Amphetamine Abuse Induced Disorders: Sexual Health
Amphetamine abuse is a serious problem in the United States and around the world. According to the National Institute of Health, about 4.7% of everyone 12 years of age or older has used methamphetamines at some point in their lifetimes, and 5.5% of those 26 years of age or older have used methamphetamine at some point in their lives. Among those ages 18 to 25, around .9% have used them within the past year. When one adds abuse of prescription amphetamine drugs (which are primarily used as ADD medications), these numbers increase even more.
One of the biggest problems associated with amphetamine drugs are the frequent and sometimes severe side-effects and disorders that can arise from their use. Everything from memory loss and insomnia to hallucinations, violent behavior, and even organ and neurological damage have been linked to amphetamine use and abuse. One aspect of side-effects that has garnered particular attention in recent years are the dangerous sexual side effects and disorders that can result from amphetamine abuse.
Amphetamine-Induced Sexual Dysfunction
There are a significant number of amphetamine users who consider the drug a sexual stimulant, or “aphrodisiac”. However, while it is true that amphetamines can increase sexual desire, they also cause significant sexual issues, including sexual dysfunction. This is due to a number of factors, however the two most prominent reasons for sexual dysfunction in amphetamine users is the reduced blood flow to sexual organs, as well as damage to the function of neurotransmitters in the individual’s brain and nervous system.
Sexual dysfunction can be either short or long-term, depending on a number of factors which include the severity and duration of abuse, the individual’s personal chemistry, and other lifestyle considerations such as nutrition.
Signs and Symptoms of Amphetamine-induced Sexual Disorders
The most obvious symptoms of amphetamine-induced sexual disorders come from the fact that the individual is either unwilling or unable to perform sexual acts in a way they typically would. The symptoms are often similar to those found in depressed individuals, and in fact depression and amphetamine abuse are often found together.
In the long-term an untreated amphetamine addiction can cause more severe problems, including a complete lack of sexual desire, shrinking or damage to the sexual organs, and an inability to reproduce safely, if at all.
The potential severity of sexual disorders related to amphetamine abuse make treatment particularly important.
Getting Help for Amphetamine Addiction
While amphetamine addiction can cause a number of serious sexual disorders, the good news is that it can be treated under the proper supervision. Amphetamine recovery often requires active monitoring by a professionally-trained staff, particularly because the withdrawal symptoms can be severe and potentially life-threatening. In addition, the desire to use amphetamines during the withdrawal period are particularly powerful, and active monitoring and counseling by a professional medical staff can help ensure that the individual does not relapse into addiction.
According to Recovery.org, amphetamine addicts that have sexual disorders as a side-effect often find that those disorders diminish or disappear completely over time. The amount of time varies on how soon the individual gets medical attention, the quality of the treatment they receive, and the individual’s willingness to stick to the recovery plan.
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