COMING OFF DRUGS: A HEALTHY BODY-WOMEN AND HEALTH, SEX AND DRUG-USING

Heavy drug users often find that they have ceased to menstruate. When this happens, it may be several months before periods start up again. And when they do return, they may be irregular, scanty or excessive. If you are worried, see your doctor and sort it out with him. But, as a rough guide, it may take your body up to a year to get its gynaecological functions back to normal.
Incidentally, period pains seem much more severe once you are clean and sober. It is difficult to know whether this means they really are worse, or simply that they seem worse. After years of living under drugged sedation, it can be quite a surprise to feel any kind of ordinary pain! Besides, addicts and alcoholics in the early stages of recovery are bad at enduring any kind of pain or discomfort.
Sex and drug-using-Initially, some drugs are sexually stimulating; others tend to decrease sexuality. Drink, as the drunken porter in Macbeth said, ‘provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance’.
Many addicts and alcoholics have lived distorted sex lives under the influence of drugs and alcohol. When they come clean and sober up, it usually takes some time for this side of their life to settle down. Time is needed to heal the emotional wounds and to sort out their sexual lives.
‘Drinking was always associated with sex and I always had rather unsatisfactory, rather torrid relationships. It seemed to me that sex was a parallel appetite to booze,’ says a recovering alcoholic and addict who has been clean and sober for about five years.
In addiction, drugs and drink distort sexual behaviour. Some women are sexually abused while under the influence of drink or drugs. Others turn to a sexually promiscuous lifestyle. Some women addicts or alcoholics turn to prostitution and some male addicts, including those who are heterosexual, turn to homosexual prostitution to support their using. Sexual infections and subsequent visits to VD clinics are a common part of this drugs or drink lifestyle.
Compulsive sex sometimes accompanies compulsive drug-use. Men, too, sometimes participate in sexual acts that they would not have taken part in if they had been clean and sober. When they get clean it is quite common for addicts and alcoholics to feel a lot of guilt and remorse about this part of their drug-using life and to feel very awkward at initiating any kind of relationship. They have to relearn intimacy.

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