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Category: Harm Reduction

EducationHarm ReductionPrevention

Wellness Wheel

8 Dimension Wellness Wheel

The 8 Dimension Wellness Wheel is a holistic model that assesses an individual’s overall well-being across different areas of life. It recognizes that well-being extends beyond physical health and encompasses various dimensions, including emotional, mental, social, environmental, spiritual, and occupational dimensions.

Each dimension plays a vital role in our overall wellness and requires attention and nurturing for a balanced and fulfilling life.


Your environment and the greater global environment play a role in your wellbeing. How you understand it, interact with it and feel its impact contribute to how you live.

Consider these:

· I care for and respect my environment and community.

· I am aware of the risks within my environment and make adjustments to protect myself from those risks
· I enjoy taking care of my living space and creating a positive place to be.


Your social wellness relates to the people with whom you spend time and the community in which you find yourself. Your connection and communication with others have a remarkable impact on your wellness. 

Consider these:

· I maintain healthy relationships and boundaries with myself and others.
· I feel I belong to a group or community and do not feel isolated.
· I respect others and ways we are different.
· I am able to resolve conflicts in my life.


There are a lot of elements that make up your physical wellbeing: nutrition, exercise, rest, strength, endurance... you’re probably well-acquainted with most of them.

Use these ideas to assess this part of your wellness wheel:

· I get adequate sleep and I wake feeling rested.
· I eat regular nutritious meals
· I participate in physical activity each week.
· I visit with my primary care doctor regularly


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This dimension takes into account how you manage your money and how you balance your work and leisure time.

Consider these:

· I have developed a financial plan and have a balance between spending and long-term saving.

· I budget my spending each month.
· I balance work and other areas of my life.


This dimension helps us assess how well we’re taking care of our feelings, managing, identifying and fully engaging with them. Your emotional health often also dictates how you’re able to handle challenges that arise.

Consider these:
· I’m able to ask for/seek help when I need it – from
friends, family, or professionals.
· I recognize and manage stressors in my life.
· I am able to feel and label my feelings.
· I am able to express my emotions in a healthy way.
· I am able to comfort or console myself when I am


Your intellectual well being is related to how you use your mind: how much you try to learn new things, your creativity and your critical thinking skills (which involves how you think and how you focus).

Consider these:
· I pursue mentally stimulating interests or hobbies.
· I make active efforts to continue to learn.
· I commit time and energy to personal development.



Your spiritual wellness encompasses your ability to discover purpose and meaning in your life and looks at how in touch you are with your values, morals and something bigger than yourself (like a higher power or
even humankind).

Consider these:
· I feel a personal sense of peace and wellbeing.

· I am aware of my own values and beliefs and respect the values and beliefs of others.

· I believe my life is meaningful and has direction.
· I am able to forgive others and myself and let go.
· Principles/ethics/morals provide guides for my life.

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Community Partnerships

Project Reality partners with other organizations in our service spaces. These organizations include funding stakeholders, program and services partners, and resources that provide valuable substance use disorder, mental health, and medical information.

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Why Choose Medication?


What is opioid addiction?
Opioid addiction is a long-term treatable medical condition that causes changes in the brain.
These changes lead to a loss of control over opioid use, even when this is causing serious harm.
Opioids include some prescribed pain pills, heroin, fentanyl and other drugs. The medical term
for opioid addiction is Opioid Use Disorder (OUD for short). There are risk factors that increase
the chance of becoming addicted, including if it runs in a person’s family.

Why use medications for opioid addiction?
Most people with opioid addiction who are treated without medication return to using drugs.
Over 80,000 Americans died in 2021 from opioid overdoses. People who are taking a stable dose
of medication for opioid addiction are half as likely to die as those who are not. On average,
people who receive treatment with methadone or buprenorphine are less likely to use dangerous
drugs, get HIV or hepatitis or commit suicide, and are more likely to be employed, have an
improved quality of life and live longer compared to people who do not use these medicines.
These benefits are more likely with longer periods of medication treatment.

What medications are helpful?
Methadone and buprenorphine are opioid medications that are important tools to help people
regain control over drug use. They allow people to feel normal and to function normally, without
withdrawal symptoms, cravings or feeling high. And medications don’t get in the way of
working, taking care of family or other responsibilities. People on methadone or buprenorphine
can have essentially any job, including many that involve driving. Reaction time is not affected.
On the right dose, drowsiness does not occur unless other drugs are also taken.

Injectable naltrexone (brand name: Vivitrol) is a non-opioid used to treat opioid addiction.
Unlike methadone or buprenorphine, naltrexone has not been shown to reduce overdose or
death. With less evidence of effectiveness, it is considered by many to be a second-line option,
compared to first-line methadone or buprenorphine, for most individuals with moderate or
severe OUD. However, injectable naltrexone is an important option that may be preferred in
some circumstances.

Is medication for opioid addiction just “trading one addiction for another”?
NO. Methadone and buprenorphine are opioids, and if you stop taking them suddenly, you do
have withdrawal symptoms. The medical term for this is “physical dependence.” But addiction
is much more than just withdrawal symptoms. There are long-term changes in the brain and
psychological cravings for more and more of a drug even when this is causing serious harms.
Patients on methadone and buprenorphine can be free of cravings and can regain control.

How long should these medications be used?
People should typically remain on medication until they are in long-term recovery for at least several years because of the very high risk of relapse. Some people come off slowly after several
years and do well. But many or most people who do well stay on medication for many years or
decades. People have the right to gradually come off of medication even if the doctor
recommends against it. People are not congratulated for coming off of medication; the goal of
treatment is recovery with whatever tools a person chooses.

What are risks of taking these medications long term?
Opioids including methadone, if used with alcohol or sedatives, can cause drowsiness or
overdose. A methadone overdose could occur if it is increased too quickly. Any opioids,
including methadone, can cause or worsen sleep apnea, and can be more risky with certain
medical conditions. Any opioids could potentially reduce testosterone in men, which can cause
sexual problems. Low testosterone could also cause low bone density, especially with other risk
factors such as tobacco or alcohol use, HIV or poor nutrition. As a precaution, an EKG is done at
certain doses of methadone, to see if there is any risk of a very rare irregular heart rhythm. All of
these risks are lower with buprenorphine compared with methadone or other opioids.
Otherwise, there are no significant long-term health risks from methadone or buprenorphine.

SOURCE: Stop Stigma Now (