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Drug Addicted Men in Treatment Turn to Crossfit

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

By now, we know how beneficial exercise can be to our health. Exercise can be an excellent alternative to drug addiction because exercise relieves stress and reduces the chance of a relapse. Now, drug addicted men are turning to the popular fitness program Crossfit to help them in their recovery process.

Whether you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, or any other addiction, you understand how your addiction can help you temporarily escape the stresses of daily life. Fortunately, exercise releases the same chemicals in the brain, like dopamine, that help with increasing mood and reducing stress. It can be very helpful to establish a routine exercise pattern to help heal the mind and body from dependency on drugs

Furthermore, the Charlotte Rescue Mission out of North Carolina, is setting a new approach to drug addiction recovery by incorporating Crossfit exercise for more than 100 men in addiction recovery. The Mission is a treatment program that brings in people with drug and alcohol addictions for a 90-day treatment program.

The Mission brings addicts into their in-house program for free and helps them get on the path to recovery. Just recently, intense exercise was added as another element to the healing process.  Crossfit instructors volunteer their time to help the men in recovery.

“Just to instill this idea that proper movement is going to help you feel better,” Michelle Crawford said.

Michelle Crawford is one of many instructors donating their time to teach CrossFit classes to men at the Mission each day.  The Mission has been around for over 70 years but only recently have they implemented such an intense exercise regimen into their program. More than a dozen gyms got together and donated equipment to fill a full-size gym at the Mission.

Those who run the facility insist that the exercise program is helping men recover from the physical pain their drug and alcohol abuse has done to their bodies.

“I think it give them some confidence in their physical abilities, some of which they’ve neglected over the years,” Charlotte Rescue Mission’s John Snider said.

Fighting Drug Addiction With Exercise

This is not the first time exercise was considered to be an excellent treatment for drug addiction. Scientists have done extensive research to understand the relationship between drug addiction and exercise. Exercise, as we all know, gives us endorphins which in turn, make you a much happier person. By replacing the endorphins released from drugs with exercise, addicts have a much lower desire to return to their addiction.

Over the past decade, Crossfit has become a huge fitness craze. Everyone is doing it.  Soon, rehab facilities started to pay attention to the program and many, like Mission in North Carolina, have implemented similar intensive exercise programs as part of their treatment plan.

In a 2012 study, researchers examined the impact of running on neuro-biological rewards and it garnered positive results. However, not everyone enjoys running and Crossfit is a great way of incorporating repetitive exercises in an exciting way. Crossfit allows addicts to strive for a goal. Invitational meets are held for the chance to compete in CrossFit Games which is an exercise version of the Olympics. The program airs on television on a yearly basis.

The numbers are in and it reveals that exercise greatly benefits those recovering from addiction. Still, one must remember to use exercise in a healthy way. It is possible that exercise can become just as addictive as drugs. However, when used in moderation, exercise can be the stepping stone to a healthy life after sobriety. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

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