Exercise and treatment process
The contribution of exercise is vital to a wide range of long-term benefits for the mental and physical health of addicted people. In this respect, it is considered as a promising complementary therapy for people with drug-related disorders, effectively treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression in these individuals as acting as a substitute for the drug. Physical activity can replace the compulsive use habits and can actually enhance the same enjoyable physical experience that drug use has provided to the individual.
Participation in a program of physical activity increases the duration of abstinence, improves overall physical health and stamina and reduces emotional instability as it helps in removing stress and tension from the body.
Physical activity provides a sense of pleasure and satisfaction by helping the addict to gain a sense of self-confidence and a better image of himself. Exercise during and beyond recovery has also been shown to significantly reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Finally, it is worth noting that those seeking drug abuse treatment are quite open to discuss their participation in a physical activity program as part of their treatment plan.
Under this point, exercise is increasingly becoming a component of many treatment programs and has proven effective, when combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy, at helping addicted people. Exercise may exert beneficial effects by addressing psychosocial and physiological needs by reducing negative feelings and stress, and by helping prevent weight gain following cessation. Research to determine if and how exercise programs can play a similar role in the treatment of other forms of drug abuse is under way.