Everyone knows that going to the gym and working out helps to build up energy, and get your body in shape, but did you also know that exercising might help prevent an addiction to drugs or alcohol? According to the Associated Press, recent studies are displaying clues which imply that physical activity may trigger those areas of the brain that can get hijacked by substance abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that teens who exercised daily were half as likely as their friends to indulge in smoking and 40% were less likely to experiment with marijuana.
The government is pushing hard for more research to be done to explore these findings. If you take a look at many drug treatment centers, most include exercise as a part of their daily regiment. Exercise is, in essence, used as a distraction for the brain. Brown University took a group of smokers to the gym three times a week and found that with the inclusion of exercise in their everyday lives, the smoker’s chance of quitting the habit had been doubled.
At this point, the research and findings are not solid enough to truly prove that exercise has an affect on halting substance abuse, but the outlook is positive. The biggest problem is not whether this theory actually works, but how in our technology driven society we can get teens and adults back out into the streets to play some basketball rather than staying inside glued to the couch playing video games. The nation as a whole is becoming more sedentary and this is one of the largest problems this theory may face in its future studies.
If more people will get off their couches and start becoming more active, there is a strong possibility that we may be able to train our brains to ward off substance abuse, without seeking any additional help. But thankfully, if self-therapy doesn’t work there is always a drug treatment center within reach to get healthy.