SAMHSA’s Triangular Focus on Addiction, Mental Health & Wellness

SAMHSA's Triangular Focus on Addiction, Mental Health & Wellness | Transcend Recovery Community

In recent years, there has been a wide acceptance of the importance of wellness among the general population. More and more people, for example, are considering activities such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing as a regular part of their lives. Although these activities might still be foreign for many people, the trend is continuing to rise in favor of including wellness as an essential part of one’s health.

In fact, meditation, yoga, and stress reduction tools are becoming so widely accepted by doctors, mental health professionals, and research experts that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has adopted wellness as a significant component to treating mental illness and addiction. For example, read SAMHSA’s vision:

We envision a future in which people with mental health and substance use disorders pursue optimal health, happiness, recovery, and a full and satisfying life in the community via access to a range of effective services, supports, and resources.

Also, SAMHSA launched the National Wellness Week in 2011 where they’ve outlined and promoted eight dimensions of wellness. These include:

Emotional—Being able to manage life effectively and sustain satisfying relationships.

Environmental—Ensuring that the environments in which you spend time are pleasant, stimulating, and support well-being.

Financial–Finding satisfaction with current and future financial situations.

Intellectual—Recognizing your creative and intellectual abilities as well as finding ways to expand knowledge and skills.

Occupational—Getting personal satisfaction, fulfillment, and meaning from one’s work.

Physical—Recognizing the necessity for exercise, healthy foods and sleep.

Social—Having strong connections with others, having a sense of belonging, and developing a network of support.

Spiritual—Expanding your sense of purpose and meaning in life.

Anyone who is moved by these eight dimensions and want to focus on improving each of them is welcome to take the SAMHSA Pledge for Wellness. It’s a pledge to make a commitment to your well being and find others who are doing the same. SAMHSA’s strong dedication to wellness as a means for co-occurring disorders and addiction aims to inspire people to not only reach for putting their addiction and managing their mental illness. SAMHSA also aims to inspire people to improve their lives by exploring their talents, skills, interests, social connections, and environment to incorporate other dimensions of wellness.

Along these lines, there is a growing trend for using complementary medicine as a means to maintain mental health, prevent psychological illness, and manage symptoms. Along with an emphasis on wellness, many people are exploring alternative ways to find healing and prevent disease. Currently about 40% of Americans use complementary and alternative medicine for their mental health without any supervision from their doctor or psychiatrist. The following is a list of complementary and alternative treatments for various mental illnesses.

However, it is strongly advised that before trying any of these for the first time to consult with your doctor and to take into consideration any known side effects.

Depression

  • Chromium
  • Cranial Electrical Stimulation
  • Folate (can enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants)
  • Inositol
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (can help stabilize mood and enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants
  • Rhodiola (for mild to moderate depression)
  • S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAM-e) for depression and to enhance the effectiveness of conventional anti-depressants
  • Yoga

Anxiety, Stress, Panic Disorder, and other Anxiety Conditions

  • Cranial Electrical Stimulation for anxiety
  • Inositol for panic disorder
  • Meditation
  • Rhodiola
  • Yoga

Sleep Disorders

  • Cranial Electrical Stimulation

Brain Health

  • CDP choline
  • Folate (can enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (can help stabilize mood and enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants
  • Rhodiola (for mild to moderate depression)
  • S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAM-e) for depression and to enhance the effectiveness of conventional anti-depressants

There’s no question that the prevention of the above conditions is deeply intertwined with the prevention of addiction as well. When a person experiences mental illness, he or she is at high risk for substance use and addiction. For this reason, preventing illnesses such as depression and anxiety can also help prevent the illness of addiction.

Emphasizing wellness in your life, as SAMHSA is beginning to do on a large scale, may be the road to well being, happiness, and good health.

 

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