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Friday, November 23, 2018

How Exercise Can Help Fight Relapse

exercise fight relapse

Unfortunately, relapse is all-too common when it comes to recovery from drugs and/or alcohol. This is partly due to the many triggers – or people, places or things – that are so hard to resist. Yet a new study shines light on another possible tool against relapse for people struggling with a substance use disorder: exercise.

While previous studies have shown a link between physical activity and reduced cravings, a recent mice study found that exercise may just strengthen a person’s resolve by altering the production of peptides in the brain. The findings were published in the journal ACS Omega.

Mice were given injections of cocaine and placed in a cage with unique flooring designed to mirror a drug using environment. The goal was to imprint these features into their memories. After four days, the mice were moved to special cages with running wheels for 30 days.

The mice who jumped on the wheels had lower levels of brain peptides related to myelin, a substance thought to help fix memories in place and, when re-exposed to the cocaine-associated environment, they showed a reduced preference for the cocaine-associated environment compared with sedentary mice. Researchers also found lower levels of actin in the mice that exercised. This is important because actin is involved in learning and memory and drug-seeking behaviors in those with substance use disorders, according to researchers.

The takeaway: “Regular exercise can be helpful with self-care, which can assist someone with an overall goal of wellness,” Costa Provis, a licensed psychotherapist who works with clients in recovery from drug and alcohol, told reporters. However, exercise is not a cure-all, Provis cautioned. A better plan would be to combine exercise with other proven relapse prevention strategies and coping techniques.

Relapse Prevention at Complete Harmony
Relapse prevention is key for long-term recovery – and we're here to help. At Complete Harmony, our holistic treatment and relapse prevention plans provide a firm foundation for lifelong sobriety. To learn more, call: 866-930-4673.

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