How Physical Fitness Can Help Men Recover From AddictionAugust 26, 2019 - Uncategorized - 0 Comments
The horrifying thing about drug dependence is that it can happen to anybody at any time without reason or warning. At least, that’s how it often seems to many people who fall into the throes of addiction. In reality, addiction is often something that occurs to specific people for unique reasons, many of which are mental and physical and which make recovery more difficult. Understanding these differences is a significant part of recovery and a focus of many researchers and care specialists.
The most interesting element that care specialists have found over the years is the fact that drugs and addiction impact women differently than it does men. And the influence of addiction and the reasons behind abuse are often quite different in the genders. This breakthrough has helped fuel a better understanding of this problem in a variety of different ways.
For example, because drugs impact men and women differently physically and mentally, which means that their detox and 12 step treatment plans must differ in a variety of ways. In particular, physical exercise is a critical aspect of recovery for men and helps them focus on their care in a way that women often don’t need. Though exercise won’t hurt a woman’s recovery – and is usually quite beneficial for many women – men need it in a way that women don’t.
Therefore, it is essential to understand why physical exercise is so vital for men in rehab. You must also know how it can help manage an addiction to various substances, such as opioids and Xanax. Just as importantly, you need to understand how physical exercise helps manage symptoms of mental health problems and how treatment options like dual-diagnosis can fuel your ultimate recovery.
Men Enjoy the Physical Aspects of Addiction
Although the physical impact of drugs affects both men and women, many studies have found that men most often abuse substances due to the physical effects. For example, a study on cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse found that men enjoyed how the nicotine reacted in their brain and body, providing them with some stimulation and a period of calm and relaxation that made cigarettes appealing in spite of their adverse physical effects.
In the same study, it was found that men often abused alcohol for the same reasons – the physical effects that it produced were very pleasing and potent when compared to those in women. While women also enjoyed these effects, they primarily abused cigarettes and alcohol for social bonding purposes. For example, women enjoyed smoking and drinking with other women and used these substances as an instant conversation starter. For women, this influence was a predominant one for abuse, more so than the physical reactions.
The same effects and influences in men have been noted in the abuse of other types of substances, including heroin, Xanax, benzos, cocaine, and more. Men were more interested in the physical reaction rather than the social interaction that drug use provided. While many men are social substance abusers and do bond with others when using substances, for many men, this influence was not a primary one. As a result, their dependency often started as a very physical problem.
As a result, men are often more prone to struggling to overcome this element of dependency rather than the social and mental health problems. In many ways, their reliance on the high levels of dopamine produced by drug use becomes worse in them than in women. That doesn’t mean that women don’t face unique challenges with drug abuse – many struggle in recovery more than men – but that the physical aspect is often a tougher one for men to overcome.
This factor is also heavily influenced by cliched ideas of masculinity and how men are “supposed” to act and behave. Though the physical influence is very high in men when it comes to addiction, they are also influenced by mental health problems. Unfortunately, many won’t admit this psychological element of their drug abuse and often struggle to overcome both aspects because of how tightly they are connected.
How Physical Exercise Can Help
For men struggling to beat their drug abuse, physical exercise is often a potent tool for success. For example, a study entitled “Exercise as a Potential Treatment for Drug Abuse: Evidence from Preclinical Studies” stated that multiple tests found that those who engaged in regular aerobic exercise were less likely to use and abuse illicit drugs than those who did not exercise.
However, these researchers also expanded the scope of their study to find that even non-aerobic exercise – such as weight lifting and yoga – could provide the same benefits as aerobic routines. There were a few reasons that physical activity of all types provided these advantages for your addiction recovery. First of all, intense exercise released high levels of dopamine that could replace a man’s dependence on drugs and other substances for these physical effects.
In another study, it was found that exercise and the release of these dopamine chemicals helped to manage short-term cravings and helped improve the mood of men who were in recovery for addiction. The higher levels of positive dopamine made the abuse of substances unnecessary and helped fuel men towards a stronger level of healing and more treatment success later down the road.
Just as importantly, these studies showed that exercise also gave men something to focus on other than drugs and provided them with the mental distraction that they needed to overcome drug abuse. Many men who had abused various substances often found themselves replacing their drugs with exercise as a way of achieving higher levels of dopamine. Is this a method of addiction replacement? Perhaps, but it is a healthy one that often puts men in a better state to overcome all addictive behaviors.
However, exercise should not be considered a single treatment option for men who suffer from an addiction. In fact, men cannot focus only on the physical element to overcome their addiction. Mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety, are also essential for your ultimate recovery. Fully understanding how to accept this fact and get care is critical for your health as a drug-free individual.
Many Men Struggle to Admit They Have a Problem
Though physical exercise can help many men overcome the influence of addiction and substances like opioids and benzodiazepines in their life, it cannot do all the hard work on its own. While the physical element of substance abuse is higher in men than it is in women, that doesn’t mean it is the only reason men use drugs. Most are also using substances to help manage depression and anxiety or other issues that affect their overall health and recovery.
The major problem here, though, is that men have a harder time admitting that they have mental problems than women. Though this isn’t true of all men – many are very insightful about the issues that plague their lives – it is, in general, a reality that has been proven many times. Unfortunately, some studies even find that men are not only unable to admit their emotional issues but are also out of touch with them because they don’t have the words to express their emotions.
Often, this situation is passed down from father to son due to a variety of influences. Masculine role socialization states that a man must be strong, independent, and show emotional control. Studies have found that these cliches and perceptions are typical in many, many cultures and societies around the world. As a result, many men – most of whom have strong emotions – struggle not only to understand these reactions but to process them healthily.
On the same note, social norms – i.e., society’s expectations of what a man should and shouldn’t do – often forced many addicted men to hide their problems and try to deny their reality. This unfortunate situation has led to generations of men struggling to understand their emotions and using various substances to numb them. This reaction is similar to a physical one in that it produces a pleasing effect that makes a man feel better about himself.
So while exercise is a critical way of helping a man overcome his reliance on substances, it cannot be the only solution that you utilize. Instead, you need to look deep into your heart and fully understand the emotions that cause you to suffer. Thankfully, dual-diagnosis and various types of treatment methods can provide you with the focused help that you need to achieve this goal.
Mental Health Help is Still Essential
Although the physical aspect of drug dependence is one that impacts men profoundly, total recovery is not possible without diagnosing the mental health problems at the root of the issue. Even if a man is unwilling or unable to admit that he has a problem at first, they need to be worked with to find the trauma, depression, or anxiety that helps fuel their addiction and make their life so difficult.
For example, some men may use the physically-appealing effects of alcohol consumption to overcome PTSD caused by an abusive father or mother. They may also use benzos for the same purpose or as a way of calming the influence of anxiety on their lives. Unfortunately, mental health and physical addiction often form a tight bond that becomes a destructive cycle known as co-occurring disorders.
This problem refers to two or more mental and physical health problems that occur at the same time and help make other issues worse. For example, a man who suffers from a dependency on benzodiazepines may use them to calm depression that he can’t shake it any other way. However, his use of these drugs causes more anxiety in his life, – due to personal problems and legal issues – which causes him to abuse even more drugs.
This situation is often a hard one to walk away from without a lot of help. Thankfully, dual-diagnosis treatment is a crucial way of overcoming this problem. This treatment method – which we specialize in operating – works on both the physical and mental causes of dependency and fights to eliminate these issues in your life. In essence, it unties the Gordian Knot of drug addiction and mental health issues.
And when combined with physical exercise, this care option is one that can help many men get over their addiction with style and grace. Rather than merely focusing on the physical aspects – which only handles a minimal part of your addiction – you can manage the entire problem and walk away as a happier and healthier person without drugs in his life any more.
Finding a Care Specialist Who Works for You
If you’re a man suffering from addiction and you need a treatment option that works on all fronts, you should contact us at His House right away to learn more. Our dedicated staff provides a multi-disciplinary approach that focuses both on your body and your mind. We’ll start by helping you manage your cravings using withdrawal medication during detox and give you dietary support to build your strength. This step is a critical first one because it cleans your body and mind of harmful substances.
Then, we can help you get the exercise that you need to stay focused on your treatment and recovery. The type of workout that you prefer will be taken into account as we create your plan. Then, we will work with you to overcome any PTSD, depression, mental health problems, or other types of trauma that trigger your abuse. Sometimes, drug dependency runs deep and is hard to shake without help from dual-diagnosis professionals.
And we can also walk you through the 12 step program in a way that helps you focus on your ultimate recovery. Our program aims to find a treatment method that works for you and which helps to manage your emotional, interpersonal, and behavioral issues related to drug or alcohol abuse. We also focus on the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and biological concerns utilizing holistic care options.
So if you’re struggling with heroin, opiates, alcohol, methamphetamine, or any other kind of addictive substance and you want to regain your happy and healthy life, please contact us today. We will diagnose the situation over the phone and can set you up with a care option. With our help, you have the best chance of overcoming your addiction and becoming the drug-free person you want to become.