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Can Addiction Cause Sexual Dysfunction?

Posted: August 3, 2015 by in Care Center Drug Rehab

Most studies conducted by recovery center rehab, 31 percent of men encounter erectile dysfunction(ED). That number increases to over 50 percent for men over the age of 40, making this a prevalent problem. Sexual dysfunction also increases due to substance addiction. This sexual dysfunction is predominant in men who abuse alcohol and cocaine.

Sexual issues can start prematurely early in an individual’s life or may develop after a person previously had satisfying sexual prowess. It can surge gradually with partial success or happen suddenly as the complete inability to participate in one or more instances of sexual intercourse.

So what is sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction refers to a troubled sexual encounter from a person or couple along any stage of sexual activity, including arousal, pleasure, and orgasm. These are some symptoms of sexual dysfunction:

  • Decreased sexual desire – persistent decrease in one’s sex drive and activity can indicate a rise to marked distress or anxiety.
  • Sexual aversion disorder– constant avoidance and hate of all sexual genitalia contact leading to discernible stress
  • Erection Difficulties– obstinate, complete or partial failure to reach or maintain an erection until finishing the sexual activity.
  • Difficulty in reaching orgasm– After a normal period sexual arousal and excitement, there is an undeniable absence of orgasms.
  • Premature ejaculation – usual ejaculation preceding sexual stimulation. This happens before, during, or shortly after penetration which causes marked distress.

Causes of Sexual dysfunction

There are a lot of factors contributing to sexual dysfunction. The causes of sexual dysfunction can be psychological, physical, or both. An individual’s emotions are also a factor to consider. It can be an interpersonal problem such as marital or relationship problems, lack of trust and open communication between couple etc. Other personal psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, sexual fears or even sexual past trauma can hinder proper sexual performance. Physical factors that can cause sexual dysfunction are:

  • Drugs such as nicotine, alcohol, stimulants, narcotics, and some psychotherapeutic drugs,
  • An enlarged prostate gland
  • Chronic Diseases
  • Hormone deficiencies
  • Nerve damage
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Birth defects


Drug addiction can also cause sexual dysfunction through drug use itself or from interpersonal and emotional issues the addicts’ experience. For example, a substance user normally has a lot of shame, guilt, fear, and depression.  This emotional toll of addiction can cause sexual dysfunction.

Sexual dysfunction is common among people who have anxiety disorders. Lot of individuals with addictions believes that taking alcohol and drugs will alleviate some of the anxiety that typically causes sexual dysfunction. In reality, they don’t know that they are making it worse. Here are a list of drugs that can lead to sexual dysfunction:

  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine from smoking
  • Opiates (such as Oxycontin and Heroin)
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Amphetamines
  • Methadone
  • Barbiturates


Addicts, with sexual dysfunction, can overcome their problems once they quit abusing drugs and concentrate on their rehab therapy plan. They can also visit recovery center rehab if they have a problem in dealing addiction issues problems. Also, if they’re still having difficulty in overcoming their sexual dysfunction, they can visit a sex therapist.

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