Treating Sex and Drug Addiction Together with David Fawcett

Dr. David Fawcett returns to the show today to talk with Rob about all the different ways that drug and sex addiction intersects, what exactly chem sex is and announces their new project Seeking Integrity, the first series of treatment environments that address both issues. David is a therapist, author of Lust, Men and Meth, and expert in methamphetamines and stimulants in sexual behavior. They also discuss the traditional challenges in treating drug and sex addictions together, the biological explanation of why the two fuse together, and how Seeking Integrity helps others within their connection with themselves.   TAKEAWAYS: [2:07] Over time, the behavior becomes fused so that the person is unable to separate the drug addiction from the sexual problem. When you do two things at the same time and dopamine is involved, it bonds the two things together much like a Pavlovian conditioned response. [3:56] When an addict experiences an uncomfortable emotion, they go to their “medicine” such as drugs or acting out sexually. As these two become combined, they have an even harder time recovering. [4:31] Seeking Integrity’s goal is to evolve and advance treatment for addicts of all kinds so they can heal long term. One of the challenges is that this topic is not addressed in drug and alcohol recovery centers, and the two are often treated separately.   [7:53] We still view sexual addiction as a moral issue rather than a medical issue. David finds it helpful to show scientifically based documentation such as brain scans to show that this is not always the case. [9:20] At Seeking Integrity they work on developing coping mechanisms to lower the chance of transferring one addiction to another. [11:21] The goal of treatment is to not be perfect right away, but to make strides towards being healthy. [13:19] The brain has to regenerate dopamine, and while the addict is recovering they may experience long periods of depression, which is why it’s important for them to work with a professional and realize that healing takes time. [17:38] A lot of addictics have a lot of trouble with intimacy, and much has to do with how they were raised and what they learned about it. [20:58] Addicts need to reset their brain chemistry so they can learn to be still, and develop relationships that foster connection, joy, and pleasure. [24:18] Finding connection is at the cornerstone of Seeking Integrity, as that is one of the strongest and most profoundly healing feelings any human can experience.   RESOURCES: Sex and Relationship Healing @RobWeissMSW Sex Addiction 101 Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency David Fawcett Lust, Men, and Meth: A Gay Man’s Guide to Sex and Recovery Seeking Integrity What’s Wrong With Addiction Treatment Sex, Love, and Addiction - David’s podcast QUOTES: “What fires together wires together.” “We as clinicians are under trained in how to talk about sex.” “The manifestation of shame may be different, but shame underlies all addictions.” “People can have different tastes, but when it’s paired with drug behavior it’s going to link.” “Love, intimacy, and connection are the deepest sources of healing.”

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