When people think about arthritis, they don’t always think about the relationship is has with addiction and recovery. Arthritis is a term that focus on overall joint health, specifically some of the more debilitating aspects of the disease. Learn more about the role of addiction in joint health and how to support better bones in recovery.
Role of Substances in Joint Health
Individuals who struggle with substances often navigate health challenges on the other side. There is a greater likelihood for having issues with bone density, bone health, and joints as a result of addiction, depending on the person’s situation. The risk of abusing drugs and alcohol can increase health risks but less is discussed about the challenge of bone health and pain as a result of addiction. Here are just some of the issues people may face in recovery:
- Osteomyelitis: when a person uses drugs intravenously, they may develop infections, which can result in the destruction of bones over time
- Osteoporosis: this results from malnutrition in people who abuse drugs and alcohol. Bone density may decrease which results in developing this down the road
- Spine health: over time, the spine takes a beating from addiction. People who use central nervous system depressants, like opioids, may experience spinal issues and back pain
- Risky behavior: people with addiction take greater risks and are not as conscious of their choices and behaviors which impact bone health, especially with the neck, legs, and back. Drugs take a toll on the physical body in addition to natural age-related issues
Pain Meds and Arthritis
One of the other challenges people in recovery face is pain related to their addiction. Arthritis can be extremely painful for people and it may motivate them to use painkillers to keep the pain levels down. Pain control without the use of opioids or potentially addictive drugs can be difficult for some people. There is also the risk of substituting addictions. If a person with addiction drinks and is in recovery from alcohol, they may run the risk of becoming addicted to painkillers. The same goes for anyone in recovery because their body may respond to any drugs in the system as a reminder of what it felt like when using substances and instantly become attracted to using it more frequently. Some painkillers are also more addictive than others, making it important to draw up a good plan of care in recovery for pain relief. When seeking relief for bone-related pain or arthritis in recovery, it helps to work with a treatment team that understands the myriad needs you have. There are ways to help mitigate the pain for people in recovery without using opioids. A treating physician and mental health team may be able to help you navigate this journey of healing well.
Oceanfront is located near the beach in beautiful Laguna Beach, CA. Our focus is on helping you navigate recovery with the best resources and professionals available to support your journey of healing. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295