FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Not only does exercise have many health benefits, but it can also help fight teenage drug abuse, addiction and teen depression. The experts at Newport Academy, an adolescent treatment facility, say that exercise can be used as an alternative reward for the body and brain, helping teens overcome dangerous dependencies.
"Instead of resorting to harmful substances, teens can turn to exercise as a temporary relief from mental health issues," said Kristin Wilson, Director of Clinical Outreach at Newport Academy.
Addictive drugs stimulate the brain’s reward system through a chemical called dopamine. Consequently, finding healthy ways to increase dopamine is key to a successful recovery. Evidence shows that exercise can be used as an alternative reward for the body and brain, making it easier for teens stay sober.
According to the experts at Newport Academy, exercise helps address two of the major motivators for substance and alcohol abuse: depression and anxiety. The power of exercise combats those two factors and can lead to a more positive outlook, acting as a form of antidepressant.
"Addiction and depression are hard to overcome and it takes motivation and desire to beat them," said Wilson. "We believe that practicing healthy alternatives is a great way to start on the road to recovery."
Newport Academy offers exercise programs for residents that help foster inner growth, such as rock climbing, paddle boarding, surfing, hiking, rope courses, yoga and kayaking. All activities are practiced in a safe environment, monitored by trained professionals.
Newport Academy has several locations throughout the country, including residential programs, recovery day schools and outpatient programs offering comprehensive treatment for mental health and substance use. For more information or to find a campus near you, visit the Newport Academy website.