Can Exercise Help with Opioid Dependence Recovery? by Randi Sokol, MD, MPH, MMedEd (www.bicyclehealth.com)
M.B. is a 39 y/o male who works in marketing, is married with two kids who has been in recovery from opioid addiction for the past 4 years. When asked about his “secret to success” he explains. “Four years ago, I hit rock bottom-- I was feeling really depressed and ashamed of how my addiction to oxycodone had impacted my relationships with my family and friends. But, then I enrolled in a Suboxone program and I started to hit the gym every day after work.”
He elaborates, “Lifting weights helped me get my energy and frustrations out. I would come home so much more relaxed and calm. It became my new outlet for doing well in my recovery.”
M.B. is not alone. J.R., a 33 year old waitress also explains how she used exercise as a way to conquer her addiction to opioids. “When I woke up and before I started my work day, I would put on my headphones and go for a run and get lost in my thoughts. When I was not in the mood for a jog, I would take my dog for a walk. It was my ‘me time,’ and it helped me show up for work ready to roll, deal with the daily stresses that life brings, and in a much healthier way than using opioid pills.”
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