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Can I Become Addicted To Viagra Or Cialis?

David Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC

Medically reviewed by

David Hunter, MA.Ed, LPC

January 23, 2019

Although it is infrequent, it is possible to become addicted to erectile dysfunction medications like Viagra or Cialis. Long-term use and overuse of these drugs can result in severe health effects.

In recent years drugs that help in sexual performance have become increasingly popular. Male enhancement drugs and those that simply correct the lack of steady blood flow to the male organs during sexual stimulation are used by males both young and old.

These drugs not only correct a simple bodily debilitation in terms of pleasure, but they have assisted many couples in getting pregnant when it seemed impossible.

Though once simply prescribed to patients for Erectile Dysfunction, many of these blood flow regulation drugs are being used by those who do not actually have ED. Recreational use, abuse, and addiction are an issue associated with Viagra, Cialis, and similar medications. As with any drug, side effects and health risks accompany use and abuse.

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Addiction to ED drugs may be infrequent—considering how many men who actually suffer from ED choose not to divulge said information to even their doctors—but it is, nevertheless, dangerous in long-term and overuse.

Along with the health risks of abuse and addiction to Viagra and Cialis, overuse has posed a threat to many romantic relationships and marriages, making this form of addiction particularly emotionally damaging.

Those struggling with addiction to any medications should always seek professional help before serious medical intervention is required.

Science:

Erectile Dysfunction is something that occurs in the male body when blood is prevented from traveling properly to the penis. This lack of function can be caused by many physical and medical issues, but can also be the cause of psychological impotence. Other causes are cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, diabetes, and hormonal problems.

Viagra and Cialis work toward the same end, which is to provide adequate blood flow to the penis in order to maintain erections during sexual stimulation. The drugs work by preventing an enzyme in the body to negatively affect the natural dilation of blood vessels which, when dilated, allow blood to flow freely and quickly to the penis. When taken properly, Viagra, Cialis, and the like all act by allowing dilation not only to occur but to last for a long period of time.

When taking an ED drug, oftentimes and erection will last longer than the duration of a sexual experience. That being said, orgasm may be able to be reached more than once, but an unwanted erection can persist and cause problems when the user is not sexually aroused. This common effect will at times change one’s idea of recreational use, as those who do not have ED, but take the drug for the purpose of prolonging intercourse, may be inconvenienced by the ongoing blood flow.

Those who take Viagra for other medical problems commonly do so for hypertension and altitude sickness. The drug is being tested for female uses as well.

Psychology:

It is well known that many men who experience Erectile Dysfunction are prone to the psychological side of impotence. This means that their mental status affects their ability to maintain an erection, but they do not have any physical hindrance accompanying it. Viagra and Cialis can help in these cases, but psychiatric intervention may be more helpful and safer.

Questions of societal influence have also come into play with those who abuse Viagra and the like. With media and pornography pushing the idea of “bigger is better,” men, even those who are young and perfectly able to perform sexually, turn to recreational use of ED drugs in order to last longer and “size up.”

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Like many medications, Viagra can cause a user to only be able to perform while under its influence. This means that a man taking Viagra for recreational use—though not actually diagnosed with ED—may find that his body has become used to the drug and will only respond to a sexual encounter after it has been taken. This fact is an important one for those who started taking the drug in an effort to meet a societal standard. The body’s dependence on the drug may not be worth it. Abuse of Viagra can also be linked to the use of other, illicit drugs, as it counteracts negative effects.

Noteworthy Side Effects:

One of the most alarming side effects to the use of Viagra and Cialis is a heart attack from excessive sexual activity. Stroke, hypotension, and even hearing loss may occur from use or overuse. Since the drug provides better blood flow, some serious occurrences in vision depletion have been noted. This is due to blood vessel dilation causing increased retinal diameters, which blurs vision, normally in the peripheral field.

Long-term vision problems and permanent hearing loss have also been reported with use and overuse. As is true with most everything, those who use more of the drug are at higher risk for experiencing dangerous side effects.

Addiction:

One of the worst types of any addiction is one that is psychological. Addiction to Viagra is just that. In fact, as of today, there is no evidence of addiction being physical at all and those who are hooked on it are mostly recreational users who do not even have Erectile Dysfunction.

The number of men addicted to Viagra, Cialis, and similar drugs is on the rise as more men, spanning many age groups, are using the little blue pills for sexual pleasure. These men find that their experience is so satisfying, they continue to use it during their sexual encounters and, more so, increase how much they take and how often. Just as sexual pleasure can cause an obsession, these drugs and the “high” they provide make for a strong addiction.

On a different level, some abusers of the drug have noted that performance anxiety causes them to continue use when they do not necessarily need it, out of fear of losing an erection during sex. The same social influences that cause these (often young) men to feel inadequate to an exaggerated image of a sexually-pleasing partner, also cause the fear to continue and the psychological dependence to persist. As stated earlier, these men will often find it difficult to perform while not on Viagra or Cialis after becoming used to its effects.

Help Getting Treatment

Impotence is common and Viagra as a prescribed and safely-used drug does not pose high health risks. The most dangerous association with Viagra and Cialis is a user’s mentality. Before taking ED drugs, male users should consider why they feel they need them and read about the female perspective on performance enhancers. Men may find that most women will like them just the way they are and that the health risks they are taking for sexual pleasure are unnecessary.

Addiction to Viagra is treatable with programs that can include cognitive behavioral therapy. For information and help contact RehabCenter.net today.

One Response to “Can I Become Addicted To Viagra Or Cialis?”

This post is a helpful overview of the particular topic and very actionable. Interesting approach!

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