March Wellness Corner

Understanding substance abuse is an important aspect of your own wellbeing as well as the well-being of those around you. Taking care of yourself and those you love means recognizing when something is off.

Identifying unhealthy behaviors is an important first step when spotting substance use disorder. Substance use disorder occurs when a pattern of behavior forms using harmful substances for mood-altering purposes. While some substances, like alcohol, may be enjoyed socially without problems, and some substances, like prescription drugs, may be taken for medical reasons, both substances can create effects that people start to seek out and, in some cases, become addicted to. Addiction is a disease, but those with substance use disorder can work to overcome those behaviors. It’s important to be aware if you are more likely to become addicted to a substance.

According to, the children of addicts are 8 times more likely to develop an addiction.

  • Signs you or a loved one might be abusing a substance:
  • Eating more or less than normal
  • Stop taking care of yourself
  • Lack of interest in things you once enjoyed or loved
  • Irregular sleeping habits
  • Develop problems in professional or personal relationships
  • A strong craving for the substance in use

Substances that are commonly abused are alcohol, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, heroin, cocaine, and cigarettes. For substances like alcohol, the line between use and abuse can be unclear. Enjoying a few drinks after work to unwind, drinking two pots of coffee a day, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day—some are used and some are abused. Abuse occurs when you use a substance in a way not intended or recommended, or when using more than prescribed. If over time, you need more of the drug to get the same effect, or you become dependent on the drug, it can turn from abuse into addiction.

A good way to identify this is to ask yourself if using the substance to the extent you do is harmful or if it causes disruptions in relationships. If you answer yes, look into receiving help. Call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).

Physical Health Corner People, Pets & Vets

Seizure First Aid
The most commonly known seizure is the tonic-clonic seizure, which has the characteristic convulsions. There are several things to keep in mind when aiding someone experiencing a tonic-clonic seizure.
Do’s and Don’ts
DO stay with the person
DO stay with the person. Be calm and reassure them that they will be alright. Time the seizure. If it lasts more than four minutes, or you know or suspect this is the person’s first seizure, or the person injured themselves falling or convulsing, call 911. You can also check to see if the person has a rescue medicine on them – typically a nasal spray.
DON’T panic, leave or try to restrain the person.
DO clear the area of any sharp or hard objects.
DO move away from any sharp or hard objects the person could bump into while seizing.
DON’T try to hold the person down.
DON’T try to hold the person down or place anything in their mouths (it is a myth that people can swallow their tongues during seizures).
DON’T try to perform CPR.
DO gently roll the person onto their side to help them breathe, and place something soft and flat like a folded jacket under their head.
DON’T try to perform CPR or give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
DO gently roll the person onto their side.
When the seizure has ended, DO stay with the person until they are alert and know where they are and what has happened. Offer reassurance that you will be there until they are alright. Ask questions such as “What is today’s date?” to make sure they are no longer confused. You may check to see whether seizures are a known condition and if they need further medical care.
DON’T immediately leave.
DON’T immediately leave or try to give them water or food until they are fully alert. They may seem alright but still be disoriented.
Social Health Corner People, Pets & Vets
How to Digital Declutter
Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home anymore. It’s a great time to clean out your digital space — your computer files, internet favorites, and more.
Your inbox
How many emails do you have saved? And how many of them do you really need? Look through your inbox and delete any unneeded messages and unsubscribe from any email lists that don’t add value to your day. You’ll save storage space and feel accomplished.
Unneeded apps/software
Look through your computer and your phone. There are probably some apps or programs you don’t use anymore. Delete them off your phone — more storage is always a good thing. On your computer, make sure you’re uninstalling, not just deleting a shortcut.
Old files
Ancient college essays, outdated resumes, old pictures you never look at. Your computer and phone probably have files you haven’t thought about in years. If you can live without it, delete it. If you want to hold on, organize into an archive folder or an online cloud system so they don’t slow you down.
Social media connections
Consider trimming down your friends list. In today’s world where everyone is on every platform, your feed can get clogged up easily. If you pare down your connections to remove friends of friends or people you met once, you’ll see more from those you really care about.
Internet bookmarks
If you haven’t looked at it in a year, chances are you don’t need it. Articles you’ve saved, things you earmarked to buy, and sites that aren’t relevant to your current lifestyle can all be deleted from your bookmarks bar to make room for sites that you need moving forward.
Take some time this spring to spruce up your digital space.

Your emotional wellness is important to us at PPV. We are proud to offer a 24/7 FREE employee assistance program (CuraLinc) for all our employees (full and part-time) and any dependents in your household. You do not need to be in an active state of crisis to take advantage of this terrific, free resource! We are here for you both on good days and tough days.

If you would like additional information on emotional and mental health, you can confidentially contact me at the information below.