In This Moment recently had to cancel a European tour due to an injury sustained by guitarist Chris Howorth. A few days ago, we learned Howorth was diagnosed with acute arthritis in his neck and shoulders, but in a new interview, Howorth has opened up about how his condition led to an addiction to opioids.

Howorth’s neck and shoulders were so bad at one point that he could barely move his neck in any direction. Though we’ve just learned the severity of his arthritis, Howorth has been dealing with the pain for the better part of a decade. To compensate for the arthritis and Howorth’s serious headbanging, Howorth began to take painkillers after gigs to deal with his pain. However, this soon spiraled into an addiction.

Howorth shared his story exclusively with Muttley of Texas radio station KBAT 99.9 (a Loudwire Nights affiliate). “I went through a period starting probably in 2008 on tour where I started to dabble with [opioids] just because of the pain in my neck,” Howorth said. “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 because it would make me have a better show. 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. I’ve been clean now for about two years.”

He continued, “Every time we’d go on tour I’d have to figure out a way to find enough pills to do the tour. It’s a horrible way to live. It’s a bummer that I did so much damage over the years and it caught up with me in this way and effected my band and our career a little bit. It’s just a lesson, you know?”

Howorth cited our country’s current opiate / opioid epidemic and even the death of Prince as reasons to make his addiction public, wanting to encourage others to gather strength and kick their own habit.

Check out the full interview with In This Moment’s Chris Howorth in the video above. Howorth will be back onstage with In This Moment when they head out on their headlining Hell Pop North American tour featuring Hellyeah and more beginning June 17 in Iowa. The band will then act as support for Rob Zombie and Korn’s Return of the Dreads North American tour starting in July.

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