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Cycling to recover from alcohol and drug abuse?

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Cycling to recover from alcohol and drug abuse?

Old 10-01-17, 02:33 PM
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Cycling to recover from alcohol and drug abuse?

I was just wondering if anybody else here feels cycling has helped them to recover from alcohol or drug misuse. I am curious based upon my own experience in this regard and as I am doing a study on the topic. Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-01-17, 02:40 PM
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Can't help you. I abused while cycling and quit while cycling.

For others ... I have heard some stories about it ... endorphins, activity, a new obsession ....

I found this on another forum .... Bikes > Pills 'Nuff said
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Old 10-01-17, 04:10 PM
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For me, being in moderately decent shape makes me more aware of the damage that damaging things do to my body. And if you're athletically goal oriented, you'll definitely feel things like drinking and smoking thwarting your goals. IME, being goal oriented, especially athletic goals, is one of the best components in kicking bad habits.

Having said that, not everything considered a bad habit tends to thwart athletic goals, but certainly booze and tobacco do.
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Old 10-01-17, 05:56 PM
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Lots of cyclists that can no longer drive!!!

As tyrion said, something like smoking may well be at odds with top level cycling, although I certainly see quite a few bike commuters around town who smoke.

Is cycling a drug to some?

Anyway, perhaps there is a benefit of a shift of attitude from the quick reward of a smoke or drug of one's choice to the long term attitude of cycling as a way of life.
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Old 10-01-17, 07:08 PM
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to me you have to replace your addictions with something. cycling is a good option.
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Old 10-01-17, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Lots of cyclists that can no longer drive!!!

As tyrion said, something like smoking may well be at odds with top level cycling, although I certainly see quite a few bike commuters around town who smoke.

Is cycling a drug to some?

Anyway, perhaps there is a benefit of a shift of attitude from the quick reward of a smoke or drug of one's choice to the long term attitude of cycling as a way of life.
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Old 10-01-17, 08:45 PM
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Cycling, and guitar are my drugs, in that order. Every single member of my family smoked cigarettes, and being a contrary person, this caused me to avoid them. My brother was a flaming alcoholic, until his alcoholism finally killed him. He and I grew up in bad places, where drugs and alcohol were huge problems, and luckily I was wise enough to connect the dots, and see the end such addictions led to. Unfortunately for my brother, he could not.

Cycling exercises my body, clears my mind, and soothes my soul. I owe much of what success I have to riding my bike. From dirt roads in New Mexico, to the ghetto in North Long Beach, to the old cities and tall mountains of southern Europe, to a very nice home in Tokyo, cycling has helped me move onward and upward.

On my ride this morning I loved the sound my my tires whirring along the smooth road, enjoying the smell of trees and cut grass, and soaking up a little sunshine. Afterwards it was a nice meal at a small restaurant washed down with a bottle of Heineken. A great way to spend the first half of my day. The rest of the day I will spend at work.
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Old 10-01-17, 10:34 PM
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Well...I'm an alcoholic in long-term recovery, an addict who found alcohol to be the best of all drugs. A good number of the men on my dad's side of the family have problems with the booze. I've been sober now for 7 1/2 years. I was quite addicted: it was much easier for me to quit smoking than drinking.

Cycling has been a huge part of my recovery. When I first got sober, I had problems sleeping...so a few nights a week, I stayed up all night and then rode to work (33 miles). If I had a bad day or whatever, I rode my bike. When my dad was battling cancer, then eventually died, I rode my bike - and got through it all without booze. During the 9 months or so that I didn't ride my bike, I was a hot mess. Cycling helps me kill off some of that anxiety, anger, and fear that I used to kill off with alcohol.

Along the way, I discovered that riding my bike fast, long, and hard gives me a buzz. I feel good after putting down a few hills, and I feel high somewhere around the 3-4 hour mark. The more I push it, the more I get the buzz. I actively seek the feeling. It's a replacement addiction, and I will readily admit this. Just like with alcohol, I don't want to stop until I'm passed out. The difference is that with cycling, I can and do.

Cycling alone is not enough for me to abstain from alcohol, but it helps. It's a big part of my action steps for maintaining sobriety, which includes treatment for biologically based mental health issues, therapy, helping those in need, and actively trying to be a bit better each day.
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Old 10-01-17, 11:34 PM
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Sometimes I contemplate alcohol and drug abuse to recover from cycling.

But, seriously, I have been fortunate enough never to have experienced a chemical addiction. I do wonder if that contributes to my being a less than exceptional cyclist -- maybe I just never got the endorphin rush that serious and more compulsive cyclists get.
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Old 10-02-17, 05:34 AM
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I am a recovering drug addict. I started cycling somewhere around maybe a year or 2 into my recovery though (I can't really remember at this point). I spent the first bit going from thing to thing, trying to find something that stuck...cycling has been the only thing. It helps a lot...I have something now that I actually enjoy and care about, that is good for me. It gives me something to do, something new to learn, goals, a new community, etc.

I can relate to much of what Wipekitty wrote above...especially about the 'buzz'/thrill of it - I too seek that out. And also the burning off anxiety, fear, & anger. When I get too stuck in my head/thoughts, it's great to be able to go out and "ride it out" instead of trying to stay constantly numb to it all. So while I didn't start my recovery with cycling, it has been an important part of it, and will continue to be once I am finished with my current treatments.
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Old 10-02-17, 06:21 AM
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Addiction is a funny thing, and different for everyone.

I rarely suggest that anyone attempt to "cure themselves" from addiction. (I know this wasn't part of your inquiry) It takes a particularly strong will and focus to break that cycle alone, and with that mental strength it's hard to BECOME an addict in the first place. It is very important (for most people) to get into a program or support group of SOME sort. You must be wary of WHAT group that is, and recognize why you are there/stay on track. I find (personally) that NA is possibly the worst thing in the world to send a (drug) addict to...but will do fine in AA so long as they keep focus on what the therapy is FOR. IE. NA is a great place to meet dealers and fellow users, and triggers for a "druggie"...much like AA for an "alchy"

One of the single most important things for an addictive personality is to break the cycle, break habits, find new things and new people to do/be around. With that said, if you are involved in your addiction THROUGH cycling, then probably not. I don't think any activity(ies) are going to be THE solution to an addiction. Finding a way to keep your mind off the addiction until it becomes "passe" is important, so if cycling (or whatever other activity) does it for you then so be it.
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Old 10-02-17, 11:39 AM
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Cycling certainly was a big factor in my recovery from opiate addiction. All the abdominal surgeries (16,) and other procedures over a decade, along with a spinal injury, opened the door to easy heavy duty opiate prescriptions, for the long term chronic pain with no attempts at any rehabilitation or means of managing the pain cause. Cycling allowed me to shed the anxiety and a wholt lot of pent up need to do something active and athletic/aerobic. It worked, is continuing to work and is much better than the suffering and numbness. Finding a qualified, strict, caring pain management physician was the key to getting started and being able to begin cycling.

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I Can Do All Things Through Him, Who Gives Me Strength. Philippians 4:13

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