Recent Blog Articles
Vitamin B6 flies under the radar: Are you getting enough?
The formula shortage is hurting families: What parents should know and do
Gyn Care 101: What to know about seeing a gynecologist
Swimming lessons save lives: What parents should know
Strong legs help power summer activities: Hiking, biking, swimming, and more
What is a successful mindset for weight loss maintenance?
French fries versus almonds: Calorie for calorie, which comes out on top?
Summer camp 2022: Having fun and staying safe
Finding balance: 3 simple exercises to steady your steps
An action plan to fight unhealthy inflammation
Exercise & Fitness
Can exercise help conquer addiction?
- By Claire Twark, MD, Contributor
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
From personal experience with anorexia, which is in my mind an addiction due to the pull and control it lords over one, I have had a full 40 year recovery by adding daily exercise to my life. Hence I’m a believer in the ability of exercise to calm the brain and help substitute negative behaviors with positive ones. It is powerful, powerful medicine for addiction.
Your blog provides an important observation, and extant basic research suggests that exercise may provide benefit for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorders (OUD,) and may further improve treat outcomes when combined with Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), although additional research is needed. To address this need for more research, under the National Institutes of Health (NIH) HEAL (Helping End Addiction Long-term) initiative, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NICCH) has just issued a research grant funding opportunity announcement entitled: “HEAL Initiative: Behavioral Research to Improve MAT: Behavioral and Social Interventions to Improve Adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.” The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to solicit research applications to examine the impact of behavioral and social interventions designed to improve adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for persons with OUD. Applicants are encouraged to examine whether combining MAT with behavioral and/or social interventions can improve adherence to MAT and, at the same time, help prevent substance abuse relapse, and improve long-term abstinence from illicit opioids. The FOA may be found at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/rfa-at-19-006.html
While physical therapy and alternative treatments such as massage & acupuncture can be helpful, for people w/chronic pain, sometimes “exercise” isn’t possible, except in a very limited way. It depends on the injury and/or surgery that is used to remediate the injury/damage to the extent that is possible (but doesn’t get rid of the pain).
Some people wish they could get off of all pain meds, particularly opoids (which have side effects), but they can’t. Or their lives would be even worse because of the pain they’d suffer.
Commenting has been closed for this post.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!