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Exercise is a tool to be utilised on road to recovery

When it comes to exercise most of us are aware of the health benefits it can bring, and the risks we take by not participating.  Research has shown how exercise can help people with diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and of course obesity.  Exercise can also have a significant impact on our mental health, and it has been shown to have a positive effect for people who suffer from depression and anxiety in particular.  However, we rarely consider the implications of exercise on addiction, but as researchers are searching for new ways to treat addiction, they are coming to recognise that exercise may be an important tool in helping people recover. 

A recent investigation has found using rat studies, that those rats that were encouraged to participate in aerobic exercise were significantly less likely to self administer cocaine than their counterparts who did no exercise (Science Daily, 2011).

The researchers feel that the findings from the study suggest that exercise may be a tool that can be utilised to help prevent cocaine 'binges' and help people begin their journey to recovery.  It is hoped that if people can be helped to prevent their binges it will not only help reduce crime and strain on the health services, but will offer them the opportunity to consider accessing an addiction center for treatment.  It will also be a tool that could be used within rehab centers to help people control their impulses, and hopefully help them recover long term. 

Exercise could be an invaluable tool in helping to tackle addiction, however, the next step that needs to be looked at is how to encourage people to partake in aerobic activities, to allow them the chance to recover from their addiction, and unfortunately this will be the most difficult, but also the most important step. 

Science Daily.  (2011).  Aerobic exercise may reduce excessive cocaine use.  Sourced from:

Published by on 08/06/2020.

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