Pornography is like a drug -- brain addiction

Liza, a commenter at a recent post at Mormon Mommy Blogs (about pornography prevention for children — good article for parents to read), said this in response to Brannon Patrick’s article:

Yes, pornography is addictive. However, I would like to see some evidence or citation to back up the claim that it is “as addictive as methamphetamine”

Since I was worried my comment might be eaten by the spam filter because of its many links, and since I figured Mormon Women readers might also be wondering something similar (it’s a good question!), I wanted to post my response here. Thanks to a network of people who are on the forefront of fighting pornography and helping people find recovery from pornography addiction, I’ve become a lot more educated about how addiction works. One of the things that is recommended for parents is to become educated as part of preventative and protective strategies, so I hope some of this information might be helpful.

One of the things that is encouraging about the research and experience treating pornography addiction is that by understanding the nature of addiction, people can get the help they need. In addition to ecclesiastical support (for the spiritual/repentance side of the struggle), those with sexual addictions also need recovery support to facilitate healing of the brain. Healing is possible!

Following is the information I was going to leave in my comment:

There are a lot of articles that explore this further and that include multiple references you could look up. I like this simple summary that explains how addiction is a brain disease/disorder, whether the addiction is to substance or behaviors:

“[A]ddiction is not about drugs, it’s about brains. It is not the substances a person uses that make them an addict; it is not even the quantity or frequency of use. Addiction is about what happens in a person’s brain when they are exposed to rewarding substances or rewarding behaviors, and it is more about reward circuitry in the brain and related brain structures than it is about the external chemicals or behavior that “turn on” that reward circuitry. We have recognized the role of memory, motivation and related circuitry in the manifestation and progression of this disease [addiction]. ” –
Here’s a video that explains the brain science behind addiction:

p.s. More resources for parents will be coming in the next couple of weeks at Mormon Women. 

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