People who exercise a lot may be more prone to drug addiction. That's the finding of a new study out of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.
Regular runners on the Trinity Trail in Fort Worth know, exercise can be addictive.
"You wanna feel your best, and you just keep going at it, so it can become an obsession," said Sarah Garcia.
"Your body just wants to run or exercise or go be active. It just craves that," said Jennifer Jaquez.
Most would say that's a good thing, but new research shows it can also make it harder to break an addiction. And we're not talking an addiction to exercise.
"Trying to be fit in your life, you try to avoid bad things so that's just kind of wild to think about," said Jaquez.
A new study conducted by researchers at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign shows a link between exercise and addiction. It was a lab study, using mice. They were separated into two groups: one group got to exercise and the other didn't. Then, the researches got all the mice hooked on cocaine.
Those that had been exercising had a much harder time breaking their addiction, if at all.
"I guess I could see how it work because you get a rush out of both things," said Maureen Montgomery.
Deidre Browne, program director at the MH/MR Recovery Center in Fort Worth says, fundamentally, the study makes sense.
"If someone exercised a lot and they stopped, they would be more prone because they're used to those natural, feel-good chemicals coming through their system," said Browne.
According to the study, the mice who had been exercising had an increased brain capacity, giving them more room to learn. It just so happened, that they learned to be addicted to cocaine. It's not like they had a choice.
Browne says fit folks should pay attention to the study, but maybe just know to use that increased brain power for something more productive.
"The people that chose that behavior are probably not choosing this behavior that's harmful to them on a regular basis," said Browne.