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Addiction can impact many different areas of life. One of the often overlooked aspects of addiction recovery is the connection between addiction and sexual health. Fortunately, addiction recovery programs at Beaches Recovery can include sexual health in a comprehensive treatment plan. Clients can leave with a greater understanding of their own sexuality, their sexual health and how to move forward in a healthy and sober way.
When clients first enter into an addiction recovery program, sexual health is not often a priority. First, clients may want to end their chemical dependence on various substances and regain physical health. However, sexual health is part of that category. Unfortunately, a history of addiction may have led to some consequences that need to be recognized and treated as soon as possible.
For some men and women, sexual promiscuity was part of an addictive lifestyle. Sexual activity under the influence of drugs or alcohol may lead to sexual diseases which need medical attention.
In other cases, the use of certain substances may have caused more permanent problems that impede sexual health. Certain drugs can cause impotence in men, for example. This may require both treatment and therapy. In many instances, it also takes time and patience.
Clients who attend a mens or womens drug addiction rehab program are discouraged from finding new sexual partners while in the initial stages of recovery. Adding a new person to the mix can complicate things, and the focus should stay on sobriety for as long as possible. Some clients, however, have caring partners and spouses waiting for them at home. It is important to prepare for the connection between addiction and sexual health and how that might impact intimacy in the weeks and months to come.
To start, there may be changes in libido. Some clients used drugs or alcohol in order to increase their sexual activity. For others, drug abuse replaces sexual activity. Once sober, clients should expect changes to their overall desire.
It is also important to recognize that certain sexual preferences can change once a person is sober. It is crucial to note these changes and communicate them effectively to your partner. Communication is key in this area.
Addiction and sexual health often go hand in hand because many clients only participated in sexual activity while under the influence. Having sex while sober can feel completely different. Some individuals might associate sex with being high, but that association has to change in order to experience a healthy sex life.
It is also vital to address the role in sexual health in relapse prevention. Sex is often a stumbling block that leads to relapse. Clients may need to mentally prepare for the reality of sex without substance abuse before, during or after. Focusing on other aspects of the connection can be more satisfying in many ways.
Addiction and sexual health recovery may need to focus on self esteem. In recovery programs, both men and women can struggle with confidence. They might feel inadequate, or they might feel like burdens to their loved ones. Many individuals struggle with perfectionism, and that can also carry over to their sexual health.
That’s why finding ways to boost self esteem and body image can be critical. It helps clients feel better about themselves, which can lead to higher libido and a greater enjoyment of intimacy.
At Beaches Recovery, sexual health is one of many elements in the recovery program. Clients can expect a customized treatment plan that includes many different therapies and recovery strategies. A few of these therapies may include the following:
Addiction and sexual health are clearly connected, but sexual health isn’t always properly addressed in rehab. At Beaches Recovery in Jacksonville, Florida, sexual health is a part of the comprehensive healing process. If you are ready to take the next step toward health, sobriety and a truly fulfilling life, call 866-605-0532 today.