Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Expert: Exercise Fights Addiction

“New approaches for treating and preventing drug addiction range from low-tech - regular exercise - to high-tech such as experimental vaccines aimed at helping to prevent former drug users from relapsing. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is just as excited about both options. Of the two, though, exercise will probably yield the quickest payoff. ‘It's something we could apply right away,’ she said. ‘Vaccines, we're not going to get those results in one or two years. It will take probably five, six years to results.’ Statistics indicate that teens who exercise daily are the least likely to report using drugs or alcohol, Volkow said Tuesday at a NIDA-sponsored conference on addiction treatment and research at Duke Energy Center downtown. NIDA, part of the National Institutes of Health, is sponsoring research to see if - and why - regular exercise prevents substance abuse. The agency is also awarding grants to determine whether working up a sweat can make addiction treatment more successful. Exercise has the advantage of being inexpensive and easily accessible, Volkow said.”

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