The Effect of Drug Addiction on the Muscles

Drug addiction harms the body in many different ways. Several types of drugs have profound effects on the musculoskeletal system. These effects result from certain drugs’ long-term damage to the muscles, as well as drug withdrawal symptoms.

Drug Addiction Affects Your Mucles Greatly

Opioid withdrawal, in particular, is notorious for causing severe flu-like symptoms, including pain and spasms in the muscles. These symptoms typically set in six to 12 hours after the last use of opioids, which include heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers. Muscle pain and other symptoms usually peak 36-72 hours into withdrawal, but can last for a week or more; post-addiction withdrawal syndrome, commonly known as PAWS, can last for months.

Medications such as Suboxone greatly reduce a wide range of opioid withdrawal symptoms, but must be taken under medical supervision. Several other methods that can specifically help to alleviate muscle aches associated with drug withdrawal include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol or Advil.
  • Gentle stretching.
  • Massage.
  • Hot compresses.
  • Hot baths or saunas.
  • Staying hydrated.

Opioid addiction also causes muscle wasting, in which the muscles deteriorate and degenerate. In addition to opioids, a number of other drugs are detrimental to the muscles.

These Effects Include

  • Inhalants, such as solvents, aerosols, gases, and nitrites. Inhalant addiction causes low muscle tone and muscle wasting.
  • MDMA, or ecstasy. Muscle spasms and jaw clenching are a result of MDMA’s action on the motor neurons of the spinal cord, which signal the muscles to contract.
  • PCP, a synthetic hallucinogen. Poor coordination and muscle rigidity are common side effects.
  • Psilocybin, or hallucinogenic mushrooms. Psilocybin causes muscle weakness and ataxia, which is the inability to control voluntary muscle movements.
  • Rohypnol, a “date rape” drug, also known as roofies. Rohypnol causes impaired muscle control and loss of coordination.
  • Synthetic cathinones, commonly called bath salts. Muscle cramping and tension are painful side effects of bath salt addiction.

With treatment, the muscular damage caused by drugs can be arrested, and even reversed. If you or someone you love is abusing or addicted to drugs, seek help right away. Treatment is just a phone call away. You don’t have to suffer any longer.

The Lakehouse Treatment Center understands the worlds of active addiction and active recovery. Years of comprehensive experience have helped us build a unique program focused on changing lives and rebuilding families. From detox to sober living, The Lakehouse program focuses on learning how to live and have fun again- a treatment experience like no other. Call us anytime: 877.762.3707



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