Addiction often impacts people’s sexual health and functioning, both directly and indirectly. Using substances including alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine can cause erectile dysfunction in men, and many people of both sexes can find it difficult to reach orgasm when they are sober after spending much of their time under the influence over a long period of addiction.
Other sexual problems that can occur because of substance abuse include reduced sexual desire and problems with ejaculation. Sexual dysfunction related to drug and alcohol abuse is widespread and impacts most addicts at some point, with one study of alcohol abusers showing that 72 percent had some sort of sexual problem.
Under the influence of drugs, there can also be adverse sexual events that occur, such as sex that may not be consensual because of impairment or sexual assault that comes about because of impairment. These adverse events can cause further sexual dysfunction and difficulties around sex that need to be worked through during Colorado addiction recovery.
Does Sexual Functioning Improve With Sobriety?
Once you reach out for treatment and stop using drugs and alcohol, your sexual functioning can get better or worse depending on the situation, but many in recovery have ongoing problems that persist even after they stop using drugs and alcohol. One study of heroin users who treated their addiction with methadone for six months showed that 61 percent still had sexual dysfunction after that time period, compared to 69 percent before using methadone, for instance.
Along with addiction treatment, those who are experiencing sexual dysfunction may get specific counseling and treatment aimed at improving their functioning over time. The relationships between substance abuse, mental health, and sexual health are complex and involve both the body and the brain as well as the hormones and chemicals that may become imbalanced with substance abuse or the lack thereof.
Sex therapists are specifically trained to improve sexual health, functioning, and satisfaction. it is important to seek treatment and help for sexual dysfunction if sex is an important part of your life and experience. Being unsatisfied with your sex life can be a trigger for relapse back into substance abuse or addiction, along with other factors like mental health disorders that often accompany addiction or crop up during recovery.
Like other co-occurring issues including depression, sexual dysfunction should be addressed at the time of treatment in order to prevent it from causing a future relapse if it remains an unresolved issue. The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake offers comprehensive addiction treatment including co-occurring disorders, providing important Colorado addiction recovery resources.
If you need to talk with someone about issues that you are having pertaining to substance abuse or its aftermath, please do not hesitate. Contact us to learn about the recovery resources we offer. Help is available. Why not pick up the phone and call today?