The Effect of Addiction on Intimate Relationships

Addiction can affect all types of relationships. It can cause the breakdown of relationships between a parent and child and, in many cases, can cause the breakup of a marriage. One of the biggest casualties of addiction is intimacy between partners. Addicts will find it almost impossible to maintain a healthy relationship with anyone when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The substance to which a person becomes addicted often becomes the most important part of their life, and they will neglect other areas. Children, marriage, and sex will all take a backseat to the addiction. Until the person learns to accept that he or she has a problem, there will be no room for anything else but drugs or alcohol in the person’s life. It can be difficult but not impossible to reignite passions once the person is in recovery. This is something that both partners will have to work hard at to re-establish.

How Addiction Affects Intimacy

When substance abuse develops into addiction, other areas of the addict’s life become unimportant. Everything they do will be about the substance to which they are addicted and every waking minute will be consumed with it or thoughts about taking it.

Once under the spell of addiction, many individuals have no interest in sex. Addiction causes people to become selfish and self-absorbed, and there is no place for these emotions in an intimate relationship. The partner of an addict may often lose interest in sex too because he or she will have lost trust in their addicted partner. They may be unable to show affection to someone whom they love but cannot trust.

How Sexual Health is affected by Addiction

Certain drugs and alcohol can have a negative impact on a person’s sexual health. There are a number of drugs that will increase sexual performance, such as cocaine, but these effects are typically temporary. The more a person becomes addicted to drugs and alcohol, the greater the chances of their libido and functionality decreasing. Sexual arousal becomes difficult for men, and so they lose interest altogether. Erectile dysfunction is a common problem among drug and alcohol abusers. For female addicts, there is also the risk of decreased sex drive.

Can Intimate Relationships Be Repaired

Once an addict has decided to get help for an addiction, they will need to begin repairing a number of relationships in their lives. Intimacy and sexual relationships can be difficult to repair, but it can be done if both partners are prepared to work hard. Time and effort are required if the relationship is to survive. Many rehabilitation programmes will offer couples counselling to help get all aspects of their relationship back on track.

The Importance of Working Hard on Relationships during Recovery

Addiction recovery can be very difficult for everyone involved. However, it is not a good idea to neglect personal relationships during recovery. The support of loved ones is vital for successful recovery because loneliness can lead to depression and suicidal tendencies. Loneliness can often be a trigger for relapse as well because the individual may feel as though he or she has no purpose in life.

Help for Addiction

Those who suffer from addiction can get family addiction support and advice from Addiction Helper. We are a free referral service working with clients suffering from all types of addiction. Our aim is to put addicts and their families in touch with suitable treatment providers in both the public and private sectors. If you need help for addiction, then contact the expert advisors at Addiction Helper today.

Who am I contacting?

Calls and contact requests are answered by admissions at

UK Addiction Treatment Group.

We look forward to helping you take your first step.

0800 024 1476calling