Denver Substance Abuse Solutions
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DRUGS AND SEX--A MARRIAGE DOOMED TO DIVORCE
Given the right context, sex and drugs seem to go together like a horse and carriage. Any time in life, but particularly during adolescence, there is a special allure attached to all that is forbidden:  a six-pack of beer and the back seat of a car, a couple of joints and a rock concert in the middle of a rolling meadow. Most drugs tend to lower inhibitions, creating a context for pleasure. In reality, the coveted aphrodisiac is as elusive as the fountain of youth, and so-called recreational drugs are not very much fun. 

Alcohol:  From Revel to Drivel
Bacchus was the ancient god of wine, and his followers in ancient Greece and Rome got together regularly for Bacchanalian revelry  At first for women only and later attended by both sexes, these wild, secret sessions of drinking, sex and political conspiracy were held on a green hillside. These sessions undoubtedly reflected a normal human urge, but as they became more frequent, increasing from three yearly to five a month, it’s likely that the focus shifted from sex to drinking. 

Taken in moderation, alcohol seems to release inhibitions; at a blood alcohol level of .03, most moderate drinkers feel a mild euphoria. For higher alcohol levels and for chronic drinkers, however, the drug is a depressant, acting on nerve cells much as a surgical anesthetic does. Sex under the influence of liquor is about as hedonistic as a gourmet meal eaten while your mouth is still numb after a trip to the dentist. Clearly, a drunken male eventually becomes unable to perform sexually (which may explain why early Bacchanalian revels were limited to females), and the long-term effects are even more devastating.

Normal young men given alcohol for up to four weeks in a study showed a decreased production of testosterone and decreased levels of this male hormone in their blood stream. Excessive use of alcohol is one of the most frequent causes of impotence, and alcohol-related disorders, such as cirrhosis of the liver, also cause sexual dysfunction. 

Coke:  It’s Not the Real Thing
The associations between sex and cocaine can be so strong that users often find it hard to separate the two. Whether inhaled as powder or smoked as crack, cocaine quickly creates surges in levels of several of the brain’s neurotransmitters, particularly those involved in evoking pleasure and arousal. Adrenaline quickens the heart and breathing rate; dopamine enhances sensual pleasure. Normally, when dopamine is released, it is quickly reabsorbed, but the action of cocaine blocks the reabsorption, creating a flood of this neurochemical through the pathways of the brain and a release of hormones related to the sexual response.

In many individuals, an early sex and drug-related experience is a powerful part of the addiction process--an allure that brings them back to the drug again and again in a vain effort to reproduce the ever more elusive euphoria. As the body’s production cycles are altered, however, its natural supplies of dopamine become depleted. For the chronic user, a satisfying sexual experience becomes impossible to attain without the drug and harder to attain without it. Frantically chasing a memory, the cocaine or crack user quickly falls into sexual depression and impotence.

Even recovering addicts experience problems differentiating drugs and sex. A positive sexual experience often becomes a “trigger,” bringing back craving for the drug. As with alcohol, chronic abuse of cocaine eventually disables a male sexually. Because many female addicts exchange sex for drugs, they continue to engage in passive sex roles long after desire fades into a memory. “The thought of cocaine stimulates a woman sexually,” says one female addict, “but once I smoke crack, I don’t have a sex drive.” 
(Fred McTaggart, Ph.D.)
Would you like to regain confidence, happiness and balance in life?
Let’s turn challenge into opportunity.  Call Mark at (303) 730-3084 or email mark@denversubstanceabusesolutions.com.
Denver Substance Abuse Solutions serves the following cities in metro Denver, Colorado: Aurora Bowmar Castlewood Cherry Hills Village Columbine Valley Englewood Glendale Greenwood Village Centennial Littleton Sheridan Highlands Ranch Castle Rock Parker Larkspur Lakewood Golden Arvada Westminster Wheat Ridge Northglenn Thornton Broomfield Brighton Boulder and Brighton.

Denver Substance Abuse Solutions provides substance abuse evaluations, substance abuse therapy for alcohol and drug abuse, marriage counseling, couples therapy and psychotherapy for depression, anxiety and a wide variety of human concerns.
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