Should those crystal meth recovery group meetings be held at the gym? A recent study from the Scripps Research Institute (SRI) in San Diego suggests that exercise can reduce the desire to use methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug popularly known as “tina” or “crystal.”
In the SRI study, cited in the Science Daily newsletter, male rats were trained to press a lever to receive a dose of meth. A running wheel was added to the rat cages, and researchers discovered that running only 22 hours prior to their making the meth available to the rats reduced the likelihood that they would use it.
There have been other studies showing the positive effect of exercise on reducing meth use. But they suggested at least six weeks of regular exercise was required before any effect was seen.
Another study showed that having access to a running wheel reduced a rat’s likelihood of using MDMA, a drug known as “Ecstasy” or “Molly.”
Meth abuse is a major issue in the United States, and particularly in the gay community. In California, 27 percent of hospital admissions for substance abuse are for amphetamines. Other research shows that 36 percent of the people arrested in San Diego had methamphetamine in their system.