So here’s a thing. Strength training reduces heroin use by altering key neurological system, study finds. That study, as you can probably imagine was conducted on rats.
The researchers found that rats that were used to taking heroin — and trained to self-administer it — did so significantly less after an exercise regimen that involved repeatedly climbing a vertical ladder wearing a weighted vest.
As if rats weren’t bad enough. We now get them strung out and then, since junkie rats aren’t bad enough, work them out so that they’re strong too. Have you ever dealt with rats? I have. And I can tell you this: Super strong junkie rats? No one needs that in their life. But, aside from the casual creation of a creature that will no doubt supplant us (after stealing all our cheese and heroin) the study reports evidence that:
“ . . . resistance exercise is reducing drug use by producing functional changes within the neurological systems that drive compulsive patterns of drug use in individuals diagnosed with substance use disorders.”
In particular, the researchers observed exercise-induced changes in gene expression in the nucleus accumbens, an area of the brain associated with the processing of reward.
So, if you’re a junkie, it might be time to get those weights back from the pawn shop. Whether the exercise will help you quit or not is anyone’s guess but you’re going to need to get strong if you want to protect your heroin from these rats. Word is, they’ve been working out.