In Italy, 20% of young people aged 15-34 frequently consume alcohol, 16% smoke until the age of 24, and 19% consumed cannabis within one year. In addition, 49% of young people between the ages of 14 and 19 have gambled at least once a year. (European Monitoring Centre on Drugs, ISTAT, DOXA, Unipol and Nomism).
From these shocking data of a survey of “La Stampa” (2018) comes the #dipendodame project.
The main objectives are to sensitize children to the risks that some attitudes generate and show them an alternative to the need for an outlet from which addictions take shape. But also create an interactive and participatory web platform that helps them find the easiest way to help themselves or a friend.
According to an article by Stefano Canali (coordinator of psychoactive – Drugs, substances of abuse and addictions, travelling multimedia exhibition written and realized in 2006 with the contribution of the Ministry of Education and member of the board of the Italian society drug addiction since 2008) sport or better “Physical and psychological exercise stimulates the activity of the cerebral cortex and other important brain centres involved in emotional processes and reward, pleasure and gratification.
In this way, physical and psychological exercise promotes the development of the brain, connectivity and resilience. [… ] Addiction is also linked to the discontrol of the behaviours associated with the reward. It is known that the regulation of emotions, the inhibition of impulses, appetites and desire, in a word, self-control, depends on the functioning of the areas of the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. [… ]
It has been shown that aerobic exercise selectively correlates to:
- a greater thickness in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which has a determining role in the processes of self-control;
- a greater volume of the hippocampus, a crucial region in learning processes, memory and the regulation of emotions.
Other research has indicated that exercise can activate the endogenous opioid system, another functional structure at the centre of the reward but also of the stress response, the regulation of anxiety and pain, all processes that play a role in vulnerability to addiction and substance use disorder.
In this sense, physical exercise also as a lever of the opioid system is another important element in the rational use of sport as an adjuvant in the treatment of addiction.” (PSYCHOACTIVE –29 OCTOBER 2017).
In order to support deviant behaviour, it is not only sociological, but also chemical, and sport plays a fundamental role in this.
Among bodies for social advancement (associations, sports clubs…) and ambassadors (professionals, Olympic and sports champions of various kinds) there are many realities that embrace this project having understood the centrality of the problem in question.