Drug Abuse Negativity Affects Sexual Performance


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For men and women everywhere, the news that drug abuse negatively affects sexual performance long-term, even after an extended amount of abstinence from the drug or drugs, is attention-catching.

Although previously thought to recover after a length of not using drugs and alcohol, it is now being proven that sexual performance can be impacted for a long time after substance abuse. A study of 905 men included 549 who had been diagnosed as addicted to either alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or several substances at the same time, but who had now been abstinent from all substances for an average of one year. The remaining 356 men were used as the control group.

The results found that the areas of sexual desire, sexual satisfaction, arousal, and orgasm were negatively impacted by the man’s previous substance abuse when compared with the 356 men who had not previously been addicted to drugs or alcohol.

What The Study Revealed:
That study’s implication: substance abuse and addiction at any time in a man’s life will continue having an adverse effect on his sexual performance. The study also explored the impact of each substance on sexual performance. The Journal of Sexual Medicine ran the results of the study, conducted at the University of Granada and Santo Tomas University in Colombia. The use of cocaine or the speed-ball technique, the combination of heroin and cocaine mixed together and injected as a single shot, was shown to greatly affect sexual pleasure possibilities while only slightly affecting sexual desire. During high use times, cocaine abusers and addicts actually have heightened sexual desire.

Sexual arousal is shown to be most affected by the use of, abuse of, and addiction to alcohol, and the ability to orgasm is most impaired by cocaine, heroin, alcohol, and speed-ball abuse. Mainly drugs that have an effect on serotonin production, release, and re uptake influence the four areas of sexual performance. Prescription drugs, and more specifically antidepressants, that work by increasing the level of serotonin in the body and brain, mimic the part of you that would naturally realize that it needs to release more serotonin. For whatever the reason at the time, the body or brain feels that an event in your life is in need of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, so the supply of the chemical is increased and you feel better. Your mood improves.

Drugs & Serotonin:
The same thing happens when you take a drug that does what the body and brain can normally do on its own. When there is a false, unnatural chemical tells your system to up the amount of serotonin available to you, the natural system does not know when it is needed. A break in this system causes the user to feel that only the drug that has been triggering the serotonin release can make them happy, and make them feel good. Without, it the individual’s mood feels extra low.

As the prescription drug, illegal drug, or alcohol elevates the user’s mood, its effects also seem to be triggering, or stimulating, other neurotransmitter receptors that cause a decrease in the libido, or sex drive, of that same user. So, not only is sexual performance at the time of intoxication impaired, but we now know that many areas of healthy sexual functioning are forever negatively influenced by drug and alcohol abuse.

Increased Desire:

It seems common knowledge that at the time of alcohol intoxication, or during a high from drug use, sexual desire is heightened. Drugs like ecstasy and cocaine are notorious for having an aphrodisiac impact, but now the very appeal of the drug is what will negatively affect sexual performance in the long-run.

What does this mean for the millions of men and women who have used and abused drugs and alcohol at some point in their lives? What can be done?