Addicts, and people who engage in harmful drug and alcohol abuse, are every day taking risks with their health. Their health is in jeopardy even before addictions take root, as many substances can be hazardous to the health from even one ingestion or consumption. As such, addicts and those abusing substances are much more likely than others to engage in other harmful behaviors that can damage their bodies, lives, and the lives of those around them.
Sexually transmitted diseases are one example of the increased likelihood of secondary problems affecting addicts as they go through life. Many addicts engage in reckless sexual behaviors while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and doing so repeatedly can open them up to issues related to sexually transmitted diseases, venereal diseases, and other physiological issues otherwise preventable.
Sexually transmitted diseases encompass a wide range of diseases and issues, from Chlamydia and gonorrhea, to genital herpes, genital warts, viral hepatitis, syphilis, and in a worse case scenario, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that can lead to AIDS and a certain death regardless of treatment level. STDs are highly transmittable, and many STDs can stay in the body for a considerable amount of time before symptoms become present, allowing the individual to possibly infect a wide range of other people before they realize they are carrying the disease.
Addicts are more susceptible to acquiring sexually transmitted diseases for a variety of reasons, but many times it is simply due to their reckless lifestyles, intoxication patterns, and the fact that people who are intoxicated are much more likely to make bad decisions that can include having unprotected sex leading to infection.
Furthermore, alcohol and drugs can tend to lower a person’s inhibitions, in turn making them more susceptible to promiscuity and engaging in more frequent and dangerous sexual behaviors. Addicts, too, due to their denial issues and general lack of personal responsibility, are much more likely to ignore the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases. Doing so can prove fatal in the worst-case scenario, and when treatment finally arrives, can make it more difficult to receive and useless in nature. House of Recovery take sit’s stand through education of these matters proactively.
In all, it can be a very tender discussion to have with addicts about sexually transmitted diseases. The stigma that exists with sexually transmitted diseases is significant, and due to ignorance or embarrassment, hosts of different people are likely to sweep these problems under the rug. These stigmas often lead to the unnecessary spread of sexually transmitted diseases simply due to this embarrassment and general lack of understanding.
As such, it is critical that addiction therapists and psychologists know the signs and symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases, and are trained to approach addicts sensitively and maturely about the problems, consequences, and whether seeing a doctor would be advisable.