When Substance Abuse and Sex Addiction Are Linked

Many struggling with substance use also struggle with intimacy and sex. The link between drug addiction and sex addiction is sometimes referred to as “the love-hate connection” because the relationship between the two can be unpredictable. The bond between drug use and sexual behaviors often has a deep, underlying meaning.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, contact Right Step at 17135283709 to learn about our addiction treatment programs.

The Link Between Drug Addiction and Sex Addiction

While for some people, drug addiction causes low libido and issues with sex, for many, it can increase the rates of sex addiction. Many believe that drug abuse and sex addiction are linked to an individual’s need for an increased level of dopamine. The reward center in the brain is stimulated by substances, leading to a more intense experience than natural activities like sex can provide.

The use of drugs may lead to risky sexual behavior with an increased chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. This connection between substance abuse and unhealthy sexual activity could indicate that other underlying mental health issues need to be addressed. This is why dual diagnosis is essential.

Why do People Have Sex Addiction?

There are many reasons people may engage in addictive sexual behavior. They include:

  • The need to fill an emotional void
  • The desire to increase self-esteem
  • The use of sex as a way to cope with negative emotions
  • The need to exert control over someone else
  • Repeating traumatic situations to try to “control them,” such as a sexual assault or rape

Whether a person is struggling with drug addiction, alcohol abuse, or sex addiction, there is a treatment option.

Signs of Sex Addiction During Active Drug Addiction

When you or a loved one actively use drugs, it can be challenging to identify if sex addiction is also present. The signs of sex addiction may be different than drug use, while the underlying cause could be related.

The following are signs that someone might have an issue with sex addiction:

  • Hyper-sexuality — engaging in activities such as frequently visiting strip clubs, watching pornography excessively, engaging in frequent casual sex that harms their mental health, or paying sex workers for sexual behavior to the detriment of their relationships or finances
  • Compulsive behavior — engaging in sexual activities even though they may be unwanted
  • Risky behaviors — deciding to engage in dangerous sexual activities without protection or unprotected sex without STI and STD testing
  • Lack of boundaries — not respecting personal boundaries when it comes to sexual activity, such as pressuring a spouse, friend, or acquaintance into sexual activity, or themselves lacking boundaries and feeling pressured into sex
  • Relationship issues — neglecting relationships or withdrawing from social contact due to sexual activities

If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of sex and drug addiction, it could be a sign of an underlying cause. The best way to get help for both issues is through dual diagnosis treatment.

Treatment for Sex Addiction and Drug Addiction

When looking for programs, one thing to note is a Substance Abuse and Intimacy Disorders (SAID) program. This type of program aims to treat both substance abuse and sex addiction. The goal of these programs is to help individuals heal from the issues that led to the addiction and to help them develop healthier coping mechanisms for emotions.

Some other treatment modalities that can aid in recovery from substance use and sex addiction include the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to help identify and modify any thought patterns or behaviors that have contributed to addiction
  • Group therapy to build support and create a safe environment
  • Family therapy to work on reestablishing relationships
  • Integrative therapies such as yoga, mindfulness, art, and music therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment will help the individual address both issues simultaneously

The goal is to provide tools that can be used in everyday life after treatment. Recovery is possible with the proper treatment.

Treatment with Right Step

At Right Step, we understand the complicated relationship between drug addiction and sex addiction and provide treatment for both. The programs at Right Step focus on addressing the underlying causes of both addictions and providing you with the tools to live a healthier life. Our experienced team of counselors will work closely with you to create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Contact us today at 17135283709 to learn how to step into your new life.

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