Detoxing from drugs is usually viewed as a period of severe physical withdrawal symptoms combined with emotional instability. This picture is accurate. Drug addiction causes many symptoms that can be debilitating. Substance Use Disorder, also known as addiction, can negatively affect a person’s physical and emotional well-being. Opiate addiction to drugs like heroin or prescription pain killers is known for how it causes physical dependence and addiction quickly. This type of addiction requires that the person continuously use an opiate to prevent the onset of physical withdrawal symptoms. Other drugs, besides opiates, also cause physical dependency. Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Klonopin, will cause physical withdrawal symptoms when it is abused. Like opiate withdrawal symptoms, benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Therefore, these individuals also need to consume benzodiazepines daily to keep them at bay. Most addictive substances can cause some degree of physical dependency. Still, all addictive substances will affect a person’s emotional well-being.
Working Out During Detox
In recent years, the advances that have been made on how to help people who suffer from SUD are outstanding. Government-funded research and new medications have been developed to help people detox from drugs much easier than in the past. Similarly, treatment methods for SUD have significantly improved. Evidence-based forms of therapy that rely on data and science are helping more and more people recover from SUD. The most notable evidence-based form of treatment that has become the gold standard for successful addiction treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. However, when a person is in detox, the emphasis is more on how to help them feel physically and mentally better. Dr. Claire Twark, M.D., who specializes in addiction detoxification and treatment, wrote an article on the effectiveness of exercise during detox and treatment. In the article “Can exercise help conquer addiction?” from Harvard Health Publishing, states how exercise can help a person going through detox and treatment overcome substance use disorders, addictions, and alcoholism.
In my experience, many patients with various substance use disorders have found that exercise helps to distract them from cravings. Workouts add structure to the day. They help with forming positive social connections and help treat depression and anxiety in combination with other therapies. (Harvard Health Publishing)
Exercise will help individuals in medical detox and addiction treatment because it also improves physiological health and alleviates withdrawal discomfort. Numerous brain chemicals and hormones, also called neurotransmitters, such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, are responsible for how people feel emotionally and physically. These vital neurotransmitters are greatly affected and become off balance when a person abuses drugs. They are essential for how humans experience pleasure, relax, and they help minimize stress. Without these essential hormones and chemicals, it is difficult for a person to feel stable. Exercise stimulates the natural release of these neurotransmitters. Other benefits that exercise can have for a person who is detoxing from drugs is it helps build self-esteem. People struggling with a SUD are likely to have not cared for their physical health and appearance. In time they can look and feel rough. Physical exercise helps a person feel good about how they look as well as how they feel.
Fitness Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Another benefit of exercising while in detox is that it prevents isolation and is proven to reduce depression and anxiety. Getting involved in a team sport or exercise activity will also help a new person in recovery form friendships and social connections. Both are often abandoned entirely when a person is addicted to drugs and the lifestyle of drug use. It is doubtful to see a person suffering from addiction with a positive and supportive social network. The benefits that exercise can have for people getting clean and sober are significant. Once a person is feeling physically able while in detox, exercise will certainly help them remain optimistic about their recovery in general.
Evoke Wellness at Miramar is Here to Help
Evoke Wellness at Miramar offers advanced medically supervised detox services. Our clients are allowed to rest and relax. Once they are feeling stronger, we encourage them to participate in one of our many exercise programs. We also provide access to a state-of-the-art gym where they can work out regularly.