Rationale for Using Exercise in the Treatment of Stimulant Use Disorders.
Novel approaches to the treatment of stimulant abuse and dependence are needed. Clinical data examining the use of exercise as a treatment for the abuse of nicotine, alcohol, and other substances suggest that exercise may be a beneficial treatment for stimulant abuse. In addition, exercise has been associated with improvements in many other health-related areas that may be adversely affected by stimulant use or its treatment, such as sleep disturbance, cognitive function, mood, weight, quality of life, and anhedonia. Neurobiological evidence provides plausible mechanisms by which exercise could positively affect treatment outcomes in stimulant abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network (CTN) CTN-0037 Stimulant Reduction Intervention using Dosed Exercise (STRIDE) study is a multisite randomized clinical trial that compares exercise to health education as potential treatments for stimulant abuse or dependence. If effective, exercise may provide an additional approach to the treatment of stimulant use disorders.