Bone Loss and Hard Drug Abuse

Hard drug abuse causes a wide variety of physical, psychological and physiological side effects, not the least of which is bone loss. Different illicit drugs cause specific and overall bone loss. Weight and bone maintenance is important with regard to immune resistance and reducing bone fracture. Hard drugs, such as methamphetamine, heroin, and morphine, can start to take effect quickly and can cause the most damage in the long run.

In a book on oral and maxillofacial pathology, a group of dentists identify a comprehensive set of treatments and prognoses, including the high erosion of the teeth due to methamphetamine abuse. Meth abuse is in direct correlation to fracturing of the tooth enamel, rotting and decay of the enamel and dentin, and overall tooth loss. Teeth turn black, erode down to tiny stubs or even down to the roots, and are very sensitive to the touch, much more to standard, everyday oral care.[1]

A study on osteopenia discusses heroin abuse and HIV-related bone loss in women. Osteopenia is a condition where the bone mineral density is lower than it should be. Osteopenia is a precursor to Osteoporosis, but it does not always lead to this disease. Osteoporosis is a severe lack of bone tissue, which results in breakable, porous bones. Heroin abuse is highly correlated with HIV development and fast progression. The study compared groups of women, both HIV-infected and non-infected, and used women with similar high risk factors, so as to judge the impact of HIV on osteopenia. The results determined that HIV is indeed a strong factor in loss of bone mineral density, particularly non-black women, underweight women and opiate abusing women. [2]

Morphine is used as a treatment to reduce pain associated with certain types of cancer, including metastatic bone cancer. In a study concentrating on bone loss and morphine treatment, it was found that morphine treatments actually increase spontaneous fracture, bone loss, pain, and osteolysis. Osteolysis is essentially dissolving of the bone, usually due to particulate disease. Particulate disease is where particles, probably tiny specks of plastic from a joint replacement, are released into the tissue, stirring up the immune system and eliciting inflammation which can result in bone loss. [3]

Clearly, hard drugs wreak a great deal of havoc on bones and inner bone tissue. It is important to remember these side effects even when taking drugs for pain relief, as this can turn into abuse as well. Drug testing is needed to determine the amount of substance within the body. Quality drug and alcohol testing equipment can be found at CMM Technology. Contact us today: +618-9204-2500.

1. Neville, Brad W. Oral & maxillofacial Pathology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 2002. Print.

2. “HIV Infection and Bone Mineral Density in Middle-Aged Women .” Oxford Journals | Medicine | Clinical Infectious Diseases. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2011.

3. “Morphine treatment accelerates sarcoma-induced bone pain, bone loss, and spontaneous fracture in a murine model of bone cancer.” Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2011.

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