Replacing the Adrenaline Rush

Ways to Find Excitement Without Drugs and Alcohol


 Adrenaline is a powerful, natural stimulant – a hormone that causes almost immediate responses in the body. Adrenaline will trigger changes in heart rate, breathing, perspiration, visual focus, saliva production, not to mention its effect on mood. Adrenaline is what triggers our natural fight or flight response when we sense danger, if we’re in an accident or injured, when we’re extremely nervous, and when we’re very angry. In response to some trigger, Adrenaline is released to increase or amplify normal bodily functions, giving us the mental and physical stamina and clarity we need when we need it most.

Some drug users are especially attracted to stimulants, but regardless of your drink or drug of choice, chasing that rush means, over time,that increased amounts of a drug or drink is needed in order to feel a similar effect. The frequent reintroduction of a mood-altering substance taxes the adrenals, as well as other body systems, requiring an extended time of recovery for the body’s natural chemistry to normalize. Overcoming addiction can be one of the most difficult physical and psychological challenges of our lives. In early recovery, some, especially those who abused stimulants, report feeling emotionally “flat.” Nothing interests them. Nothing is funny. Their physical energy is very low as well. Others report feeling like they’re coming out of their skin. They have so much energy, they don’t know what to do with it. Whether they feel hyper or depressed and sunken into the couch, these feelings can be intense, and without a healthy alternative, they can drive the individual to use their substance of choice again just to stop their discomfort.

Many activities can generate positive, health-promoting aspects of adrenaline while restoring the body to health. If you are feeling anxious, 30 minutes of moderate exercise can ease jitters and reduce anxiety. Thekey here is moderation. Don’t overdo it. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Weight training








When done consistently, even once or twice per week, practices such as yoga, pilates, tai chi, and chi gong can burn up physical energy while bringing physical and mental restoration.

Mindfulness activities such as meditation, guided meditation, deep or controlled breathing, and self-hypnosis can help the body and mind relax. At the end of these practices, one feels a different kind of rush. There lies the gentler side of adrenaline – leaving you feeling brighter, calmer, and clearer.

Many come to know these activities and tools while participating in an addiction treatment program. If you are new to recovery, or new again, consider these activities as you navigate your physical and emotional needs in early sobriety. To learn more about what to expect in early recovery from substance addiction, call Wasatch. We’re here to help.

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