Meth and sex addiction may be partners. Methamphetamines cause a temporary, euphoric high that also may lead to seemingly positive sexual side effects.
Many methamphetamine users report developing a voracious sexual appetite. This seemingly positive experience is when drug use and sexual activity become mentally intertwined. It can result in a person developing a cross-addiction.
Meth and Sex Addiction
Co-occurring disorders, such as meth and sex addictions, can develop together. Meth use and sex impact dopamine release and trigger your brain’s reward system. This fusion results in people thinking they can’t have one without the other.
It’s common for people to fuse substance use and other addictive behaviors. People often link drugs and alcohol with sexual behaviors.
When you have an addiction, you notice changes in your sexual desires and behaviors. You feel less inhibited. You’re also more likely to escalate your sexual patterns. This escalation is because your brain develops a tolerance to activities that previously pleased you.
Dopamine release and production encourage addictions. Dopamine is a neurochemical the brain releases when it perceives something pleasurable. Dopamine helps you remember things that feel good so you can do them again. Over time, as people continue to use meth and have sex, the brain becomes less receptive to the “pleasure chemical.” The brain then produces less dopamine and shuts down the dopamine neuroreceptors. You then need more of the drug or more intense sexual activities to get the same high.
When two behaviors become mentally fused, you usually need to stop them both completely.
Meth and Porn Addiction
People also often link meth use with porn addiction. Porn usage creates the same surge of neurochemicals as sex. It forces the brain to think you’re engaging in sexual activities with the people you’re watching.
Therefore, watching porn and using meth can become mentally fused as well. A person who uses meth feels more confident, empowered, and sexually fueled. Masturbation and porn usage increase as you become more resistant to the dopamine produced by your brain. Then watching porn and meth usage become mentally fused, so you can’t do one without the other.
The Side Effect of Meth Use
When you snort, smoke, or inject meth, you experience an initial high that you’ll want to recreate. Meth has an impact on your body that can have lifelong consequences.
Some of the side effects of methamphetamine use include:
- Prolonged Hyperactivity. Meth is a form of synthetic adrenaline. Your body produces adrenaline to react to stress. The hormone gives you a burst of energy when you’re in danger. It allows you to escape from a situation and keeps you hyper-aware of your surroundings. Meth usage creates a prolonged hyperactive feeling in your body.
- Feelings of Euphoria. Meth induces feelings of euphoria, which makes you want to use it again. It also can cause you to feel emotionally blunted. It can become a way to escape reality temporarily.
- Obsessive Drive. Meth can help you focus. Some people use meth because it helps them study or work longer. A dependence on meth to focus can result in obsessions.
Health Concerns Related to Meth Use
Meth also has prolonged and sometimes lifelong negative impacts on your physical, mental, and sexual health.
Some of the health concerns related to meth use include:
- Cardiac and Blood Pressure Problems. Prolonged meth use can cause permanent damage to the blood vessels in your heart and brain. This damage can leave you exposed to high blood pressure, which can cause heart attacks and strokes.
- Insomnia. Since meth is an artificial energy resource, some users also find they cannot sleep. Insomnia continues, even after they stop using meth. Users report being able to stay awake for days, sometimes even weeks at a time. Sometimes the inability to sleep results in meth users taking other drugs to rest.
- Paranoia. Since meth is an artificial surge of adrenaline, people who use it become hyper-aware of their surroundings. Using meth can lead to hallucinations, extreme excitability, and even psychosis. You may perceive threats and dangers that are not present, leaving you feeling paranoid.
- Increased Risk of STDs. People addicted to meth and sex have an increased risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or infection. This increased risk is because people who use meth are more likely to engage in unprotected sex with strangers or share needles.
- Lack of Pleasure. Eventually, a person who uses meth may find that they cannot experience any pleasure in their life. This inability to feel enjoyment is called “anhedonia.” It occurs when someone exhausts their dopamine levels. Anhedonia can last for more than a year after a person stops their addictive patterns. It takes that much time for the brain to normalize.
How BAI Can Help
To recover from cross addictions, such as meth and sex addiction or porn and meth addiction, you have to treat both at the root cause. Trauma likely is at the heart of both addictions. At Begin Again Institute, we help you address the trauma that resulted in your addictions. We can provide you with a unique, safe space to help you recover from your addictions and create a clear path toward a sober and secure future.
Due to the nature of Begin Again Institute being a two-week intensive for intimacy disorders, our program is only appropriate for clients who are stable in all other substance use and mental health disorders. If you are looking for a program to help with co-occurring issues, you may be a fit for our 28-day residential program in Nashville, Tennessee. Call our admissions team to learn more at 720.702.4608