All addiction affects the brain on a very deep chemical level, and heroin is no different. It hijacks the systems that our species has developed to promote evolutionarily useful actions, and overloads them with self-reinforcing messages of need and dependence on an outside substance. At this point you could say that heroin has put down it’s flag in the brain.
For drug addiction to work it has to overload the brain with endorphins. Once your system gets used to that level of positive reinforcement it can be incredibly difficult to function once the source is removed which is why a person experiences such brutal heroin withdrawal. FHE Health’s heroin detox in Florida gave you a firm appreciation of how confused your brain chemistry was on heroin.
There’s good news, though! Even though your reward center was overwhelmed by false messages from the drug, the old reward patterns are still there. An endorphins starved brain is an opportunity to get back to the basics of what the systems was designed for in the first place.
Exercise Can Make Recovery Easier
Exercise is one of the most reliable ways to cause the release of endorphins. The body wants to be strong and fast (our ancestor’s survival depended on it), so when you push yourself to the limit it rewards you with those ‘good job’ chemicals. Also during intense exercise, the body releases a different chemical known as galanin which has a long lasting stress reduction effect.
For many people it is hard to find the motivation to get off the couch on a day to day basis, to say nothing of the uphill battle that is beginning an exercise regime while going through rehabilitation. Start small. You don’t need to run a marathon, just get moving enough to sweat. Find an activity that you are comfortable with and push it to the point of becoming an exercise. You need every tool at your disposal to conquer this challenge. It’s much easier than recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction! Reclaim your brain – Work your body.