Drug addiction may cause health problems and social exclu- sion (Neale, 2006, In R. Hughes (Ed.), Drugs, policy and politics (pp. 201–226). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press). Although studies indicate that physical activity levels are inversely related to substance use disorders, it is not clear the role of exercise during drug abuse treatment (Weinstock, Barry, & Petry, 2008, Addictive Behaviors, 33, 1072–1075). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 8-week exercise intervention, as an adjunct to treat- ment for drug dependent patients (cannabis, opiates, amphe- tamines, cocaine and heroin addicted), on psychological and physical fitness variables. With institutional ethics approval, 34 male participants (mean age: 45.2 ± 12.6 years; stature: 1.77 ± 0.06 m; body mass: 74.2 ± 9.7 kg) were assigned to an experimental group (n = 17) that performed exercise inter- vention (i.e., aerobic-anaerobic exercise at moderate-intensity plus behavioural training), or a control group (n = 17). At baseline and after 8-week, COPE-NVI (60-item self-report questionnaire), CD-RISC (10-item scale) and physical fitness tests (i.e., Stork balance stand, functional reach, lateral side- step and push-up tests) assessed coping skills, resilience and fitness levels, respectively. A 2-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures and paired t-test analysis were performed to locate between- and within-trial variance, and the magnitude of significant effects was determined using Cohen’s d effect sizes. Statistical significance level was set at P < 0.05. Adherence to exercise was 94 ± 2,6% and after intervention significant improvements in the skills and strate- gies adopted to cope with stressful events (P < 0.01, d = 0.80) and in ability to deal with negative experiences (P < 0.01, d = 0.87) were found. In addition, the physical fitness compo- nents as static (P < 0.01, d = 0.96) and dynamic balance (P < 0.01, d = 0.75), anaerobic power and coordination (P < 0.01, d = 0.89), and endurance of the upper body muscu- lature (P < 0.01, d = 0.58) are significantly improved in the experimental group. No relevant changes were found in the control group. Findings highlighted the positive relationship between increased physical fitness and improved functional and adaptive modalities used to cope with stressful events and negative experiences. Therefore, exercise intervention was effective to improve mental and physical wellbeing in drug addicts.

Effectiveness of an 8-week exercise intervention on coping skills, resilience and physical fitness in drug addicts

GIANPIERO GRECO;STEFANIA CATALDI;FRANCESCO FISCHETTI
2019

Abstract

Drug addiction may cause health problems and social exclu- sion (Neale, 2006, In R. Hughes (Ed.), Drugs, policy and politics (pp. 201–226). Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press). Although studies indicate that physical activity levels are inversely related to substance use disorders, it is not clear the role of exercise during drug abuse treatment (Weinstock, Barry, & Petry, 2008, Addictive Behaviors, 33, 1072–1075). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 8-week exercise intervention, as an adjunct to treat- ment for drug dependent patients (cannabis, opiates, amphe- tamines, cocaine and heroin addicted), on psychological and physical fitness variables. With institutional ethics approval, 34 male participants (mean age: 45.2 ± 12.6 years; stature: 1.77 ± 0.06 m; body mass: 74.2 ± 9.7 kg) were assigned to an experimental group (n = 17) that performed exercise inter- vention (i.e., aerobic-anaerobic exercise at moderate-intensity plus behavioural training), or a control group (n = 17). At baseline and after 8-week, COPE-NVI (60-item self-report questionnaire), CD-RISC (10-item scale) and physical fitness tests (i.e., Stork balance stand, functional reach, lateral side- step and push-up tests) assessed coping skills, resilience and fitness levels, respectively. A 2-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures and paired t-test analysis were performed to locate between- and within-trial variance, and the magnitude of significant effects was determined using Cohen’s d effect sizes. Statistical significance level was set at P < 0.05. Adherence to exercise was 94 ± 2,6% and after intervention significant improvements in the skills and strate- gies adopted to cope with stressful events (P < 0.01, d = 0.80) and in ability to deal with negative experiences (P < 0.01, d = 0.87) were found. In addition, the physical fitness compo- nents as static (P < 0.01, d = 0.96) and dynamic balance (P < 0.01, d = 0.75), anaerobic power and coordination (P < 0.01, d = 0.89), and endurance of the upper body muscu- lature (P < 0.01, d = 0.58) are significantly improved in the experimental group. No relevant changes were found in the control group. Findings highlighted the positive relationship between increased physical fitness and improved functional and adaptive modalities used to cope with stressful events and negative experiences. Therefore, exercise intervention was effective to improve mental and physical wellbeing in drug addicts.
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