Sexual issues, including performance anxiety, low libido and sexual addiction, can accompany almost any mental illness or addiction. Additionally, treatment for substance abuse and other mental health issues can result in sexual side effects that interfere with intimacy and partner relationships. APEX’s licensed sex therapist helps patients resolve their sexual issues to rebuild intimacy with loved ones and to promote positive sexual relationships.
Alcohol and drugs all contribute to sexual dysfunctions in addicts, but in different ways. Some drugs initially enhance sexual pleasure like cocaine, methamphetamines and alcohol. However, long-term abuse of these substances inescapably has a negative impact on the user’s sexual experiences because the chemicals in the brain change and the substance becomes the main source of pleasure.
On the other hand, it also happens that sexual issues are at the root of dependence and they existed in the person’s life before they started abusing alcohol or drugs. Sexual dysfunctions of any kind (problems with sexual desire, arousal, orgasm or pain) can very easily make people feel frustrated, embarrassed and inadequate. They could also be consequences of a sexual trauma which hasn’t been processed. These feelings and states make it easy for people prone to addictions to seek escape from unwanted feelings in alcohol and drugs.
Promiscuity and orgies are wide-spread in substance abusers because when people are high or drunk, their inhibitions are low. Former addicts often report waking up next to strangers with no recollection of the intercourse. This type of behavior compounds the problem, because it further closes the users off from intimacy.
Intimacy is crucial for patients in addiction recovery. Intimacy means there is trust between two people and they feel they do not have to face life alone. Being close to another human also means getting in touch with who you really are and reaching spiritual experiences that make us feel complete.
Feeling whole is the best cure for addiction. That’s why APEX Rehab includes dealing with sexual issues in addiction recovery as part of an integrative approach. Resolving sexual issues that are consequences or partial causes for the addiction means making the patient able to reconnect with their partners or to start positive, fulfilling sexual relationships after rehabilitation. It also contributes to preventing the patient from feeling depressed and possibly relapsing into old patterns.
Treating sexual issues in our San Diego alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs is performed through counseling, psychotherapy and sometimes, medication.
Sexual Issues in Recovery Therapy