Exercise May Replace Medication In Treating Alcohol Addiction

New research in the journal “Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research” shows that exercise may help recovering alcoholics stay dry, and also help people with inherited addictive tendencies to avoid becoming addicted. Exercise helps in two ways: it helps maintain circadian rhythm (which reduces reliance on alcohol to fall asleep), and it provides stimulation similarly pleasing to that of alcohol, but without many of the risks. Researchers hope that this will help lead to better understanding of natural alcohol therapy that works with the brain rather than against it (as with many pharmaceutical treatments), with regards to both addiction and to getting quality sleep.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

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  • hannah


    June 24th, 2010 at 3:33 AM

    any constructive work,I think,is sufficient enough to actually distract a person form his drinking habits and help him get rid of the habit.exercise serves a double purpose here.it not only helps ward off the habit of alcoholism but also keeps your body,and thereby your mind,in good shape.

  • eliza


    June 24th, 2010 at 4:26 AM

    As it is now being proven that exercise can be so beneficial in so many different ways it still challenges me as I wonder why there are still so many people so adamantly opposed to incorporating it into their lives. I know that it can be threatening at first but come on! Just start moving and think about how good you will feel afterwards! And now knowing that it can help not only physical ailments but also people to deal with overcoming alcoholism and even depression adds even that much more of a bonus.

  • Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW

    Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW

    June 24th, 2010 at 4:36 AM

    Since more and more studies are linking exercise to decreasing depression and anxiety and preventing relapse with mood disorders, it makes intuitive sense that it would also help with addiction relapse prevention.

    Thanks for posting this information.

  • Atom Ant

    Atom Ant

    June 24th, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    Exercise is just great…it keeps me fit and gives me a feel-good factor because I know I am taking care of myself and also because most of exercise and sports when done outdoors also benefit you through all the green and fresh air out there :)

  • marion rucker

    marion rucker

    June 24th, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    I just cannot do without my daily exercise regime of at least 45 minutes and this keeps me going throughout the day. It makes me feel good about myself and gives me a big boost to go out there and do my job all day.

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