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 30 years experience as a psychotherapist, sexologist and addictions professional, as well as findings from the presenter’s own 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.
Upon completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:
- Describe 3 sexuality issues typically seen in all phases of chemical dependency, as well as the often neglected concerns which can effectively couple these disciplines.
- Discuss sexual effects of each of the major categories of “drugs of abuse.”
- Explain how sexual identity issues can impact on chemical dependency, particularly in communities of color and with sexual minorities.
- Discuss strategies for more effective recovery and relapse prevention in chemical dependency by better addressing sexuality and sexual health issues.
I. Group experience
A. Discuss presenters’ experience with thousands of addicts in treatment and informal data on average age of onset of drug-taking
B. Compare findings to developmental milestones in adolescent sexual development
II. Review phases of chemical dependency (i.e., typical stages in its development)
A. Early drug use
B. Typical patterns of adolescent drug use
C. Addiction patterns
D. Chemical Dependency
E. Withdrawal and Detoxification
1. treatment centers
2. 12-Step groups
G. Early recovery
H. Long-term recovery
III. Effects of the major categories of “drugs of abuse” on sexuality in each of the phases of chemical dependency
3. Nicotine and caffeine
IV. Sexuality issues at each of those phases of chemical dependency
V. Drug use and sexual identity issues
A. sexual minorities
B. communities of color
VI. Relapse Prevention and Treatment Planning Strategies
A. Relevance of sexual issues in chronic relapse problems
B. Better integration of sexuality and sexual health in chemical dependency treatment
VII. To lay a foundation and set a biomedical context, the workshop will commence with a brief overview of sexual pharmacology
A. Neurohormonal and physiological modulation of sexual response
B. Review of the various chemotherapeutic interventions in the treatment of sexual dysfunctions and disorders
C. Sexual side-effects of commonly used licit and illicit drugs, including those substances purported to have “prosexual” effects
D. Development of comprehensive approaches to treating sexual disorders)
Dr. Siegel is the Co-Director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes. Dr. Siegel is a Florida-licensed mental health counselor and Board-certified sex therapist and is certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) as a sex therapist and supervisor. He has a rich experiential background, including over 30 years working in sexuality education, in- and out-patient counseling and training, and private practice sex therapy. He enjoys a reputation as a seasoned and in-demand workshop and conference presenter, in addition to his primary passion of training, supervising, and participating in the clinical and academic development of the next generation of sex therapists, counselors, and sexologists of all stripe.
Dr. Siegel has served AASECT as conference co-chair for three consecutive years mid-2000s, followed by two elected terms as Board Secretary, and was later appointed for two terms as the chair of the Supervisor Certification Committee. He is also a Clinical Member of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR).
After earning a grueling graduate-level B.S. in pharmacology & toxicology at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science (now University of the Sciences in Philadelphia), he brought his focus on clinical toxicology to the chemical dependency and addictions field in the early 1990s, which urged his move to complete an M.S. in mental health counseling at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale in 1998. Dr. Siegel completed his doctoral dissertation and a Ph.D. in clinical sexology at the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists in Orlando, FL, with a research focus on the integration of healthy sexuality and addiction treatment. He has worked enthusiastically to integrate traditional and modern approaches in sex therapy into the emergent specialty of sexual medicine, as well as the addiction treatment field.