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Help and Hope for Substance Use Disorders

Those with substance use disorders often find that they think, feel, and act differently. They may be aware of their problem, but need treatment resources and support to heal. If this is you, you are not alone.

There are things you can try to help yourself feel better, and there are services available for those who need extra support. Check in with yourself and ask yourself how you’re feeling.

Things You Can Try for Yourself

1. Exercise - Do what you’re comfortable with, but get up and move around – take a walk, practice yoga, go to the gym, swim, play a sport. However you get exercise, it’s good for both your physical and mental well-being.

2. Connect with others - This is key. Research shows that the more connected we are to family, friends and the community, the less mental health and substance use issues we will have.

3. Eat a healthy diet – Good nutrition will help boost both your mood and your physical health. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, low-fat protein, like chicken breast or tofu are great choices. Limit processed foods like chips and cookies. If you don’t normally eat much healthy food, that’s OK! Start with a realistic goal - replace a meal or two each week with a healthy alternative and build from there. Eating well does make us feel better!

4. Reduce stress – There are many ways to work on this. For some, spending time engaging with nature helps reduce stress and improves well-being. Others listen to music, meditate, or focus on a hobby you enjoy – all are great ways to reduce stress.

5. Sleep – The power of a good night’s rest is undeniable. Getting the right amount of sleep (7-8 hours a night for most adults) on a regular basis builds emotional and mental resilience and benefits physical health, too!

These five things are vital to everyone’s physical and mental wellness. You don’t have to be struggling with mental illness or addiction to benefit from these practices.

Help and Hope

Still, many of us need extra help and support, even if practicing these wellness principles. Check in with yourself and ask if you have any of the concerns below:

• Worried about my drinking habits

• Changes in mood from very high to low

• Concern about my teen's mood

• Feeling sad, down or empty

• Worried about eating habits

• Constantly worried, nervous or stressed

• Troubled by past shocking, painful events

• Concerned about unusual experiences or behaviors

• Worried about opioid use

If so, consider taking a free, confidential online screening or reach out for more information.

Bryan Medical Center behavioral health services offers the support you need, including counseling, emergency mental health care, medication management, alcohol/drug use evaluation and treatment, and more. We are here for you. If you are unsure which services best fit your needs call us - 402-481-5981.

For emergency mental health care, please go to Bryan West Campus emergency department, 2300 S. 16th St., Lincoln, Nebraska. Emergency mental health care/crisis assessments are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine if you or a loved one needs hospitalization.

dave miers

About Dr. Dave Miers

Dave Miers, PhD, is director of behavioral health services at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

He helped establish the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition in 1999 and chaired/co-chaired this Coalition until 2017. He currently serves on the Board of Directors. Dr. Miers is a member of the leadership group for the Lincoln/Lancaster County Suicide Prevention Coalition. Dr. Miers has published research and co-authored a chapter in the Routledge International Handbook of Clinical Suicide Research focusing on family survivors of a child suicide. Dr. Miers helped develop the Lincoln Lancaster Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) team in Lincoln, Neb. He also helped develop other LOSS teams in Nebraska and is active with LOSS team development on a national level.

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