Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sex or Opioids: Which is America's Biggest Addiction Problem?

Not all those accused of harassment can be called sex addicts. Addiction to sex as with alcohol is usually something that’s self-diagnosed. But when you read the lengths to which some of those accused have gone and the amount they have been willing to lose in order to gratify their habit, it’s reminiscent of the stories that you hear about heroin, and Oxycontin. Could the epidemic of sex addition be right up there with opioids?  Look at the list of politicians and celebrities who have recently gotten into trouble: Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, Kevin Spacey, James Levine, Matt 
Lauer, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Oreskes, Al Franken, Garrison Keillor, Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Roy Moore, Blake Farenthold and Trent Franks—to name a few. It seems inconceivable that one would put Al Franken and Garrison Keillor on any list, considering the comparatively innocent nature of their transgressions, but remember that you don’t have to be falling down drunk to have an alcohol habit. Like with alcohol, sex abuse leaves a path of destruction in its wake, hurting both the victims and the perpetrator who’s in thrall to fantasies which may eventually result in the loss of many things they hold dear. A key point is that a paraphilia or sexual perversion really creates a narrow palette and the excitement itself may derive from self-punishing behavior that violates social norms. This may, in fact, be  part of the story since many transgressors on the basis of their behavior seem to be involved in a compulsion in which there's some degree of self-undoing. It’s not surprising that many highly motived and successful people may have problems with addictions, though guilt and the desire to implode tend to be equal opportunity employers. Alcoholic and drug addictive behavior does great harm. That’s why part of the steps of AA and NA have to do with making amends. Saying that many of those who have been caught up in the recent spate of harassment are sick doesn’t discountenance the pain they have caused, it just points to the fact that causing pain to others and to one’s self go hand in hand once the spiral of addictive behavior has begun.

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