Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction involves adopting a new lifestyle and behaviors that promote healthy living. Regular exercise and physical activity can help individuals maintain long term sobriety after treatment. Exercise can go a long way in producing a positive physical and emotional impact on people’s recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. When adjusted to the needs and physical capacity of people in recovery, exercise can prove to have therapeutic impact on individuals in recovery. There are a number of factors due to which exercise might help reduce drug usage.
It has to be ensured however that individuals in recovery engage in a diluted form of exercise that does not place them under undue physical or psychological stress. Such forms of stress could increase the likelihood of experiencing a relapse. Therefore,it is necessary that the amount and form of exercise is planned with the utmost care.
There are a number of reasons for why exercise might prove to be helpful in reducing drug usage. In general, the reasons for why people start abusing drugs tends to vary from individual to individual.A combination of factors work together to create a situation that can lead towards drug or alcohol addiction. Regular exercise and physical activity can help treat most of these factors.
Reduces Drug Cravings
Exercise may help reduce drug cravings and make it easier for recovering patients to observe abstinence. Exercise does more than offering the recovering patients an alternative activity and reducing the time available to them for engaging in drug seeking behavior. Research indicates that much like addictive drugs, exercise raises the level of dopamine in the brains reward center. As a consequence, exercise competes with drugs and alcohol as a probable source of pleasurable sensations. Another study substantiates the claim that exercise could help reduce drug seeking behavior by showing that exercise produces anti stress effects. Through exercise the chemical galan in is excreted in the brain which reduces the impact of stress hormones and reduces the drug craving that may be caused by it.
Helps Replace the High from Drug Usage
Exercise and physical activity helps replace the high that addicts derive from drug use. The release of endorphins that is brought about through exercise creates a high of its own. It also affects the level of dopamine in the brain which is the brain chemical most closely linked to the sensation of pleasure. It provides individuals who are struggling with drug addiction access to another more adaptive source of pleasurable feelings.