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Sexuality Issues in Addiction, Treatment & Recovery

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This session presents both developmental and consequential sexuality issues associated with substance abuse and chemical dependency, many of which have been historically neglected both in treatment and recovery. Beginning with a “timeline” of the development of chemical dependency, sexuality issues are identified in early drug use, addiction, detox, rehab and treatment, early recovery, and long-term recovery. An overview of the effects of each of the major categories of “drugs of abuse” and a discussion of sexual identity follows, identifying important considerations for recovery. Finally, strategies for relapse prevention are discussed, particularly around those sexuality issues that have typically not been considered in treatment planning and 12-Step recovery programs.

The session is presented as a lecture, illustrated throughout with rich case histories from the presenter’s more than 25 years experience as a psychotherapist, sexologist and addictions professional, as well as findings from the presenter’s dissertation research on the topic. The session will also present useful advice for practitioners to better incorporate sexuality and sexual health into treatment plans for their chemically dependent and recovering patients.

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