Detoxification or detox is generally refers to the process of removing toxins from the body. In the case of substance use, detox specifically refers to the period of time that the body is allowed to process or metabolize any drugs and alcohol in the system and, in doing so, clears their toxic influence. Formal detox programs can provide a number of interventions to assist with:
- Safely and comfortably clearing the body completely of the unwanted substance.
- Managing symptoms of acute withdrawal.
- Encouraging ongoing substance use disorder treatment for the detoxing individual.
Detox is separated into two types:
- Medically assisted (or medically supervised) detox – This type of treatment is done under the care of medical and mental health professionals. The observation is helpful to increase safety and comfort levels for people undergoing the painful symptoms and potential medical complications that may result from ending substance use. At times, medications can be administered to ease the process and reduce the strong cravings for the substance that typically are experienced at this point.
- Clinically managed (“social”) detox – This style is a short-term, non-medical strategy for someone wanting to end substance use. Some social detox settings will only provide a room for detox to take place while others will provide more hands-on treatment approaches including peer encouragement and professional support throughout the detox duration.
The best option will depend on the substance being abused, the current level of physical dependence and the desire/need of the individual to use or not use medically assisted techniques.
Wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical and mental health outcomes, so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving.
To understand the significance of wellness, it’s important to understand how it’s linked to health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is defined as being “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Several key areas of your lifestyle are considered dimensions of overall Wellness. They include: social connectedness, exercise, nutrition, sleep and mindfulness. Each one has an impact on your physical and mental health. By making simple and healthy choices on a daily basis, you will be well on your way towards reducing stress, having positive social interactions and achieving optimal wellness.
Start with small changes within each dimension and take it one day at a time – you don’t have to run a marathon or go on a restrictive diet to implement wellness into your everyday life! We’ve listed a few examples for each dimension:
- Social Connectedness Connecting with friends or loved ones is a great way to help improve your physical and mental health. Take 10 minutes out of your day to call someone you’ve been thinking about. This is a great way to connect and catch up with the people that matter the most to you.
- Exercise Even 20 or 30 minutes of daily exercise can have a positive impact on your overall sense of well-being and help improve your mood. Don’t know where to start? Try a brisk walk on your lunch break or opt for the stairs instead of the elevator when you can.
- Nutrition By adding wholesome ingredients to your plate, you’ll be taking steps towards becoming a healthier you. Some food for thought: pack an apple and some raw veggies in your bag to keep as a handy snack. This may help you avoid vending machines or fast food when you’re on the go.
- Sleep Consider your sleep hygiene. Avoid caffeine after 12pm, include quiet and calm activities before going to bed, and wake up at the same time every day – these are simple ways you can begin your journey towards becoming a successful sleeper.
- Mindfulness Did you know that practicing mindfulness is good for the body and mind, helps with focus and also changes the brain? Take a moment right now to consider your own mind and how you are feeling. The more you tap into your own thoughts, the more you may become aware of how you react to stressful events – so start practicing mindfulness today!