Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Physical Activity Can Decrease Depression In Substance Abuse !!

Physical activity can be very important with the recovery process in substances abuse patients.  In an article found in Mental Health and Physical Activity Journal called A pilot study of aerobic exercise as an adjunctive treatment for drug dependence written by Richard A.  Brown they discuss how physical activity can help patients with recovery and help with not relapsing.  One way they address using physical activity in the recovery step is that physical activity can help improve moods and as a result physical activity will decrease depressive symptoms and which will also decrease risk of relapse.   Two predictions of relapse are sleep disturbances and weak cognitive function, proper physical activity has been proven to lessen sleep disturbances, and increase cognitive function.  The article also addresses teen usage and how physical exercise increased physical fitness, decreased multiple drug use, and made the teen’s abstinence rate increase.  The teens and many of the other substance abuse patients in the study used walking and jogging to replace their habitual drug abuse habits.  They found that using physical activity gave them a positive feeling about their self- efficacy which helps with the recovery process.  The study did not just focus on the physical aspect of recovery but also included group exercise and activities along with an incentive system.  The group activities focus more on the cognitive and behavioral techniques that are related to everyday changes they have to make their in personal life, they also increase motivation to be physically active.  The incentive section of the study was receiving money for attending the meetings and receiving money for completing their self monitoring form they obtain each session.   The physical aspect of the whole study was to exercise moderately to intensely (brisk walk) over a six month period and also exercise no less than 3 times a week for 20 minutes a day for the 6 months as well.  The study was somewhat of a success however a few problems that can be taken into consideration are the control of the group and their level of participation, along with the group size and amount of people participating.  The exercises also have to be cost efficient and reasonable, physical activity is a very important piece of the recovery process and can be very effective in helping with not relapsing.

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