Sex addiction is one of the many process addictions. Like other process addictions, sex addiction can be co-occuring with substance abuse disorders.

Cognitive Behavioral TherapyNew Hope Recovery Center is pleased to offer a new 8 week closed group for gay and bisexual men affected by cross addictions.

For those struggling with multiple addictions, sexual compulsivity, relationships issues and/or trauma, this group will provide tools to process shame, fear and anxiety and will offer insights into the barriers that can keep someone stuck.

This confidential closed 8 week group will meet Tuesday evenings 6pm-8pm from October 25, 2016 to December 13, 2016.

Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 773-883-3916 or info@new-hope-recovery.com for more information and to register for the group.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

New Hope Recovery Center is located in Chicago and offers individualized alcohol and drug addiction treatment in a loving supportive environment.  The New Hope with Pride Program focuses on the needs of LGBTQIA individuals.  Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 888-707- 4673 (HOPE).

Gay Men’s Partner Therapy Groupgay partner therapy

For Partners of Men Affected by an Addiction

8 week Program beginning April 7, 2015

Are you in a relationship that is impacted by multiple addictions, sexual compulsivity or sex addiction?

New Hope Recovery Center offers this therapeutic program for individuals who are in a relationship controlled by addiction.  It is an opportunity for partners to share and explore their own experience of uncertainty and fear, as well as hope for their current relationship.

  • Gain effective recovery tools for personal empowerment
  • Better understand the process of addiction and its impact on the relationship
  • Learn to set boundaries to improve self-care
  • Discover how your life reached this overwhelming point
  • Enjoy a small group setting for enhanced interactive exploration and self-discovery

What?  Confidential 8 week Partner Therapy Program

When?  Tuesday Evenings from 6-8pm beginning April 7, 2105

Where?  New Hope Recovery Center

2835 N. Sheffield Ave., Suite #308, Chicago IL 60657

Call 773.883.3544 or email greg@new-hope-recovery.com to participate

Limited Availability

 

New Hope Recovery Center Is Pleased to Announce Gay and Bisexual Men's Therapy Program For Multiple Addictionsgay addiction sex addiction

Are you facing issues with multiple addictions, sexual compulsivity/addiction, and/or complex trauma? Join Jeff Zacharias, LCSW, CSAT, CAADC for this Confidential 8-week closed therapy group for Gay and Bisexual Men.  Meets Tuesday evenings 6pm-8pm March 3 – April 21, 2015.

  •  Program includes individual assessment testing (SDI and PTSI-R)
  •  Confidential individual therapy session analyzing test results
  •  Weekly meetings in small group setting
  •  Program based on Dr. Carnes’ “Facing the Shadow” Workbook

Participants will gain:

  • Recovery strategies for sobriety and self care
  • Tools to deal with shame, fear and anxiety
  • Insight into the interaction of multiple addictions

 Call 773-883-3916 prior to February 27, 2015 to participate

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

New Hope Recovery Center, located in Chicago, offers individualized alcohol and drug addiction treatment in a loving supportive environment.  Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 888-707- 4673 (HOPE).

What is Love Addictionlove addiction

Love addiction is a process addiction that affects both men and women.  The love addict is addicted to the feeling of being in love. Many who are love addicted do not realize that they are.  Sex, love and relationships are natural human behaviors.  However, those affected by love addiction take these feelings and subsequent behaviors to very unhealthy and destructive extremes.

The Pattern of Love Addiction

The typical pattern of a love addict is to fall quickly (sometimes instantaneously) in love with a person without really knowing him/her.  Because they do not really know this person, they fall in love with their idea of the person, who they frequently see as “perfect”.  The love addict is in a constant search for the “right” person, who they believe will complete him/her and eradicate feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and emptiness.  A common core belief of the love addict is that only the unconditional love of this perfect person can bring happiness, and that without that person and that happiness, life is not worth living.

The Brain in “Love”

According to many researchers such as Stanton Peele and Pia Mellody, falling in love causes a chemical reaction in our brains and stimulates the reward system in much the same way cocaine or heroin does.  The love addict, after experiencing the “highs” that these chemicals cause, becomes dependent on that high and will begin to chase it.

Love Addicts and Love Avoidants

Love addicts tend to be attracted to those who are known as “love avoidants”.  Love avoidants are people who are deeply fearful of long term commitment and emotional intimacy.  Both the love addict (dependent) and the love avoidant are currently incapable of healthy, intimate relationships, and so each is attracted to the other as a way to escape reality.  A love addict will often say that he/she really wants an truly intimate and mutually satisfying relationship with another person, however, there are many underlying psychological issues that prevent this from happening and actually cause the person to subconsciously destroy his/her relationships through the constant need for reassurance, dependent behavior and emotional intensity.

Like drug or alcohol addiction, untreated love addiction is a progressive disease that brings increasingly severe consequences.  Love addicts have a deep-seated fear of ending up alone and so they will often stay in relationships that are abusive or otherwise destructive and unhealthy.  A love addict will often go outside of a committed relationship in a compulsive attempt to chase down the high that he/she craves so intensely.

Love Addiction Withdrawal

When a relationship ends, the love addict will most often go into a withdrawal phase that can render him/her incapable of participating in everyday life.  This can result in an inability to work, take care of children, and complete activities of daily living.  It is also not uncommon for a love addict to become suicidal (and in rarer cases homicidal) upon the loss of a relationship or love interest.  There is a propensity to cope with the withdrawal symptoms using drugs and/or alcohol, which lead to further problems.

Help for Love Addiction

Like the chemical addictions, there is evidence-based treatment for love addiction available, despite the fact that mental health professionals still have not agreed on a universal definition for the disorder, and it is not considered an addiction or a behavioral disorder per the DSM-V.  There are several levels of treatment for love addiction, including trauma-focused residential programs, intensive outpatient programs, individual therapy with clinicians trained in treating sex and love addiction, and group therapy.  Additionally, many love addicts achieve long term recovery in the 12-step program known as Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA).  The goal in recovery for love addiction is to treat the underlying psychological pathology and gain an understanding of healthy, non-addictive love.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

New Hope Recovery Center is located in Chicago and offers individualized alcohol and drug addiction treatment in a loving supportive environment.  Contact New Hope Recovery Center at 888-707- 4673 (HOPE).

 

Sex addiction is a term that’s becoming more and more prevalent in all aspects of the addiction community.  A spirited debate as to whether there’s even such a thing as sexual addiction has been developing for some time now. “People can’t be addicted to sex – it’s just what people do” is often heard, while on the other hand, there are people that apply the same definition of addiction to alcohol and/or drugs to that of sex.  There’s no way to deny that someone who has difficulty controlling their sexual urges, behaviors and/or thoughts will see a progression of their symptoms leading to negative consequences in their lives.  For sex addicts, there are levels to the severity of the addiction and these are a good indication of the type of treatment that is needed. There are three levels of sex addiction.

Level One:  Some of the behaviors listed may exist in someone without a sex addiction, but when acted upon compulsively, is considered level one of sex addiction. There’s no doubt that these can be devastating when done compulsively.

Chronic Masturbation

Affairs, chronic infidelity, love and romance addiction

Sexual relationships with multiple partners

Pornography use and collection (with or without masturbation)

Phone sex, cybersex

Anonymous sex

Going to strip clubs

 

Level Two:  A common theme among these behaviors listed are that of someone being victimized.  There are also legal consequences to these actions which is a primary difference between Level One and Level Two behaviors.

Prostitution

Public sex – bathrooms, parks, etc.

Voyeurism – online or live

Exhibitionism

Frotteurism

Stalking behaviors

Sexual harassment

 

Level Three:  These are behaviors in which there are significant boundary violations culturally and legally.

Rape

Child molestation

Obtaining/viewing child pornography

Obtaining/viewing rape/snuff pornography

Sexual abuse of older or dependent persons

Incest

Professional boundary violations (clergy, therapists, teachers, doctors)

Want more information about sex or love addiction? Check out our Journal for related articles or see below: 

Sex, Love and Relationship Addiction  Love and relationship addiction are part of the behavioral or process addictions.  Like its cousins, food addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction, shopping and spending addiction, love addiction describes a set of behaviors and emotions that slowly progress and become unmanageable, often leaving an affected person depressed and suicidal.  In a society that glorifies love and romance, it is often difficult to know when one has crossed the line and is trapped in the undertow of this subtle but damaging process addiction.

Warning Signs of Sex Addiction Are you wondering if you or a loved one is addicted to sex?  It is not always easy to determine what are healthy sexual behaviors and what constitutes sexual addiction or obsession.  The following are warning signs that could suggest sexual addiction.  Any one of these is not necessarily indicative of an addiction, however the more that apply show a greater possibility of sex addiction.
Stay tuned to learn about the 10 types of sex addiction. Sex addiction can be difficult to understand for some, but there are people who can help. If you or someone you know is engaging in these behaviors and would like to discuss treatment options, please call New Hope Recovery Center at 773-883-3916 and we will help in finding the proper treatment.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

Methamphetamine (meth or crystal meth) is considered one of the world’s most addictive drugs. Why is it so addictive?  To really understand the addictive power of crystal meth, it is helpful to understand the drug and how it works on the human brain and body.

What does Crystal Meth do?

Methamphetamine is a stimulant that creates incredibly positive, euphoric, pleasurable, alert feelings over a prolonged period of time (several hours). The user often feels that everything around them is interesting, exciting and wonderful (including the user). Users often feel overly self confident and less self-conscious than when they are in a sober state.

Crystal Meth creates a stimulant action by acting on nerves that secrete biogenic amines.  The main effects of crystal meth involve these amines:

  • Histamine is a neurotransmitter (neurotransmitters are chemicals that pass information from one brain cell to another) that mediates arousal and attention
  • Serotonin is a central nervous system (brain and spinal chord) neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, and sexuality
  • Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) is a neurotransmitter involved in sleep and wakefulness and attention; it is also a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands
  • Epinephrine (adrenaline) is another adrenal stress hormone and a neurotransmitter that stimulates the “fight or flight” response
  • Dopamine is a neurotransmitter involved in motivation, reward, addiction, reinforcement

When used, meth causes the body and brain to be flooded with these amines.  Because methamphetamine blocks the body’s ability to take in these biogenic amines, the amines stay in the body.  Normally, these amines are only used as an immediate trigger and then they are either stored or broken down.  This is the reason that meth lasts so long in the body.

In the heart, noradrenaline stimulates the heart to beat faster and stronger, increasing pulse and blood pressure. Body temperature and metabolism increases.  In the brain, the amines increase alertness, concentration, and energy.  They decrease appetite for food and increase sex drive.  They can also increase paranoia, cause hallucinations and lead to a fascination or compulsion with repetitively performing a specific task.

Meth Mouth is the commonly used name for the deterioration of the teeth and gums from meth use.  The chemicals in meth are very caustic and acidic.  In addition, methamphetamine causes the mouth to become very dry.  Normally, saliva protects teeth and gums from acids, but with decreased salvia, the acid attacks tooth enamel.  Furthermore, users often grind or clench their teeth, which weakens or wears down the teeth.

Crystal meth increases impulsiveness and impairs judgment.  It also heightens the user's desire for sex. For many users compulsive sexual behaviors occur. With the mixture of euphoric/pleasurable feelings and a false sense of self-confidence, this usually leads users to believe that  sex is better on meth. This creates a big problem when users try to stop using because they believe they won’t ever be able to enjoy sex again.

Meth Use

The stages of meth use are often stated to be:

  • The Rush – The initial surge of adrenaline and other amines into the body.  This tends to last about 20-30 minutes.
  • The High – The user feels aggressive, capable, wonderful.  This lasts for several hours.
  • Tweaking – The user may have gone on a binge and used meth for several days, but eventually the drug no longer produces any high because your body's natural supply has run out.  At this point users are said to be tweaking.  The user feels very empty and craves the drug.  They feel a loss of identity.  Intense itching is common:  the user feels as if there are bugs crawling under the skin. The user is often unable to sleep and yet feels exhausted.  Hallucinations are vivid.  The person may be hostile to self or others.
  • The Crash – The user may sleep for several days as the body shuts down to recover.
  • Withdrawal can happen slowly over several months.  (In addition to the more immediate withdrawals during tweaking and crashing, longer term withdrawal also occurs.)  The user becomes depressed, lacks energy and is unable to feel pleasure. The user craves meth and believes (incorrectly) that the only way to experience anything positive or even normal is by using meth.

Effects of Meth Abuse

It is often stated that the lows from a drug are in proportion to its highs.  Meth is no exception.  Meth users may feel wonderful for a time, but there is a price to be paid as the body tries to get back to a reasonable “normal”.

Because the body has been flooded with the amines, it believes it no longer needs to create them.  So it drastically decreases or even ceases to produce the amines naturally. The decrease in amine production lasts much longer than the time meth stays in the body. The longer and more intensely someone has used meth, the more the body’s ability to create the natural amines is affected.

Meth causes the body to release more than 10 times the normal levels of dopamine.  So users feel an incredible euphoria.  But the body believes that far too much dopamine exists, so it cuts production.  Because the body no longer produces its typical levels of dopamine, the lower levels of dopamine lead to feelings of sadness, unhappiness, and depression.    Epinephrine and norepinephrine cause the blood vessels to constrict.  Over time, blood ceases to flow to certain areas of the body.  This leads to lower levels of healing and skin tightening or pulling back (such as the gums pulling away from the teeth).

Meth also affects memory and coordination.  Studies have shown that meth may continue to affect the brain for over a year after last use.  Damage to blood vessels in the brain can lead to strokes.

Heart damage can occur after repeated meth use. Meth artificially stimulates and stresses the heart, permanent damage can result.  In addition, high blood pressure is common among former meth users.

So Why Is Meth So Addictive?

Methamphetamine produces a prolonged sense of well-being and energy.  Many meth users want to feel the initial high they first felt using meth and so reuse meth again, and again.  Also, in contrast to the high it produces, it also produces incredible lows, involving severe depression, fatigue, paranoia and irritability. Finally, because of its impact on the brain, meth causes intense craving for using more meth.  Many early meth users begin to use meth more often as they “chase” the first high they felt using meth.  (This is not attainable because the body adjusts to this initial high, and so it is very unlikely a user approaches the initial feelings attained on first use.)  After repeated uses, many users continue to use meth to avoid the psychological and physical pain caused during meth withdrawal, in effect fighting off the lows.  Finally, the cravings caused by meth use often pull former users back into using even after months or years of sobriety.  These three factors cause meth to be incredibly addictive.

Help for Crystal Meth Addiction

Recovery from crystal methamphetamine is possible. It is hard to do on your own.  There are Crystal Meth Anonymous meetings in many cities which are free of charge. In addition, many treatment centers have developed expertise in treating meth addiction.  New Hope Recovery Center has helped a large number of individuals who were addicted to crystal meth.  You can reach us at 888-707-4673 or info@new-hope-recovery.com.  Read more at www.new-hope-recovery.com.

Written By: New Hope Recovery Center

Want more information about Crystal Meth? Check out our Journal for related articles or see below:

Crystal Meth Abuse and Addiction Symptoms How can you tell someone is abusing or addicted to crystal methamphetamine?  Crystal Meth (also called crystal, ice, tina, glass, quartz, tweak, crank) is an extremely addictive stimulant.  It is made from extremely caustic chemicals, which cause damage to any users beyond its simulative effects.

Warning Signs for Crystal Meth Abuse Methamphetamine, also called crystal meth, is highly addictive.  It can be used by snorting, smoking or injecting.  The components of Meth are highly toxic and include: sodium hydroxide (lye), brake fluid, lithium from battery acid, lighter fluid, rubbing alcohol, drain cleaner, paint thinner, anhydrous ammonia, hydrochloric acid, red phosphorus lye, ether, iodine and ephedrine.

Crystal Meth and Gay Men – What You Need To Know Crystal methamphetamine has a long and storied history.  From its discovery in 1893 to World War II where it was used by Hitler to energize the German troops  to the 1960’s where it became commonly used among motorcycle gangs, crystal meth is highly addictive and wreaks havoc on whoever uses it. More recently, it has become problematic, in the rural areas of the United States as well as in the LGBT community, most notably with gay men.  Chicago has been hard hit by the crystal meth epidemic.

 

Perhaps the hardest part of drug or alcohol addiction treatment is actually getting there. The fears about entering an addiction treatment program or facility (rehab) can overpower the will to get sober and keep someone from getting the help they need. With so many unknowns involved, it’s not surprising many people initially decide against treatment for their addiction.

But how many of these fears are healthy and how many are irrational? It’s important to remember that fear or anxiousness surrounding addiction treatment and sobriety is normal and is something most people go through.

People have all sorts of fears about treatment that can range a variety of different questions.

  • Will I have to stop using/drinking forever?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Who can find out I went to treatment?
  • Will I be able to see my family?
  • Can I leave work to go to treatment?
  • Will I have to miss work to go to treatment?
  • How will addiction treatment impact my insurance?
  • How long will I be in treatment for?
  • What happens after rehab?

These are excellent questions.  But fear based on assuming certain answers can deter someone from getting help.  So get actual answers to these questions.  This will allow you to see what addiction treatment is like.

The best way to do this is to reach out to local treatment centers and ask them these questions directly. Most treatment teams have employees knowledgeable about almost all aspects of treatment.  Often you can make a confidential anonymous phone call or have an anonymous electronic chat to you’re your questions answered. Understand that the answers will vary based on different addiction treatment programs.  So be sure to contact more than one to make sure you find a treatment center that will fit for you and minimize your fears.

Another great way to get answers is to talk to others who have been through rehab. There is no better way of learning about something new than picking the brain of someone who has been there before. Have an honest conversation with someone who has been through it before, this can help alleviate your fears.

You can also ease some of your concerns and unknowns by doing do some research online.  Most treatment centers will have a frequent asked question page, or something comparable.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to change your life forever. If you’re thinking about going to treatment for an addiction, but are struggling with fears and unknowns surrounding it, do what you can to address those fears. Write down your fears down and questions and get answers.

New Hope Recovery Center would be happy to answer any of your questions.  Ideally we would love to answer the questions here, but because each person’s situation will be different, it is better if you contact us so we can fully understand your situation.  You can call us at 888-707-4673, email us at info@new-hope-recovery.com or chat with us online by visiting our website: www.new-hope-recovery.com.

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center

Want more information about seeking help? Check out our Journal for related articles or see below:

Intensive Outpatient: The New Standard? Drug addiction and alcoholism is a progressive disease, so there are many stages of the disease and many different levels of care in which you can treat them. Although the 28 day treatment programs are effective for the severe/chronic cases, Intensive Outpatient is a great alternative. Most people think of a 28 day treatment program when they think of rehab for alcoholism or some other substance addiction.

Residential Drug Rehab: The Inpatient Treatment Option: Finding the right drug and alcohol treatment center can be overwhelming with all the different types of programs available. With so many terms, acronyms and levels of care, many are overwhelmed before they even decide on a program. Residential Day Treatment, Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient, Inpatient are just a few of the more commons ones. The most well known, inpatient and residential is what has become synonymous when people think of “drug and alcohol rehab.”

Drug or Alcohol Addiction Rehab in Chicago: Seeking help for a drug or alcohol addiction is often an overwhelming and confusing process.  Deciding to get help is a huge step, but can often lead to feeling  overwhelmed wondering where to start.  With so many options (including self-help groups such as AA, NA, CA, CMA, etc.) available, it can seem like a daunting task.

How to Find the Best Treatment Center in Chicago: If you are seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one for the first time, searching the Internet can be extremely overwhelming. There are numerous treatment centers in Chicago, and even more throughout Illinois. Whether you are searching for yourself or a loved one, it is important to know the right questions to ask a drug and alcohol treatment center. It is also important to look at the needs of the individual and make sure you are preparing for long term care.

Insurance Coverage & Rehab – Will your insurance pay for treatment? The reason for having health insurance is to alleviate the large financial burden when dealing with any type of illness.  However, insurance providers are not forthcoming with all the information related to an individual with chemical dependency or substance abuse treatment needs. Insurance providers claim there are no “limits” on benefits for rehab, but all benefits are based on medical necessity. What often goes unstated, is the insurance provider is the sole entity determining what constitutes to be medically necessary.

When people abuse alcohol or drugs, they are taking risks with their health.  With Drug and Alcohol abuse it does not take long for damage to occur to one’s brain, body, and mind.  Along with the substance itself, there are risks and dangers associated with the lifestyle of substance abusers.  Certain lifestyle risks include financial, relationship, security, career, and overall personal health. People who take risks with their sexual health will likely come into contact with sexually transmitted diseases which can prove to be quite dangerous.

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is any disease transmitted by direct sexual contact. Common types of STDs include Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Genital Herpes, Syphilis, HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis.

Symptoms of STDs will depend on the type, but some of the most common symptoms people will experience include:

  • Burning sensation during urination
  • Discharge from the penis or rectum
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic Pain (menstrual like/female)
  • Testicular tenderness
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Warts at genital area
  • Itching at genital area

Due to the lifestyle, using addicts and alcoholics are more susceptible to STDs. There are a number of reasons for this, including when intoxicated, people are more likely to engage in unprotected sex. Alcohol/drugs lower inhibitions which may lead to promiscuity. Also, when intoxicated, physical symptoms will be less obvious and can easily be ignored. If on an Antibiotic to treat a STD, the use of substances may interfere with its effectiveness. Antibiotic compliance is less likely among substance abusers and the same goes for most medications.

Prevention is key, make sure to always use a condom for intercourse or dental dam for oral sex. Seek medical attention if any of the above symptoms are present. If unprotected sex has occurred, seek testing immediately. STD testing is simple, inexpensive or free, and confidential. Follow through with medical advice. (for example: repeat testing, full course of antibiotics, etc.)

If you or someone you love struggles with alcohol or drug abuse, seek help quickly. Alcoholism and Drug Addiction are diseases and gets worse over time. Seeking help or getting tested can be scary, but you don't need to do it alone. New Hope Recovery Center provides confidential assessments and treatment for substance abuse. We also have a nurse on staff who works closely with our Medical Director to handle medically related health concerns such as STDs. Contact New Hope Recovery Center by email or phone 773-883-3916.

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center

Love and relationship addiction are part of the behavioral or process addictions.  Like its cousins, food addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction, shopping and spending addiction, love addiction describes a set of behaviors and emotions that slowly progress and become unmanageable, often leaving an affected person depressed and suicidal.  In a society that glorifies love and romance, it is often difficult to know when one has crossed the line and is trapped in the undertow of this subtle but damaging process addiction.

Although sex and love addiction are often linked together, many experts agree that sex, romance and relationship addiction are actually three separate addictions.  While they share many of the same signs and symptoms, love and relationship addictions are often not as blatant and can be passed off as non-problematic, even by mental health professionals.  In addition, it is important to note that romance and relationship addiction are not the same as an addictive relationship, but rather romance and relationship addicts tend to form addictive relationships, as do other types of addicts.

Some of the hallmarks of love and romance addiction are as follows:

  1. Excessive neediness within relationships
  2. Excessive fantasizing about the object of one's affection (to the point of not being able to think of much else)
  3. Giving up one's own needs, opinions, desires and ideas in order to please the partner and out of fear of being emotionally abandoned
  4. Not being able to let go of a relationship or accept that it's over
  5. Placing physical attraction and/or sexual chemistry as a priority when considering a relationship with someone
  6. Feeling as if one's life is over and/or considering or attempting suicide when a relationship ends
  7. Inability to be alone, feeling uncomfortable in solitude or without a relationship
  8. Romantic intrigue, which is defined as flirting, innuendo or other manipulative behaviors designed to "hook" someone in
  9. Constantly pursuing and obsessing over emotionally unavailable people
  10. Neglecting family, friends, work or school because of a relationship

Many love addicts suffer from trauma or childhood abandonment issues.  Because these bonds were never properly formed or were prematurely cut off, an individual does not have a sense of secure attachment within him or herself and feels compelled to seek one out elsewhere.  The obsession with unavailable people is often a replaying of a familiar yet painful relationship within one's family of origin.  In addition, love and romance addicts have chosen dysfunctional relationship patterns as a "drug of choice" by which to blunt or dull boredom, psychological pain, depression, fears of abandonment and/or low self esteem.  Left untreated, like the chemical addictions, love and romance addiction will progress and worsen over time.  A preoccupation with fantasy leads to altogether real life consequences, such as the loss of meaningful relationships (both romantic and platonic), loss of job, financial difficulties and poor physical health.

Recovery from love and relationship addiction focuses on reclaiming one's sense of self, divorcing one's identity from his or her relationship status, defining healthy sexuality and learning how to cope with painful emotions.  Often a period of celibacy or abstaining from romantic relationships is necessary for a period of time in order to re-establish a healthy baseline of emotional functioning.  Many love and relationship addicts find a great deal of help with the use of a 12- Step program such as Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) or Codependents Anonymous (CODA).  Engaging in longer-term individual and group psychotherapy can also help tremendously with learning how to have healthy boundaries and confront one's fear of loss.

New Hope Recovery Center is a substance abuse treatment facility, but some people with an alcohol or drug addiction also suffer from some form of process addiction as well. We provide groups, counseling, and formulate treatment plans in order to address the process addictions while in treatment for the substance.

If you or someone you know struggles with a form of addiction, please call New Hope Recovery Center 773.883.3916 to talk to someone about what type of options there are for treatment. All calls and assessments are completely confidential. If you feel more comfortable emailing you may email us at info@new-hope-recovery.com.

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center

Are you wondering if you or a loved one is addicted to sex?  It is not always easy to determine what are healthy sexual behaviors and what constitutes sexual addiction or obsession.  Following are 19 warning signs that could suggest sexual addiction.  Any one of these is not necessarily indicative of an addiction, however the more that apply show a greater possibility of sex addiction.

How to tell if your partner or loved one is a sex addict?

It is sometimes difficult to tell if someone close to you has an addiction to sex. Addicts often hide their addictive behaviors. Here are some behaviors and warning signs of sex addiction:

  1. Stays up late watching TV or using the computer, particularly behind closed doors
  2. Looks at pornographic material: magazines, books, videos, suggestive catalogs or online
  3. Does not inform loved ones of their whereabouts, has unaccountable time
  4. Is demanding about sex, particularly about time and place
  5. Is controlling during sexual activity
  6. Has frequent mood swings before or after sex
  7. Often angry or defensive if someone discusses or shows concern about pornography (always has a good reason for viewing pornography)
  8. Does not show intimacy before, during and after sex
  9. Avoids socializing with others, especially those who could intimidate them
  10. Has a large number of calls to 800- or 900- toll-free numbers
  11. Frequently rents or downloads pornographic videos
  12. Seems to be preoccupied in public with everything (and everyone) around them, roaming eyes, cannot maintain eye contact
  13. Feels depressed
  14. Is increasingly dishonest
  15. Hides pornography at work or home
  16. Unexplained charges or use of money, carrying large amounts of cash
  17. Lacks close friends of the same sex (if heterosexual)
  18. Frequently uses sexual humor, is overly friendly or flirtatious
  19. Cannot tolerate being alone, tries to replace lost relationships with new ones as quickly as possible

Are you concerned YOU may have an addiction to sex?

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to gauge if you may have an addiction to sex:

1. Do you feel your sexual behavior is out of control?
2. Are aware of severe consequences if you continue your behaviors?
3. Do you feel unable to stop your behaviors, even knowing the consequences?
4. Do you continue destructive and/or high risk activities?  Have unsafe, dangerous or illegal sex?
5.  Do you use sexual fantasies or sexual activity to help cope with anxiety, difficult feelings or situations?
7. Do you find you need more of the sexual activities in order to experience the same level of enjoyment?
8. Do you suffer from intense mood swings before, during or after sexual activity?  (For example, feel excited then depressed or ashamed?)
9. Do you spend increased amounts of time planning, engaging in, regretting or recovering from sexual activities?
10. Have you missed or otherwise neglected important social, job or family activities because of your sexual behavior?

If you believe you or a loved one may have an addiction to sex or involving sexual behavior, there is help available.  Look for therapists who specialize in treating sexual addiction.  You can also contact New Hope Recovery Center at info@new-hope-recovery.com or 773-883-3916.

Written by: New Hope Recovery Center