Recent Study Finds Sex Partner And Drug Addiction Connection


A recent study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior tracked the development of nearly all of the people who were born in the years 1972 and 1973 in the New Zealand city of Dunedin. As they grew into young adulthood, the 1,037 study subjects were questioned about several topics, including their sexual partners and their patterns of drug and alcohol consumption. The researchers discovered an astonishing statistical disparity between men and women, with women being far more likely to develop a serious substance abuse problem than men when they had several sex partners. The breakdown was reported as being:
— Women with 2 or 3 sexual partners when they were between 18 and 20 years of age were found to be 10 times more likely to develop a drug or alcohol abuse problem by the time they reached the age of 21 than were their peers who had one sexual partner or none
— Women with 2 or 3 partners from the age of 21 to 25 were 7 times more likely to develop a substance addiction by the age of 26
— Women with 2 or 3 partners from the age of 26 to 31 were 18 times more at risk of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol by the age of 32
The men who were tracked in the study were also found to be more at risk of becoming alcoholics or drug addicts, but the increase was not nearly as great as it was for women. For example, men who had 2 or 3 sexual partners from the time they were aged 18 to 20 years old had a risk of addiction 3 times greater than their peers at age 21, while those who had more than this number of partners were still only 4 times as likely to develop a substance abuse disorder.
To get a better perspective of the size of this problem, consider the fact that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a quarter of women between 20 and 24 years of age and nearly a third of men that age admit to having had 2 or more sexual partners in the last year. This means that a very large percentage of young adults are greatly at risk of becoming addicts. While it may come as no shock to learn that people who have multiple sex partners are also more prone to becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol, it is surprising to see that the risk is so much greater for women than it is for men. One possible explanation for this disparity has to do with the fact that women typically face a larger cultural taboo against having multiple sexual partners; those who go ahead and do it anyway may be more likely to push the limits in other areas of life, such as by drinking heavily or using drugs.
Possible Explanations For The Relationship
The researchers pointed out that one thing that both sexual promiscuity and substance abuse have in common is impulsivity. People who are compelled by sudden impulses to engage in behavior which may not be entirely healthy for them are generally more likely to do things like sleep around or start using drugs. In that same vein, both behaviors are generally associated with people who can be categorized as being "risk takers." The researchers also acknowledged the fact that drug and alcohol use both make a person more likely to have casual sex, since they lower the individual's inhibitions.
The explanation which they preferred as being the most "intriguing," however, was that the people who were more at risk of becoming addicts ended up in that position as a result of self-medicating to reduce stress. Specifically, they pointed to the stress involved in entering and leaving multiple serious romantic relationships. This explanation does seem to prove out, since it also works to explain why young women were discovered to be so much more at risk than men: since they are generally confronted with greater expectations to be monogamous, they may experience even greater levels of upset and anxiety over having been involved with multiple partners, and may therefore be more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to relieve this stress.
While the connection above is clear, the good news is that there are ways to both treat and prevent drug addiction through Narconon. Contact us today for more information.

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About Olumide Owaduge

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