Sex and drugs have been in a lasting relationship for a long time. One risky behavior often leads to another, and both sex and drug addiction can be emotional conditions. With drugs as with intimate contact, a person is chasing that good, high feeling. Certain substances, such as ecstasy and cocaine, are even known for their effect on sex. Cocaine, in particular, has the reputation of enhancing performance, though such results are short-lived. Over time, the opposite will occur, and sexual function will become vastly decreased instead.
The Drug is the Primary Relationship
One danger of having a sexual partner who is an active addict is that the drug will always be uppermost in the addict’s mind. Often, the erratic behavior displayed by many who engage in substance use will drive away those around them. As a result, an addict is likely to have many sexual partners, and if protection is not involved, each new partner can be exposed to the risk of sexually transmitted disease. Sometimes, the erratic behavior and need for drugs can result in either using or becoming a prostitute, often increasing the risk of disease even more.
What Diseases are Involved?
The HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s was very closely linked to drugs and sexual contact. In fact, there are only five ways to contact it; through sexual contact, injection drug use, pregnancy/childbirth/breastfeeding (an infected mother passing it to her child), occupational exposure, and through tainted blood transfusions. Other commonly contracted diseases include syphilis, genital ulcers, and Hepatitis B and C. [inline_cta_three]
What Groups Are Most Affected?
Research conducted over many years in New Zealand was published in 2013 in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviors. Researchers found that people with more sexual partners were more prone to risky behavior, which often included alcohol and drug use. The women in the study who had more than three partners between the ages of 18 and 20 were ten times more likely to develop substance use problems. For men, the numbers increased as well, but not as significantly. Multiple partners in those years showed them to be three times more likely to struggle with addiction.
Are There Other Concerns?
There is often a correlation between drug addiction and sexual addiction. In many cases, the person struggling manages to rid themselves of one addiction only to swap it for another. This is more likely to happen with sex addicts, who have been shown to “cross-use” crystal meth in order to have longer sexual encounters. Meth, however, has side effects including impotence and sleeplessness, so the user often ends up in a vicious circle of very risky behaviors including dependence on Viagra and sleeping pills to counteract the effects of the original addictions.
If you are currently in a relationship with an addict and are unsure of how to proceed or are looking for treatment yourself, contact us. Vertava Health can help you identify treatment plans that best suit the struggles in your situation.