Similarities Between Drug and Sex Addiction


Sex and drug addiction are connected in that they both similarly affect the brain. A neurotransmitter called dopamine is influenced by these addictions and the reward system associated with it. If you use drugs, then there is a release of dopamine which causes pleasure to occur. You may become reliant on the drug in order to fulfil that need. The same concept is applied to sex addiction. Each sexual encounter causes a rush of endorphins in sex addicts, which leads them to seek out that feeling again at all costs. Thus, a vicious cycle takes shape without the addict even realising it until it is too late.

Similar to drug users, sex addicts form a dependency. They believe that they are in control of their impulses, but their actions do not back up this thought process. There are several key signs when it comes to dependence on sex. If you have any of them, then you need to seek inpatient or outpatient treatment immediately. Signs of sexual dependence include failing marriage, ruined friendships, and missing work. Other signs include avoiding important responsibilities in favour of sexual situations, and continuing to participate in sexual behaviour even when negative consequences occur. In addition to these problems, people who are dependent on sex often contract sexually transmitted diseases, or STD's.

A real correlation does exist between substance abuse and sexual addiction. Current studies show that alcohol abuse is the most common additional issue that sex addicts have, with an estimated 30-40% of people who are sex addicts using it. Marijuana abuse is the next most commonly used drug by sex addicts, with roughly 18-21.7% using it. Unfortunately, treating multiple addictions at once is complex in many ways.

Medical teams must analyse the patterns associated with the sexual behaviours as well as drug use, and they must find out how they relate. There are two main things t consider during this evaluation process. One is whether or not the 2 or more addictions are parallel or alternating. The second is whether the two addictions work together to cause a rapid escalation of behaviours.