common problem in recovery.
  • Exercise – Several studies have shown a link between physical exercise and mental health. For example one article released in Public Health Reports, physical activity alleviates some symptoms of depression, improves self-image, improves social skills, improves cognitive functioning and reduces feelings of anxiety. Keep in mind that physical exercise can be fun. You can go swimming, take up rock climbing, lift weights, learn Irish dance, or train for a 5k to name a few possible activities. Try out a few until you find the one that brings you the most enjoyment while still increasing your heart rate by getting you moving.
  • Adequate rest – Sleep deprivation causes a whole host of physical problems. According to a study in the Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, a lack of sleep can cause impairment in critical and logical reasoning. In short you don’t think clearly when you’re tired. You need rest to ensure that you don’t make a poor choice and use drugs.
  • Stress reduction – One trigger for many people to relapse is stress. While you cannot eliminate stress altogether, you can learn to recognize its symptoms and find ways to relieve it in a healthy manner. Exercise, meditation, therapy, walking outdoors and hobbies are all simple ways to decompress and ease stress.
  • Doctor’s visits – According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), people with substance abuse disorders often have complex health needs. Regular visits to your doctor will help you manage existing medical issues and spot any new ones. Your doctor can also flag potential problems that might impact your sobriety such as low blood sugar, low iron and high cholesterol. Keeping these in balance is important to your sobriety.

It’s easy to forget the simple but important elements of physical health. However, these aspects of your physical health are critical for your recovery and continued sobriety. Without them you are putting yourself at great risk for relapse.

Getting Help for Your Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, you are not alone. We are here to help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. You can talk with one of our admissions counselors who can help you determine the best options for your unique situation. They can also ensure that the treatment center you choose emphasizes physical health as an important element in your recovery. You don’t have to let drugs destroy your wellbeing anymore. Call us today, and start on the road to reclaiming the life and health you want.

Are you ready to seek treatment?

If you are ready to beat a Xanax addiction and start a new life in recovery then we can help. We have admission counselors standing by 24 hours a day to take your email, live chat request, or phone call to get you in the addiction treatment center that best fits your unique & specific needs.