Sex and love addiction are two types of addiction that are often doubted by many people in society today. Not everyone thinks that these two types of addiction are real and some people believe that labeling them as an addiction wrongly justifies obsessive behavior. Is there really anything wrong with loving too much or having too much sex? When can someone be considered addicted to sex and love?
Just like being addicted to substances like drugs and alcohol, behavioral addictions such as love and sex addiction take place when a person engages in compulsive, uncontrollable behavior that already defies common logic or reasoning. These people participate in such acts even if they are aware that it will lead to negative consequences. They are unable to stop on their own and they feel powerless to do so.
What becomes more problematic is when these behavioral addictions are left untreated and they lead to other addictions such as substance abuse. While every situation is different and not all behavioral addictions result in substance addiction, there are instances when this happens.
Using drugs and alcohol to get a different kind of high
Just like drug addiction, when people are addicted to certain behaviors, they can develop a tolerance for it. For instance, those who are suffering from sex addiction continuously seek various ways to obtain pleasure. For many of these people addicted to sex, straightforward sexual acts are no longer enough so they engage in high-risk sexual activities.
While alcohol is probably one of the most common substances people use when engaging in sex, it is becoming more rampant for sex addicts to use drugs to heighten their pleasure. Some people use stimulants like meth and cocaine during sex, while some experiment with drugs like Adderall and Xanax during sex.
While this practice may start as just a way to increase their pleasure, many sex addicts do not realize that they are also opening themselves to the risk of being addicted to drugs and alcohol. There have been many cases wherein people addicted to sex also develop substance abuse problems. What is worse is when sex addicts use a combination of drugs like drug cocktails and speedballs, which can result in overdose or even death.
Using drugs and alcohol as an escape
Many people suffering from sex and love addiction often feel extreme emotional stress and pressure, especially if their behavior is already negatively affecting their family, career, and other aspects of their lives. The challenges in their personal relationships can be too difficult to handle for them and because they may not know how to properly deal with these issues, they turn to substance use as a way out.
When drugs and alcohol are used as a form of an escape, this only furthers the problem. While they may offer temporary relief, these will not erase the fact that the problem still exists. Yes, you may be able to forget momentarily, but what you are doing is putting yourself at risk of being addicted to another damaging habit.
The risk of substance addiction is also higher for people suffering from behavioral addictions. This is because they are already vulnerable and many suffer from mental health issues. This vulnerability works against them, making them spiral down faster into substance abuse.
Using drugs and substances to self-medicate
Admitting that you are addicted to sex or love is not an easy thing to do. Unlike drug addiction or alcoholism, which are already common in the United States, many people still do not believe that being addicted to love and sex is possible. This may be because the side effects of sex and love addiction do not have very identifiable physical manifestations like being drunk or high.
Most people with sex addiction issues often hide their compulsive behavior, while not everyone may see love addiction as a negative thing to have. There is a certain fear that people may laugh at you or judge you, while some people may think that you are making it all up.
This can become an obstacle for people to seek treatment. Instead of recognizing the problem and looking for help to treat the addiction, many people suffer privately and find ways to self-medicate. Doing this, however, can have harmful consequences.
When people try to self-medicate, they often try a variety of medications to address the cause of their addictions. They may use opioids, marijuana or anti-anxiety medications to help them feel better and divert their urges. Initially, the effects of these medications may seem like an effective method, but in the long run, it could create a dependency which can lead to substance abuse. Instead of fixing the original problem, it again creates an additional issue.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or behavioral addictions, help is available.
Contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today.