Year of Publication



Public Health

Degree Name

Dr. of Public Health (Dr.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Richard Ingram

Committee Member

Martha Riddell

Committee Member

Kathi Harp


OBJECTIVE: The Counseling Center (TCC), a substance abuse disorder (SUD) recovery facility located in Portsmouth, Ohio, began investigating alternative treatment methods that may improve long-term recovery rates through increased recovery capital (RC). RC takes into account numerous social and physical variables during the recovery phase of SUD and evidence shows a higher RC can lead to better recovery outcomes. TCC partnered with Portsmouth Spartan Kettlebell Club (PSKC), a nearby CrossFit (CF) affiliated gym, and created a partnership that allowed clients at TCC to participate in a guided CF program. The purpose of this study was to examine how this program, which focuses on short, high-intensity workouts affected the recovery capital of those that are enrolled or went through the program versus those clients at TCC who did not participate.

METHODS: Primary data was collected using an electronic survey. Survey was sent to eligible participants, individuals receiving substance use disorder treatment at TCC, to observe statistical frequencies and averages between those who went through the TCC/PSKC program and those that did not.

RESULTS: Participation in the CF program appears to be highest in those with a substantial history of SUD as 92% of those participating in the program have reported at least 1 previous recovery attempt. Those in the program also reported lower levels of anxiety and greater perceived overall health. There also does appear to be a positive correlation between those in the CF program and higher aspects RC, specifically levels of energy needed to complete tasks.

CONCLUSIONS: High-intensity exercise does appear to be associated with greater recovery capital. Further studies are warranted to examine the role of high-intensity exercise. Specifically, the long-term outcomes of those who go through the program and the impact on the community RC of those in the program.

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