IN THIS MOMENT's CHRIS HOWORTH Reveals Opiate Addiction, Says He's Been Clean For Two Years
IN THIS MOMENT guitarist Chris Howorth recently revealed that he has been diagnosed with acute arthritis in his neck and shoulders, but vowed to “continue writing and performing” with the band. Howorth‘s diagnosis came less than two months after IN THIS MOMENT was forced to cancel its European tour due to what was described at the time as an injury to Howorth‘s neck.
The guitarist explained in an Instagram post that he woke up one day several weeks ago “in severe pain and unable to move my head in any direction; it felt like my neck was fused.” Believing that he had unknowingly hurt his neck while working the day before in the band storage unit, Howorth immediately sought medical attention. He added that he was “getting some mobility back” after four weeks of therapy.
During a brand new interview with the Texas radio station KBAT 99.9, Howorth opened up about how his need for pain management led to an addiction to opiates. He said (hear audio below): “I went through a period starting in probably 2008 on tour where I started to dabble with opiates just because of the pain in my neck. I would take one to help me with the pain after the show, and as everyone knows, one turns into two. I started taking them before the show, ’cause it would make me have a better show. And that went on for probably about three years, and I think I did a lot of overreaching and overdoing it and I was masking what was going on.”
He continued: “I’ve been clean now for about two years. And all the reality of what I’ve been doing to it came to a head over this [most recent] break [from touring]. And I had to basically go, ‘Oh my God! I can’t even turn my head any direction at all. What am I gonna do?’ And went in to specialists and stuff, and I’ve been going through a lot of therapy and medications. And I actually now have… compared to a normal person, it’s shockingly not a lot of range of movement, but compared to where I was, it’s actually really pretty good. I’m in a good spot right now. But I’m never gonna be able to do what I did before, whipping the dreads and cranking my neck. I have to kind of relearn how to perform on stage.”
Howorth also expressed hope that the recent death of iconic pop star Prince of an accidental self-administered overdose of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, and his own struggle will raise awareness of opioid abuse in our own backyard.
“There’s so much going on right now with opiates, you know, and I think everyone kind of has been hearing about it, especially with Prince,” the guitarist said. “It’s really dangerous and they’re so addictive and they feel really good. They make you not feel that pain, but the problem is they’re highly addictive and once you take one, you feel better. After taking one for a few days, one doesn’t make you feel better anymore, and then you need two, and then you need three. And there comes a point when you’re, like, ‘Oh, man. I can’t take this many.’ So you try not to take ’em anymore, and then you get physically sick — you feel nauseous and your legs ache and you’re in this weird pain. And the only thing that makes that go away is taking your opiates again. So it’s not even about the pain anymore; it’s about not feeling sick. It’s a horrible thing, man, and a lot of people are dealing with it. And I’m here to say you can stop, and you can stop on your own; you don’t have to go into rehab. You just have to get real with yourself and do it. I know it’s really hard, so I’m not trying to make it seem easy. It’s been hard for me.”
According to Chris, his addiction got so bad that “every time we’d go on tour, I’d have to figure out a way to get enough pills to able to do the tour. And it’s a horrible way to live. It’s much better now. [But] it’s a bummer that I did so much damage over the years and it caught up with me in this way and affected my band and our career a little bit here. It’s just a lesson, you know?”
Howorth co-founded IN THIS MOMENT with singer Maria Brink over a decade ago. The pair remain the band’s only original members.
Brink recently ruled out the possibility of IN THIS MOMENT touring with a replacement guitarist, calling Howorth “my partner, brother and one of my closest friends. I can’t bring myself to do this tour without him. It simply would not be IN THIS MOMENT.”
The band’s North American tour is scheduled to kick off on Friday (June 17) in Sioux City, Iowa. Howorth indicated that his condition would not affect the dates. IN THIS MOMENT will also be special guests later this summer on KORN and ROB ZOMBIE‘s co-headlining trek.