How Can People Stay Sober When Recovery Reveals Underlying Health Issues?

Sobriety is not the end of the road for people in recovery. It is the beginning, every day, of a new journey. Life is not about a magic solution that takes everything away. Repairing relationships, working on a career, focusing on positive health and positive thinking can all be part of a sober journey that is healing. When underlying health issues pop up, it can be surprising, and difficult, in myriad ways. Look at why people have issues pop up in recovery and find out how to get extra help.

When Issues Arise

Addiction is tricky because it needs to be a priority for those who struggle to get well but it hijacks the brain and body, making it hard to think about healing. Activities are usually focused on getting more drugs, so anything that contributes to that goal ends up being the focus. Self-care declines and becomes nearly non-existent after awhile. With illicit substances, people avoid interactions with healthcare providers and do not want to be discovered so other things go unnoticed, as well. This means:

  • Less prevention
  • Less wellness care in terms of dental, health, and mental health services
  • Missing other issues that are physically going on to avoid being ‘discovered’

Health issues may be hidden to the person using drugs or alcohol for many reasons. One of them is their focus on addiction is more important than their health most of the time. The immune system gets weak, making infection and illness more likely. It impacts the heart, lungs, and other areas of the body. Gastrointestinal issues are also common in early recovery. Recovery taxes the body so a person feels disoriented, confused, and has trouble concentrating. It is important to speak to professionals who can equip a person to navigate life without substances.

Chronic Pain

One surprising element for people in recovery is the realization they cannot manage pain the same way. Maybe new things emerge as they go along. Health issues are complex in recovery. Opioid medications are highly addictive and should not be taken lightly. It is important to work with a doctor to find non-opioid solutions for pain management. It means being transparent about the history of substance abuse and ensuring the best outcome to preserve sobriety.

How to Move Forward

Once treatment ends, people need to take steps to address health issues that arise. It means practicing diligence and self-care in going to appointments and seeking help for managing it all. This means:

  • Make an appointment with primary care provider (PCP) and let them know everything going on
  • Make sure insurance covers the things a person needs
  • Keep up mental health appointments or make new appointments as needed
  • See a dentist for appropriate care
  • Get a balanced diet and work on consuming nutritious meals cooked at home as much as possible
  • Seek support from loved ones in keeping up with taking care of the body, mind, and soul, including friends who can offer help staying accountable

Getting a complete continuum of care is key to finally feeling healthy in recovery. Having the right care is crucial for success and feeling like things are moving forward. Treatment is one step, but getting a care plan and professionals who support the journey will help make it feel like things are finally coming together and creating space to heal.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. We give you space to heal and find support in treatment, followed by aftercare plans that suit your individual needs. We address your situation holistically and make sure your mind and body are getting the help they need. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.