The new drug – fighting a PORN addiction


Fight-the-New-DrugI’m sitting here at my usual coffee spot, getting ready to write on a subject that has in the last two months appeared strongly on my radar. I am keenly aware that when I take out my notes, I may be subject to the odd glance veiled with subtle disapproval. You see my notes have headings that include the word pornography and we all know that this is unacceptable in public.

Yet in private it is waging a silent war against the most innocent of victims. Some of these victims are oblivious to the long-term damage being done, some are at the mercy of others and just have to endure the constant bombardment of adult content, polluting their innocent minds and ears. Those victims are our children, yours and mine and I want to ask, I want to issue a challenge, what are we going to do about this?

I have recently come across a group of people who have seen the damage that pornography is causing and have decided to do something about it. This group is called Fight The New Drug and they are making a very solid case for the need to engage with this topic without embarrassment or guilt as the issue in question is not differing morals, beliefs or innocent entertainment gone awry, but rather the addictive nature of continual porn use and how it is hurting individuals, families, old and young, men and woman. I feel the issue is further in need of discussion as it appears more acceptable to many to discuss your addiction to heavy drugs than it is to discuss how you are struggling to control your appetite for viewing pornography.

Many will simply ignore the concern, they may say its harmless fun, produced by consenting adults and if you can’t stop yourself, then it’s a personal problem not one everyone should suffer for, especially those who are able to control themselves, limit themselves, shelter their loved ones and do an adequate job of keeping their stress relief in the dark.

The question raised is the following: Does pornography qualify as a drug and if so, is it addictive? The guys at Fight The New Drug argue that it is and they certainly back up their position with some extremely convincing facts and articles.

I read an article about a guy who’s addiction to gay porn started with him searching the meaning of an insult on the internet. The search engine was only too happy to spurt out copious definitions and of course images. Since that frightful day, he has struggled with an insatiable desire for this type of pornography, having relationships ruined, his concept of love destroyed and as he writes “having his sexuality hijacked”. This guy did his first search when he was an innocent 8-year-old boy and has suffered ever since.

I hear of children who sit in their bedrooms tormented by the sounds penetrating their minds from the porn dad is watching in the other room. In a recent spot survey, I saw that over 90% of 11 to 12-year-old boys and girls have been exposed to pornography. Have a look at some facts below that may open your eyes to this new drug and question the belief that it is simply adult “Entertainment”.

10 PORN INDUSTRY STATS THAT NEED TO CHANGE:

★(1) Porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, & Twitter combined. (HuffPost)

★(2) 35% of all internet downloads are porn-related. (WebRoot)

★(3) 34% of internet users have been exposed to unwanted porn via ads, pop-ups, etc. (WebRoot)

★(4) Porn increased marital infidelity by 300%. (WebRoot)

★(5) 30% of all data transferred across the internet is porn-related. (HuffPost)

★(6) The most common female role in porn is women in their 20’s portraying teenagers. (Jon Millward. In 2013, Millward conducted the largest personal research study on the Porn Industry in the U.S. He interviewed 10,000 porn stars about various aspects of the business.)

★(7) Child porn is one of the fastest growing online businesses. (IWF)

★(8) 624,000 child porn traders have been discovered online in the U.S. (Innocent Justice)

★(9) Approximately 55% of teen girls living on the streets have engaged in prostitution. (Enough.org)

★(10) Child porn is a $3 billion industry. (TopTenReviews)

I am struggling to find any proof that would side with a defence of pornography as being healthy adult entertainment. I have always been seriously concerned with the effects of porn on adults but more so today, in this techno savvy age, where every child has the access and the ability to navigate through an online world which promises much happiness but often delivers the opposite.

From sextortion, yes it’s a word, to cyber targeting of children on social media, peddlers of pornographic content seem to be devising more extravagant virtual traps for the unsuspecting users, namely, our children.

If we spoke of porn availability in terms of drugs, it would be as if drug dealers were lining up in plain sight at schools, shopping malls, public hallways and sport fields, brazenly offering their wares, free of charge. For now! This we would have a problem with, because drugs are bad, they are illegal and they can harm us.

A position held by anti human trafficking organisations amongst others, is that porn fuels the sex trade. The reality is that when that beautiful smiling girl is seen in the latest porn movie, you don’t know her background, you don’t know if she is drugged, feeding an addiction, smiling through the beatings because she’s afraid of what might happen as a gun is being pointed at her head. As she appears to enjoy the pain, the beating, the degrading and inhumane behaviour at the hands of her “partner” can we say with all certainty that her smile is real, her passion and enjoyment genuine, can we ignore the possibility that if computers can make Ironman fly and Thor shoot lightning from a hammer, surely they can make it look like she isn’t being raped and forced into what is believed to be an enjoyable adult activity. We also cannot be sure that the scene you are enjoying is not using people who have been sold into the sex trade.

Believing what happens on the screen is real is as stupid as jumping off your roof with a hammer and believing because Thor flies in the movies, so can you!

And our kids have access to this and often believe it is ok. Here’s a tough pill to swallow, if you believe you would be supporting the killing of rhinos if you bought a rhino horn, then you must also agree that you are supporting the sex trade, even if indirectly, when you watch pornography!

So why is it such a problem? Basically, the brain has reward pathways that essentially reward you for doing something that creates life or protects it. When you do these things it rewards you by releasing a chemical called dopamine which creates a feeling of pleasure. When pornography is watched, the brain releases this chemical and you get a sense of enjoyment much like you would with any other drug. Innocent enough, if we ignore the reality of where the picture or movie comes from.

After continual use of porn, and excessive dopamine production, the brain stops itself from feeling the sensation as it initially did by turning off dopamine receptors. In order for you to feel the same excitement you need to find a stronger drug, more exciting content in this case and so the addiction comes into being.

The more you see, the more you have to keep varying and intensifying the content to maintain the “rush”. As this goes on, what was once exciting loses it’s ability to thrill and so you go in search of more graphic content. This explains why people may start to watch material that once caused them to cringe. In a recent study of most popular porn videos, the ones that where right at the top of the list, where the ones depicting cruel, violent and degrading treatment of woman. Some porn sites have categories, some include acted out rape scenes.

What on earth must we be thinking to openly justify this stuff?

The challenge is, many of these viewers are probably addicted and so they can’t simply stop, they need help, they need rehabilitation much like a cocaine addict, but who in their right mind would come forward and own up to needing to look at acted out rape scenes to fulfill his/her desires?

Now, if our kids are being exposed to this from such a young age, for free, without our knowledge of the effects, what will happen after years of use? What will happen to their relationships, their marriages, their general well-being?

I’m genuinely concerned for kids, due to the availability, the ignorance of the effects and the fact that most are uncomfortable with discussing the topic. We need to begin to talk about this openly, not to vilify, embarrass or label but to protect, restore and ensure our children, who are becoming unwitting targets and customers of the porn peddlers, are equipped to tackle, openly discuss and successfully say no to this new drug.

Who’s with me!

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4 thoughts on “The new drug – fighting a PORN addiction

  1. Hey Champ! Awesome post! Great job raising the porn issue, I think a lot of people need to know what’s up and how dangerous it is.

    I myself have been struggling with it a bit, getting help from the fortifyprogram.org

    Stay awesome! God bless

    ~Acronym

    Like

  2. A huge wakeup call 🙂
    Thanks Tom for an awesome and challenging article. The nature of addiction and sin is to hide it away to avoid exposure and embarrassment – secrets with the Devil. It can only be broken by bringing it to the light and asking for help and deliverance.
    The Roman Catholic confession box has often been criticised by evangelical protestants – it had some benefits in talking about sin and not hiding it away, it brought some relief in just talking about it with a Priest or anyone else for that matter.
    Tom, you are a huge inspiration to me and many others – stay that way 🙂
    John

    Like

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