With drug and alcohol abuse affecting millions of people, it’s likely that we all know someone who is involved in recovery or needs to consider it.
That includes people over 50 using drugs and drinking alcohol more and more each year. If we add include other compulsive behaviors like eating and gambling, then we see how huge the issue is.
So, September is a great time to mark National Recovery Month and support anyone involved in living free of alcohol, drugs, and other addictive behavior. This year’s theme is “Recovery Is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.”
Almost 1 million Americans over 65 have a substance use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Millions more drink alcohol, with two-thirds reporting “high-risk drinking” that exceeds daily guidelines. And, as we age, we absorb effects more slowly, and our brains become more sensitive to drugs. More mature adults are likely to use multiple prescription medications which must be properly managed.
Addiction is treatable, and exercise can help. As WebMD explains, “Exercise and drugs of misuse work on similar parts of your brain. They both activate your reward pathway, which triggers the release of feel-good chemicals.”
Regular physical activity eases withdrawal, curbs cravings, improves sleep, and provides healthy social interaction.
That’s what we’re all about, and we’re here to help anyone live a healthier life now.
If you think you or someone you love has a problem, talk to a doctor or recovery program. The National Helpline is confidential, free, and 24/7: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.