It is not uncommon for sexual addiction issues to lead to drug addiction, and vice versa. Individuals who are abusing drugs may engage in promiscuous behavior when they are under the influence of substances. This unhealthy dynamic only creates an association of drug use with sex, but also neural pathways become affected by both behaviors.
Drug Addiction and Sex Addiction
At Gentle Path at The Meadows, our sexual addiction treatment program can provide inpatient psychiatric care and substance detox in the acute care section of our unit, which has 24-hour monitoring by registered nurses and nursing staff experienced in psychiatric and detox issues.
The link between drug addiction and sexual addiction is further reinforced when people want to escape the emotional consequences of their actions. Men with sexual addiction have behavior that is compelled by a biochemical process, and when they reflect on their behavior in a sober light, feelings of guilt and remorse often cause them to feel devastated. To avoid those emotions or the feelings associated with their negative behavior, they will again engage in substance abuse or further negative sexual behavior.
Trauma is often the underlying issue involved in both drug addiction and sexual addiction. When an addict is unable to cope with their psychological issues in a healthy manner, they often turn to drugs and sex to relieve the burden.
Gentle Path at The Meadows works with our patients to help them recognize and understand this destructive cycle the role drug addiction plays in their sexual addiction issues.
Opiates and Sexual Addiction
Opiates are drugs that are typically prescribed for treating pain. Use of opiates may start as a harmless and voluntary act, but, in time it can develop into a compulsive and unstoppable habit. In the beginning, drug use minimizes emotional and physical pain. As prolonged drug use continues, it can develop into an addiction, severely impacting an individual’s brain chemistry.
Cocaine and Sexual Addiction
Cocaine is a strong stimulant that can leave users with intense feelings of happiness or agitation. It is also highly addictive and can cause serious physical damage to the brain and heart. For sex addicts, it can also increase their drive to act out and obsessively engage in sexual activities.
Meth and Sexual Addiction
Crystal meth (crystallized methamphetamine) is a highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system. Use of meth can lead to feelings of elation and excitement. It can also fuel a sex addict’s need to engage in risky and inappropriate sexual behaviors that they may not ordinarily engage in when sober.
Stimulant drugs like cocaine and meth activate the same part of the brain that sexual acting out does, causing those who engage in both of these behaviors to quickly, and often dangerously, lose control of the amount and frequency of use. Some individuals who abuse stimulants and act out sexually at the same time can lose track of hours, days, and sometimes weeks.
What are the effects of drug addiction?
The effects of drug addiction include:
- Diminished health
- Weakened immune system
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
- Liver damage or failure
- Seizures, strokes, and widespread brain damage
- Risk of domestic violence
- Medical problems
- Behavioral problems
- Impaired judgment
- Loss of self-control
- Estrangement of loved ones
Treatment for Sexual Addictions and Drug Addictions
At Gentle Path at The Meadows, our drug addiction treatment options range from detoxification to an intensive, inpatient psychotherapeutic program that addresses the symptoms and causes of addiction. Our expert staff is trained to help people overcome their sexual addictions and co-occurring drug addictions in a safe and nurturing environment.
Gentle Path at The Meadows is a Behavioral Health Inpatient Facility licensed for 28 beds dedicated only to those who suffer from sexual addictions and co-occurring issues. We offer the highest level of care dedicated exclusively to men suffering from sexual addictions and are accredited by The Joint Commission which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to safe, high-quality treatment. Patients can be assured they are receiving outstanding care at Gentle Path at The Meadows.