Substance-Induced Sexual Dysfunction

Substance-Induced Sexual Dysfunction

Substance-Induced Sexual DysfunctionSubstance-induced sexual dysfunction is the term used to describe various sex-related impairments that result from the use/abuse of drugs or alcohol. The condition differs from the group of unique mental disorders known as sexual dysfunctions, and instead belongs to a group of nine distinct mental health problems known collectively as substance-induced disorders. Doctors classify substance-induced sexual dysfunction according to the specific impairment that occurs in any given case. While many of the drugs that can trigger the disorder are illegal, an unusually wide range of legal drugs can also potentially trigger sexual problems, even when used according to standard prescription guidelines.

Background Information

True sexual dysfunctions are a group of mental disorders defined in the US according to diagnostic guidelines created by the American Psychiatric Association. All of the disorders in this group-including hypoactive sexual desire disorder, sexual aversion disorder, male orgasmic disorder, female orgasmic disorder, premature ejaculation, male erectile disorder and, female sexual arousal disorder-involve problems that interfere in some way with sexual performance or the enjoyment of sexual activity. Unlike substance-induced sexual dysfunction, these conditions don’t stem directly from the use or abuse of alcohol, drugs, or medications. They also don’t stem from strictly physical health complaints; however, in some cases, the presence of physical problems or drug, medication, or alcohol use can contribute to the onset of these disorders.

Substance-Induced Sexual Dysfunction Basics

In the United States, the diagnostic guidelines for substance-induced sexual dysfunction also come from the American Psychiatric Association. According to these guidelines, people with the disorder have sex-related problems that clearly stem from the effects of alcohol intake or a drug or medication. These problems must be severe enough to cause internal and/or interpersonal anguish in the life of the affected individual. Also, they must first appear within a 30-day timeframe following the use of an identified substance. Finally, the symptoms of substance-induced sexual dysfunction must cause problems that are worse than the side effects associated with the short-term intoxication caused by the substance in question.

Substances officially designated by the American Psychiatric Association as potential causes of substance-induced sexual dysfunction include alcohol, legal opioid (narcotic) medications and illegal opioid drugs, cocaine, amphetamine medications, methamphetamine, anti-anxiety medications, sedative medications, and sleep-inducing (hypnotic) medications. All other known (and unknown) substances capable of triggering symptoms of the disorder belong to a single catchall category known as “other substances.”

Types of sexual problems that can occur in people with sub

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