Exercise or Sports and Addiction
Exercise or sports is an important part of any rehabilitation program, and is a key component in helping someone to recover from their addiction from drugs or alcohol. The endorphins and dopamine produced in the body when someone is engaged in exercise or sports are beneficial in creating a natural high and can decrease the chance of someone reverting back to other stimulants in their search to get “high”. There is only really one downside and it is the possibility of injury and being prescribed pain-pills.
Keeping the body physically healthy can help those struggling to recover from their addiction. The feeling of accomplishment from a run, yoga, a workout or playing sports helps one feel better about themselves and also can keep them connected socially to like-minded individuals. At Always Hope we encourage our guests to take time daily to work on their physical health. We make sure there is time each day to swim, walk, workout or join in on sporting activities such as basketball, volleyball or street hockey etc.
Personally I found that sports were a huge incentive and motivator to keep me on the right path. I had given up all exercise and sports for almost 15 years. Once I removed pain-pills from my life I enjoyed the sports that I used to play in my youth. At first working out and snowboarding were my go-to activities and it was amazing how much I enjoyed them again. Now living in the Caribbean (no more snow) I get to play basketball a few times a week and that was a sport that I hadn’t played since high-school. I used to waste so much time and money self-medicating that I had forgotten how great it felt to exercise and play. I now get to enjoy the natural high that is freely available by treating my body right.
The only downside with exercise or sports these days is the increased risk of a doctor prescribing pain-pills when minor injuries occur. I realize that major injuries may need to be treated with something stronger than an over-the-counter pain reliever but in the past many doctors have been too quick to prescribe something stronger than necessary. There have been many people that end up liking the narcotic pain-pills too much and become addicted after sampling the euphoria these medications provide. We need to be vigilant and fully conscious of the power of these medicines and the after affects.