Human bodies are designed for self-sufficiency. It doesn’t need outside help to function, unless it becomes damaged or sick. Substance abuse adds an element to this well-oiled machine that complicates its intricate system.
These complications disrupt our moral standards, the manufacturing of brain chemicals and our personalities. These disruptions increase the likelihood of questionable decision-making, lackluster attention to personal safety and neglect of personal health, especially when under the influence.
Because of these things, STDs become a much greater risk for a person who is in active addiction.
Active Addiction and Substance Abuse: Corruption of Moral Judgment & Reward System
Dopamine is responsible for all of our favorite sensations; pleasure, bliss, joy, and more. The human brain produces dopamine all on its own when we do things like exercise, listen to music or attain goals. Drugs and alcohol also create dopamine; in fact, they rush the brain with a flood of excess dopamine that raises havoc in an otherwise harmonious body system.
Too much dopamine can be responsible for several health issues from high blood pressure to severe lack of motivation. Possibly, worst of all, prolonged excess dopamine tricks the brain into thinking that it doesn’t need to produce dopamine on its own anymore. This begins your reliance on the new source of dopamine: drugs or alcohol. This is often when a person feels they need the substance to feel normal on a daily basis, and quite a bit more when they are craving blissful feelings of pleasure and joy.
In active addiction, our reward system no longer relies on its old, healthy habits: we become attached to the short cut of popping a pill or throwing back a drink. Dopamine is a crucial component in the daily life of an active human being, so many addicted people find that they are willing to drop their moral standards in the interest of maintaining that ever-necessary source of dopamine. “Maybe it’s ok to take $20 from mom, she won’t even notice,” you might tell yourself, or, “No one will know if I have a drink on my lunch break.”
A person in active addiction may say to himself that these things justify these actions. However, if he weren’t in active addiction, he may feel differently about how acceptable these justifications are. His moral judgment and reward system have been corrupted. Learning the science behind drug and alcohol addictions can feel overwhelming, ABT has videos to help explain addiction as a disease and how substance abuse corrupts the brain.
We Know What STDs Are but Why Do People Not Care About Them in Active Addiction?
Lower inhibitions are the nature of the effects of drugs and alcohol. This carefree demeanor may feel positive in the moment, but it comes with significant consequences.
Important measures of protection fall out of priority, and low self-esteem often allows for promiscuity. Coupled with other effects of being drunk or high, like a high libido, or the qualities of an aphrodisiac in a consumed substance, addiction can prove to be disastrous for sexual health.
Substances That Influence Sexual Prowess vs. The Drug Seeking Behavior
It’s no secret that alcohol lowers inhibitions, but did you know that some drugs actually contain sex-inducing qualities? Even marijuana has been considered an aid in sexual aptitude as it allows each partner to relax, increases sensation, and enhances sex drives. Many people with esteem and/or self-confidence issues only feel comfortable with a partner while under the influence of a substance.
Some people may feel they are not in active addiction if they only drink or use before participating in social situations. But the unhealthy habit of being under the influence for every possible sexual encounter, indeed, may indicate active addiction.
Good News: Many STDs Have Treatment Plans That Can Be Handled in Recovery
There are many STDs that a sexually active person is at risk for. Some of them have no cures; some have no cures but are manageable. The good news is that many have treatments available that completely remedy the disease.
Syphilis, Chlamydia and a handful of others are bacterial and can be resolved with a round of antibiotics. However, some patients have recently experienced that a resistance to antibiotics have been developed with at least one STD in particular: Gonorrhea. HPV and Hepatitis sometimes even clear up on their own. The key to your best chance for recovery from STDs is early detection.
Drugs and alcohol cause a host of mental and physical health issues that may not even occur to a person in active addiction. Many of these health problems, including STDs, can be addressed in recovery to boost and maintain your overall health. The earlier these concerns are detected, the better the chances are for complete healing.
If you think it’s time to get a handle on your health, contact A Better Today. We are dedicated to healing your mind, soul, and body. We look forward to hearing from you.