During drug detoxification, we think of a treatment focusing on the mental, emotional, and behavioral aspects of the abuser. We are usually the only thing of treatment to get the person off drugs, the short-term goal, but substance use disorders are associated with long-term health effects as well.
The health of a person can vary depending on the type of drug, how much and how often it’s taken, and the person’s general health. Overall, the effects of drug abuse and dependence can be widespread. They can impact almost every system in the human body even physical.
Some physical health side effects of drug addiction may include:
- Weakened immune systems, leading to frequent colds or regular bouts of the flu
- Injuries sustained in accidents, many of which require a long rehabilitation
- Worsening of the symptoms of pre-existing illnesses, like diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis B or C
- Chronic and deliberating pain
- The onset of diseases and disorders directly caused by substance abuse, including liver disease, lung disease, arthritis, dementia, and certain types of cancers
Benefits of Physical Therapy for Addicts
After a person who was abusing drugs has been off them for a couple months or two, they start to think clearly but physically they are usually worn and have evidence of the abuse drugs have done to their bodies. They will see a decline in their physical, emotional, and psychological strength and resiliency, and will need all their resources to meet the immense challenges they face.
If they want to be a hundred percent recovered mentally and physically, and because of the decline in physical health that a drug or drinking problem can precipitate, physical therapy can be helpful during drug detoxification.
To have the best chance at recovery and to get the most out of treatment, one must regain good health in all dimensions – mental, emotional, and physical. The one that gets overlooked the most can have more of an impact than one would think – physical therapy. Physical therapy will not help with all the conditions relating to getting sober, but it can help with many and is associated with better outcomes for people who enter treatment for a substance use disorder.
When it comes to physical therapy we usually think of therapy to help someone to gain back range of motion from a slip and fall or a car accident, but there are five subspecialties of physical therapy, four of which could be relevant to people receiving treatment for alcohol or drug use disorders:
- Orthopedic – For those who have musculoskeletal conditions, which include problems affecting the joints, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Therapy is designed to restore flexibility and lost functioning.
- Geriatric – Elderly people often need specialized services to help deal with conditions related to aging. Therapy will focus on restoring mobility, reducing chronic pain, and improving overall conditioning and fitness.
- Neurological – This type of physical therapy is specifically tailored to help people who face physical challenges related to neurological disorders or brain injuries.
- Cardiopulmonary – Cardiovascular diseases and pulmonary disorders can limit physical activity. Physical therapy for such conditions introduces patients to activities designed to improve conditioning and endurance.
- Pediatric – This is a specialty devoted to the diverse therapeutic needs of children and adolescents.
When people abuse substances for long periods, they often lose flexibility, strength, and endurance due to long lengths of inactivity and physical neglect. Lack of exercise, poor diet, and the overall stress of alcohol and drug abuse on the body all contribute to their poor health, and they could also suffer from injuries from accidents during their active addiction which can make their situation more difficult.
Get the Help You Need
At Allure Detox, you learn to live pain-free with our effective recovery, which requires a comprehensive approach to care. Detox is the beginning of the journey to recovery and sobriety. Implementing physical therapy early in the recovery process helps patients learn how to safely and effectively manage their pain and care for their bodies. Alleviating pain also enables an individual to focus on their health and their treatment without any unnecessary distractions. So start healing today at Allure Detox and rebuild your life.