Addiction is something that many people struggle to combat on their own. Publicly-funded drug and alcohol treatment services in Australia treated over 130,000 people in 2017-18, and drug rehab facilities welcome many thousands of new people every year. Those figures don’t include the many thousands of people who are addicts and don’t seek help.
Drug rehab professionals use a range of techniques to combat drug use, such as counselling, psychotherapy, medication, and help groups, but what about exercise? Studies are looking promising for physical activity to be beneficial for those on the road to addiction recovery as well.
Exercise will most likely never become the primary treatment method for drug rehabilitation. It can take more than that to put someone on the straight and narrow and keep them on it. As the figures currently stand, there is a 40 to 60 percent chance of relapse for substance use, according to American Addiction Centre studies.
However, if you pair conventional treatment methods, such as psychotherapy and medication with exercise, you may find it can be rewarding and beneficial for addicts. Studies involving cocaine-dependent rats showed that regular swimming reduced self-administration of cocaine.