The end of each movie includes several minutes of credits to acknowledge all the directors, producers, choreographers, artists and many others involved with the production. But take away one of those key roles, and the film isn’t a success. For example, without a conductor, there’s no musical score that can add a level of depth and emotion to the story arc.
Your immune system is sort of like one of these behind-the-scenes folks, working tirelessly to ensure your body succeeds in doing what it’s supposed to. But take your immune system away or weaken it somehow, and your body is no longer able to function properly.
Unfortunately, opioids – whether they were prescribed by a doctor or obtained illegally – can weaken your immune health and leave you vulnerable to bacteria, diseases and viruses like COVID-19.
How the Immune System Works
Your immune system is a vast network of cells, tissues, organs and molecules that work to protect your body from germs and bacteria. Given how much responsibility your immune system has, it’s broken up into two systems that work together to keep you healthy:
- The Innate Immune System is more of a general defense system against all types of bacteria, viruses and disease-causing microorganisms.
- The Adaptive Immune System, as the name suggests, adapts to specific bodily threats and triggers specific attacks against pathogens in the body that could make you sick.
Within these two systems are the various types of cells, tissues, organs and molecules, as referenced above. For example, the body is made up of proteins called antibodies that serve as signals to healthy cells like T Cells to attack threatening germs and bacterial cells. Other cells called B cells create and release specific types of antibodies to find viruses and bacteria, while dendritic cells actually identify and digest cancerous cells in the body.
Your body then has organs and molecules like your spleen, thymus gland and lymph nodes that all play their own roles in defending against germs, bacteria and viruses.
How Do Opioids Affect Immune System Function?
Needless to say, your immune system is designed to be a well-oiled machine. However, opioid abuse can severely stifle your ability to fight off illnesses and diseases because opioids are immunosuppressors. Put more simply, painkillers like morphine suppress the activity of white blood cells in the body that are needed to identify and destroy bacteria and virus cells.
Opioid abuse not only suppresses the effectiveness of immune system cells, it also makes it harder for more healthy cells to form. Without healthy cell formation in your spleen and across other parts of your body, there are less antibodies to identify dangerous cells and even fewer immune cells to fight off those dangerous ones. Unfortunately, opioid addiction also affects your immune health in indirect ways, too. When addicted, getting your hands on more opioids takes priority over everything else. That means key immune-healthy tasks like sleep, exercise and proper nutrition oftentimes get ignored.
Without proper amounts of sleep every night, your body has less energy and strength to fight off illnesses. Without proper exercise, your body doesn’t get the boost in white blood cell production that it needs to continue fighting infections. And finally, a lack of a proper diet means your body and mind isn’t getting the nutrients needed to function and keep your immune system going strong.
As opioid abuse directly breaks down your immune system from the inside and causes you to take part in self-destructive behaviors that are bad for your immune health, you’re left without your body’s natural defense system that protects you from colds, flus, viruses like COVID-19 and even cancers.
Opioid Addiction Treatment to Help Improve Your Immune Health
If you’re struggling with opioid addiction and fear you’ll contract COVID-19 or another deadly disease, addiction treatment is your best option for recovering from substance abuse and improving your immune health.
Your immune system needs time to recover, and treatment centers like Fountain Hills Recovery can help. We offer a continuum of care designed to help you break the cycle of addiction and relearn how to live without opioids again. Proper meals from our highly experienced chef, experiential treatments like yoga and recreational therapy and proper sleep in our luxury residences will give your immune system the proper care it needs to begin defending you again.
You can’t protect yourself from the illnesses and diseases of this world without overcoming opioid addiction, first. Let Fountain Hills Recovery help you get your immune health back on track, so you can live a healthy, fulfilling life again.
Start Your Recovery from Opioid Addiction Today
Fountain Hills Recovery is the top luxury addiction and mental health treatment center in Arizona because of our accredited continuum of care, premium amenities and compassionate, experienced staff. Our facilities and residences are cleaned and maintained, following proper CDC guidelines, to ensure your health and safety during your time with us.
Are you ready to overcome opioid addiction? Contact our expert staff today to learn more about our treatment approach and begin the admissions process.