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Food for Thought: Internet Pornography - The New Crack Cocaine?

| November 11, 2020 12:00 AM

This is the first in a series of two articles. In this article I will bring attention to the prevalence of the problem and examine Internet porn addiction.

Next week I will discuss how to deal with the addiction.

Internet pornography has been compared to the new meth addiction. It is the perfect drug delivery system because availability is 24/7 and the person is able to remain anonymous.

In addition, the Internet provides the sex addict with isolation, secrecy, fantasy material and endless varieties with around the clock accessibility.

Statistics show:

  • 4.2 million (12%) of all websites are pornographic

  • 100,000 websites offer illegal child pornography

  • 89% of sexual solicitations are made in chat rooms

  • 1 in 7 youths receive sexual solicitations

  • 40 million adults regularly visit Internet porn websites.

  • 72% of visitors to porn sites are male and 28% are women

  • About 10% of adults that visit these sites admit to Internet sexual addiction.

Pornography is big business. According to the U.S. Industry Revenue Statistics the porn industry is larger than the revenues of the top 10 technology companies combined including: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple, Netflix and Earth Link.

Are You An Internet Porn Addict?

Porn addicts tend to replace important relationships with Internet sex. Porn addicts tend to isolate themselves. They spend large amounts of time surfing the net, downloading and reading information on sex bulletins, watching pornography, exchanging sexual information with others in chat rooms or directing their own live sex shows on interactive sites.

Signs of addiction include:

  1. Inability to stop the behavior and porn use despite previous attempts to do so;

  2. Anger or irritability if asked to stop;

  3. Hiding or minimizing the viewing of porn;

  4. Continuing the behavior despite consequences;

  5. Getting on the Internet, losing time or spending more time than intended.

Like all other addictions, sex addicts on the Internet experience a progression of their addiction. They eventually move to more extreme behavior and take greater risks.

Next week I will discuss how to deal with the behavior.

Dr. Leta A. Livoti Ph.D., LCSW, LCPC is a psychotherapist in Thompson Falls. She can be contacted at 827-0700.