Author: Shernide Delva
Utah has officially declared porn a public health crisis. Republican State Senator Todd Weiler has recognized the destructive, addictive nature of pornography and has recently introduced a resolution to the Utah legislature.
However, critics of the new legislature say it is based on exaggeration and morality rather than scientific evidence on the actual effects of pornography. Furthermore, many argue the senator’s resolution relies more on pseudoscience and has no place in governmental action.
Nonetheless, Weiler suggests that pornography exposure causes low-self-esteem in teens and leads to sexual behaviors. The bill he is pushing suggests that pornography represents a public health crisis.
The senator goes on to claim that pornography is responsible for:
- Damaging teens’ brains
- Affecting the state of marriage
- Increasing the rates of rape and sexual violence
- Causing a host of other social problems.
Weiler is passionate about the porn addiction problem. He has even called on the government of Utah to engage in research and prevention efforts to address this “epidemic.” Is porn responsible for these setbacks? Are these claims fact or fiction?
Digging a bit deeper, one can find a host of arguments for and against Weiler’s statements. One argument points to a massive study conducted in the United Kingdom which actually reveals that the effects of porn on teens were too insubstantial to actually make any true claims. In the study, which reviewed over 40,000 research articles, they found that pornography only explained less than 1% of negative behaviors in teens. The study concluded that blaming pornography for risky sexual behavior is more of a distraction than a solution. Rather, there should be a stronger focus on issues of education, poverty, substance use/mental health and family variables that play a more significant role.
Moving on to the next part of the legislation, Weiler states that pornography serves as a child’s first form of sex education and even forms their sexual templates in the long run. Unfortunately, this has been seen to be true in most cases. Often, a young person’s first exposure to sexuality is found to be through pornography.
However, many hope the legislation will push towards focusing on sex education efforts for youth in Utah, rather than the addiction in general. Sex education is a huge issue across the United States. Many states, like Utah, have an emphasis on abstinence-only sex education rather than exploring other more effective options. This could be a very significant setback.
Next question: Is pornography really a biological addiction?
One article reveals actually has been a wealth of research that correlates porn access to a reduction of sexual violence and sexual crimes. Still, other articles correlate porn with an increase in sexual violence. Science remains unsure if porn addiction is a true addiction.
Furthermore, the final terms of Weiler’s bill is strongly considered a conservative ideology. Weiler seems to believe that it is only men who watch porn and women who are abused by it. Throughout the resolution, it seems that Weiler’s main concern is that pornography reduces the desire for males to marry women and have children. However, studies show that many women view pornography as well.
According to several reports, Utah has the highest rates of pornography in the United States. Weiler believes that pornography is a “gateway” behavior that affects the brains of teenagers. However, in a strange chicken-egg debate, critics argue if whether pornography is the problem, or if underlying issues cause the increase in pornography use.
Whether you believe in porn addiction or not, addiction is a wide spectrum disorder, and it does not always have to be substance abuse. Other addictions are common and real. If you feel like you are struggling to overcome an addiction, the time is now to explore your treatment options. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
If you constantly compromise your values to be with someone, it just might be that you are experiencing love addiction or relationship addiction. A lot of times, people – especially those with low self-esteem – enter codependent relationships; relationships that involve a drug addicted person are much more likely to have some level of codependency. And this goes for any type of relationship: intimate partner, friend, family, coworker. Here are 12 signs that you’re addicted to your addicted loved one.
#1. You enable them
There are many different ways in which you could be enabling your addicted loved one. Maybe you make excuses for their drug using behaviors or cover for them with their place of employment when they’re either too sick to make it to work or they’ve ditched in order to go score. Many times, people in relationships with drug addicts end up becoming their number one enabler. But, there are ways in which you can support them without enabling them. The first step is setting healthy boundaries. The tricky part is maintaining those boundaries. Read more about it here.
#2. You can’t let go
You are constantly on-again-off-again with your drug addicted loved one. And, no matter how badly they “mess up” or hurt you (either physically or emotionally – see #4), you always take them back because they seem so sincere about changing their ways.
#3. You turn a blind eye
In other words, your denial runs just as deeply as theirs. You may have even seen them in the act of using drugs but you tell yourself it didn’t happen and you look the other way.
#4. You put up with their abuse
Someone in the grips of drug addiction in likely to become more and more volatile. It might be that they’ve become abusive towards you, whether it’s verbal, physical, emotional, or a combination of all three – and you just put up with it rather than leave.
#5. You make excuses
Perhaps others have noticed your addicted loved one’s erratic behavior and have begun to suspect that something is wrong. If you go around making excuses for them – “oh, they just lost a relative so they’re just acting out over grief” or maybe something like “s/he only drinks on the weekends,” then you are showing yet another sign that you’re addicted to your addicted loved one.
#6. You watch them use/allow them to use in your home
If you hang out with them while they’re getting high, you’re – to them – showing that you condone their behavior. Putting up with their drug use, right under your nose is yet another way that you are compromising yourself in order to hang on to this unhealthy relationship.
#7. You keep them from getting help, even when they express a desire to do so
A blatant sign that you’re addicted to your addicted loved one is that you talk them out of getting help or you create obstacles to them getting the help they need. It might be that you can’t bear the thought of them being away from you for 30 days or maybe, on some level, you like that they’re sick and that you’re the one they turn to in order to take care of them. This is a highly toxic situation.
#8. You bail them out, literally and figuratively
If you are constantly bailing out your loved one either from jail or sticky situations with others, then you are again enabling them and this is yet another way in which you are willing to go to any ends in order to cling to your relationship, no matter how dysfunctional it is.
#9. You need emotional intensity in order to feel alive
Maybe it’s that you somehow enjoy the fighting and the constant breaking up and getting back together. Whatever it is, you find that you thrive on this kind of drama.
#10. You feel “high” when the two of you get back together after a fight
Feeling a rush from the argument or the make up after it is yet another sign that you are a relationship or love addict or at least, that you are addicted to the relationship you have with a drug addict.
#11. You have considered using with your addicted loved one
Or you have actually used with them because you thought that it would somehow make you closer and make your bond with them tighter. This is a major red flag that you are treading in dangerous waters with this relationship.
#12. You’ve given them money or gotten drugs for them
If you give them money to get drugs – even if they say it’s for something else but, you know it’s to score – or you have actually gone out and gotten drugs for your addicted loved one (maybe they were too dope sick to do it themselves) then you are clearly enabling this person and more than likely it’s because you’re addicted to the addict in your life.
If you suspect that you have a loved one who is struggling with substance abuse or addiction or you know for a fact that someone you love is abusing drugs, it can be a difficult situation to handle by yourself. Call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 and speak with one of our Addiction Specialists. We are available 24/7 and can answer your questions about addiction, how to talk to someone who struggles, as well as about resources for getting help.
When it comes to those of us who have experienced addiction, sex and drugs have a lot in common. Alcohol and other drugs, as well as sex, and relationships can all be misused as a way to avoid dealing with painful emotions. Even though the actions with each can look very different on the outside, they often mask the same underlying emotional needs.
Being in recovery, we have to be aware of our thoughts, behaviors, and motives so that that unhealthy sexual behaviors and relationship patterns don’t develop and, if they do, we have to be able to take an honest look at what’s going on. This is important one, because unhealthy sexual behavior can undermine our recovery by distracting us from our program and two, because it can be a sign that any underlying problems, such as trauma, trust, or intimacy issues have not been fully resolved. In either case, we can be heading down a dangerous path to relapse.
Here are 7 signs sex is sabotaging your recovery.
1.) You focus more on sex than on your step work
The pursuit of a sexual partner is more important than your step work and overall recovery. This is a major red flag that you are allowing your desires to undermine your recovery.
2.) You lie about sex in inventory
Being dishonest about sex – or anything – just goes to show your lack of willingness to do the work. There’s a phrase you might have heard around the rooms: staying clean but living dirty. Basically, you can’t have one without the other. You’ve got to be willing to live the principles and a major one is honesty.
3.) You sleep around and engage in risky sexual behavior
If you feel like you’re unable to be alone, or you feel worthless or unloved when not you’re not in a relationship, or your self-esteem plummets when you’re suddenly single or have fewer sex partners than you used to, there’s a deeper issue at hand. Addiction and promiscuity often go hand in hand, and they can trigger one other.
4.) Revisiting a relationship with an old flame
Going back to old friends or romantic partners can trigger relapse, and besides, feeling compelled to be in a relationship at all times – even one with a history of failure – can be a sign of an you acting out. Remember, you have to be able to change people, places, and things if you are serious about your recovery.
5.) You hang out at bars in order to pick someone up
Again, “people, places, things…” When in recovery, it’s not really a great idea to hang out in places, such as bars, where the temptation to drink or use might (eventually) get the better of you. If you find that you are willing to compromise your safety for the mere possibility of hooking up, then you’re probably letting sex undermine your recovery.
6.) You skip meetings for sex
This is one of the more obvious signs that sex is sabotaging your recovery. If you’re prioritizing booty calls over meetings, then it’s time to take a good look at yourself and your motives.
7.) You sleep with new comers
Or do other sorts of things that go against your moral code and principles if there’s a possibility of getting booty.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, love addiction or sex addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Love addiction is a compulsive, chronic craving and pursuit of romantic love in an effort to get our sense of security and worth from another person. During infatuation we believe we have that security only to be disappointed and empty again once the intensity fades. The negative consequences can be severe and yet the love addict continues to hang on to the belief that true love will fix everything.
Signs You Are Addicted to Love: Early Experiences
The causes of love addiction are fairly easy to identify: inadequate or inconsistent nurturing, low self-esteem, absence of positive role models for committed relationships and indoctrination with cultural images of perfect romantic love and happily ever after endings – like those of Disney fairy tales.
Unfortunately, knowing why you are addicted to love isn’t much help. Having the information or insight cannot change the unconscious drive to attach yourself to another at all costs.
5 Signs You Are Addicted to Love: The Questions
Are you addicted to love? If you answer yes to 2 or more of the following questions, it’s time to examine the possibility that you are more enamored with the idea of love rather than being in love with someone in a genuine way.
1. Did you once think that if only someone loved you in that “special way” you would be happy for the rest of your life? Do you expect your lover to make you feel loved and lovable?
2. Have you ever tried to talk yourself into loving someone you weren’t particularly fond of because you needed the love NOW? Another way to ask it is: Have you felt the need to do a total makeover on your partner early on in your relationship rather than admit that he/she wasn’t right for you?
3. Have you stayed in a bad relationship or repeatedly returned to an ex-partner because you couldn’t stand to be alone?
4. When you are in a committed relationship do you wonder if you chose the RIGHT one or fantasize about a lover from your past, thinking you should have kept him or her and then you would be happier?
5. Are you able to take the time necessary to heal and do a thorough post mortem on a failed relationship before running out to find a new “friend” which quickly becomes a rebound lover?
Signs You Are Addicted to Love: The Ugly
For love addicts, love is all-consuming and obsessive; it’s inhibited and therefore lacks true intimacy. The love addict avoids risk or change and is manipulative – striking deals to keep their partner involved with them in some way. The person with love addiction is dependent and parasitic and demands their loved one’s devotion.
If you recognize any of these that you are addicted to love, there is help available in the form of therapy and support groups. Taking the time to look at your insecurities and putting in the work to spend time with yourself in order to cultivate your self-esteem will prepare for a healthy , happy relationship. Until then, though, it’s just like any other addiction – you will keep repeating the same patterns in your relationships and being in constant search of the “perfect” partner and relationship.
If you or a loved one is struggling with love addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
Why You Shouldn’t Start Romantic Relationships in Rehab: Human Nature
We are human, so it is natural for us to want to connect to others and possibly start romantic relationships. Romantic relationships fill our desires for human companionship. They are exciting, new, and unknown. Being in rehab can be hard and scary and having someone to fill that void seems desirable but it really isn’t. Starting a romantic relationship while in rehab defeats the purpose of why you’re here and it doesn’t help in your recovery.
Why You Shouldn’t Start Romantic Relationships in Rehab: Dopamine
While in rehab you are expected to be sober and that includes riding yourself of emotional “toxins”. Starting a romantic relationship can create dopamine highs that your brain is currently craving now that you’re drug-free In rehab you are to feel your pain, analyze your behaviors, and cut yourself off from friends and family for a while. You are to let go of your sense of comfort created by drugs and alcohol. This is not done to hurt you or make you feel unwanted or loved. You are wanted and loved by your family, friends, staff and fellow clients who are rooting for your recovery.
It’s not easy to ask someone to change their behavior from one day to the next. It takes time, and quite frankly that’s exactly why people come to rehab . Throughout the rehabilitation process one may find themselves slipping into the comfort of a romantic relationship. They may rationalize the behavior by saying that the point of drug rehab is to be sober from drugs and alcohol but not romantic relationships. It’s important to know that addiction causes changes in the brain that make us crave our drug of choice; that make use crave dopamine.
Why You Shouldn’t Start Romantic Relationships in Rehab: Rehab is for Changing Not Substituting
Some people simply pick up another habit (like fitness, food, traveling) in their recovery to remove themselves from their drug of choice. Anyway that a recovering addict can find happiness in another outlet is heavily pursued. There are even people who are addicted to love or have sex addictions and when they are being treated in rehab you better believe they are not there to start romantic relationships.
The scary part is some of those people who start romantic relationships in rehab don’t make it once they get out. This is not to say that the two are 100% correlated but it’s a sign of unwillingness to change and focus on ones recovery and not ones desires. If you focus on a romantic relationship while you are in rehab instead of getting sober you will end up with a romantic relationship with no sobriety. A romantic relationship without sobriety almost always leads to no romantic relationship at all. Then we’re left standing there with nothing once again.
Why You Shouldn’t Start Romantic Relationships in Rehab: Ulterior Motives
Focus: The biggest reason you shouldn’t start a romantic relationship in rehab is because you will lose focus on what is important. Believe it or not getting sober doesn’t have to be difficult, but adding any kind of distraction will make it difficult.
Selfishness: Let me tell you from my own experience that romantic relationships in rehab is most likely selfish. Each individual is looking to seek some sort of comfort out of the other person, some sort of distraction, some sort of relief from the pain instead of seeking to see what they can give. Seeking relationships for selfish reasons or to serve as distractions to underlying issues will get you nowhere. This ultimately will set any relationship to fail.
Mindset: When you are in rehab you are not in the right mindset. If you are currently in rehab or have a little bit of clean time you might be think I’m wrong. Come talk to me about a year or so into your recovery tell me how “sane” you were at 30, 60, 90 days sober. I have yet to meet a woman who got into a romantic relationship in rehab or in early sobriety who eventually got over a year of clean time and said “oh yeah that was totally a good idea” or said “I definitely was thinking straight.”
Some may be sicker than others but no one is totally thinking clearly when they have a little clean time or are in rehab. It is normal to not be thinking clearly but because it’s the only thinking we know – we don’t realize it isn’t clear until we have more clean time. So starting a romantic relationship in rehab with so little clean time is not a good idea because you are not totally you yet. I would say it took me about 9 months before I felt more like myself and the only way I know that is I stayed clean after nine months and continually looked back at my train of thought at 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 6 months and so on. After 9 months I could see it kind of leveled out.
Don’t get me wrong I am not trying to say anyone cannot start a romantic relationship in rehab. Anyone can do what they want to do. But I would be surprised if it was ever given as a good suggestion to help you with your sobriety to get in a relationship. Everyone makes their own choices and those choices are either going to make their journey in sobriety a little bit easier or harder. So it is up to you. Do you feel like dealing with the extra hurdle of a romantic relationship in rehab as well as trying to stay sober? Or would you rather wait; until you are healthy, have something to offer someone, can be selfless and are more stable?
Our advice is that in order to have a lasting and selfless relationship with someone you have to start by making a commitment to yourself. This is the time you can be selfish and not have to feel bad about it. Your recovery comes before anything, without it you have nothing.
If your loved one is in need of addiction treatment, please give us a call at 800-951-6135.