National Health and Fitness Month Can Benefit Drug Users

girl runningMay is National Physical Fitness and Sports month, a time for individuals to learn the value of becoming and staying physically active.  Not only can physical activity improve muscle tone and overall physical function, it can improve bone and heart health, lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers, and for many older individuals it may even help reduce the risk of injury-causing falls.  For individuals struggling with substance abuse problems, National Health and Fitness Month can improve their chances of a healthy, permanent recovery from drug use.

The Effect of Drugs on the Body

Drugs are chemicals that interact with and alter the basic functions of the human body.  Some drugs are designed to suppress undesirable sensations (like pain), while other drugs are designed to heighten pleasurable sensations (euphoria).  While all drugs have different intended effects and unintended side effects, and while the type of drug and volume used can affect the outcome, most drugs can have the following effects on the body:

– Drowsiness

– Reduced attention

– Reduced judgment

– Reduced reaction time

– Reduced coordination and balance

– Irritability

– Difficulty sleeping

– Anxiety

Essentially, the normal ability of the body to function, create energy, react and rest are affected by one’s drug use.  In fact, even when an individual has withdrawn from drug use they may still find that they are unable to think clearly, sleep well or function normally because drugs are continuing to affect them.  Many individuals withdraw from life and limit their physical activities, when actually becoming more physically active could assist them in fully recovering from substance abuse.

Importance of Physical Activity During Drug Rehabilitation

Because the individual’s body and mind have been damaged by drug use, good nutrition and regular, healthy physical activity have an important place in someone’s drug rehabilitation treatment program.  A nutritious diet and physical activity can help the body flush residual drug toxins, and it can also help rebuild physical strength that was weakened by drug chemicals.  Remarkably, restoring one’s physical health through nutrition and physical activity can also help an individual improve their mental health.  These components are so important to an individual’s full recovery that Narconon Arrowhead, a drug rehabilitation facility in Oklahoma, has launched a wellness campaign for National Health and Fitness Month.

It is important to remember that many individuals turn to drug use in the first place because of problems relating to poor health.  They may have suffered a physical injury that causes chronic discomfort, for which they are prescribed painkillers.  Unfortunately, painkilling medications can be highly addictive and can often lead to the abuse of even more dangerous drugs, like heroin.  If you trace back to the original problem of incurring a physical injury, one can dig into what actions may have been taken to prevent such an injury from occurring.  Often, remaining physically fit and active keeps the body strong and healthy and less prone to injury and illness.  It also gives one something healthy and productive to do, and some individuals have successfully dealt with physical pain by remaining busy with moderate physical activity.

Narconon is one of the few drug and alcohol rehabilitation treatment facilities that uses good nutrition and physical exercise as part of their program, and achieves success with patient after patient as a result.  National Health and Fitness Month is the perfect opportunity to spread the word that physical fitness can not only prevent drug abuse, but can also help an individual recover from substance abuse by restoring a healthy, active body and mind.