Many people believe that treatment for substance use disorders means that a person simply learns to discontinue the illicit use of a drug or alcohol. However, it is often much more complicated than that. Substance use may be linked to other process addictions such as sexual compulsion. Due to the fact that substance use disorders and process addictions feed each other, they should ideally be addressed at the same time. Methamphetamine addiction and sexual compulsion often go hand in hand.
According to Elements Behavioral Health 87% of male sex addicts are also addicted to a drug. Use of methamphetamines increases sex drive and can lead to obsessive sexual activity. It decreases inhibitions and increases energy levels of users so that sexual activity lasts longer and involves more risk. The use of methamphetamines to engage in sex increases the likelihood of contracting HIV and other STDs. It also increases the likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behavior where the safety of the participant takes a back seat to the compulsion and thrill.
It is thought that chemical and process addictions are the result of traumatic experiences and the subsequent belief system that these experiences create. Processing abuse, shame, and other adverse experiences is paramount to recovery. At AToN Center, we offer trauma therapy such as EMDR, DBT, CBT, ACT, holistic therapies and Biofeedback to address these traumatic experiences, learn coping mechanisms and facilitate corrective experiences.
The most difficult aspect of this work for a person struggling with methamphetamine addiction and sexual compulsion is to openly discuss these behavioral patterns for fear of judgment and ridicule. Behaviors exhibited while under the influence of meth are often a departure from the person’s value system and inspire a feeling of tremendous humiliation.
The courage and tenacity that recovery from methamphetamine abuse and sexual compulsion requires are not taken for granted at AToN Center. People willing to confront this co-occurring condition are brave and are treated with the utmost respect and positive regard from AToN clinicians and staff. We welcome all those who want to live by their own unique value system.
Kate Judd MS, CADC II
AToN Center 888-535-1516