Are Porn Addiction Rehab Centers Useful?

Dr R. Y. Langham

Jan 21, 2022

It depends on who you ask…

According to a 2014 study between 3% and 6% of American adults suffer from a “hypersexual disorder.” Hypersexual disorders involve a wide range of sexual addictions (including porn addiction, however, this is an unofficial categorization).

And, guess what? Approximately 42% of adolescents, ages 10-17, regularly view internet porn, and about 70% of males, ages, 18-24, visit porn sites at least once a month. The largest group of porn-watchers is males, ages, 35-49. Note: More than 1/3 (33%) of women are also porn-watchers. Even more distressing? Nearly 68 million (or 25%) of web searches involve sexually-explicit material.

Understand that porn can include a variety of venues, such as online or “cyberporn,” video game porn, magazine porn, television porn, video and movie porn, and erotica (book porn). It can be distributed in a variety of ways, such as through instant messages, social media posts, texts, emails, apps, printed copies, streaming services, and on a computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

The long-term effects of “porn use” (i.e., porn addiction) are still being studied – and debated, however, researchers have found that in some cases, “porn use” can be considered a compulsive behavior similar to compulsive hand-washing. Still, the general consensus, is that excessive “porn use” can lead to many losses – loss of friendships and relationships, opportunities and experiences, social interactions, income, self-esteem, and even a loss of freedom (from legal problems related to your “porn use”).

However, the good news is help is available. In fact, the best, and sometimes the only way, to combat a porn addiction is to seek treatment at a porn addiction rehab center. This article can help you better understand porn addiction rehab centers, so you can determine if one will be useful for you.

What is a Porn Addiction Rehab Center?

A porn addiction rehab center is a residential (or inpatient) treatment facility where porn addicts stay a specific amount of time (based on their needs, the seriousness of their “porn use,” any co-existing mental health factors, previous stints in rehab centers, and the program’s requirements).

When you enter a porn addiction rehab center, you commit to an inpatient (day-and-night) residential stay at a treatment facility for a certain amount of time – (i.e., 30-days). While at the center, porn addiction specialists, psychologists, counselors, and other staff closely monitor you to minimize withdrawal symptoms and help you get back on your feet.

Thus, an inpatient porn rehab center can be extremely useful for porn addicts.

Note: Understand, however, that inpatient porn addiction treatment, which is typically offered at a porn addiction rehab center, is the opposite of outpatient treatment, which involves receiving porn addiction treatment at a rehab facility and being able to come and go as you please.

How is Porn Addiction Treated in a Porn Addiction Rehab Center?

Porn addiction is considered a behavioral issue, so a porn addiction rehab center typically uses a behavioral approach to treat it. Treatment may also include porn addiction therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), individual therapy, family therapy, couples therapy, marriage counseling, and/or support group therapy.

In some cases, a porn addiction specialist, psychologist, or counselor may recommend medication(s) (i.e., antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, mood stabilizers, etc.) to help with anxiety, depression, porn addiction withdrawal symptoms, and/or obsessive thoughts (i.e., continuously thinking about porn) and compulsive behaviors (excessively viewing porn).

Listed below are the different types of rehab programs available for porn addicts:

  • Short-Term Inpatient Porn Addiction Program

    A short-term inpatient porn addiction program (located in a porn addiction rehab center or hospital setting) offers a variety of therapies and medications to help you “kick your porn habit.” This type of short-term residential program can last between 14 and 30 days.

  • Long-Term Inpatient Porn Addiction Program

    A long-term inpatient porn addiction program (located in a non-hospital-setting, like a residential group home or rehab center) also offers a wide range of therapies and medications to addicts. This type of residential program can last between 3 and 12 months.

  • Partial Hospitalization Addiction Program

    A partial hospitalization program (located in a hospital-setting) offers porn addicts an intense treatment, involving a variety of therapies and medications; however, you are not required to stay there full-time (day-and-night). Still, this type of porn addiction treatment program is considered “inpatient” due to the hospital-setting. Treatment can last between 14 and 30 days and be between 6 and 8 hours, per day. Keep in mind that if you enter a partial hospitalization porn addiction program, you will be required to commit to all-day, weekly treatment sessions.

What Happens During the Porn Addiction Rehab Center Process?

Well, several things happen during a porn addiction rehab center process.

You will be required to participate in or complete various steps during the treatment process – should you enter a rehab center.

First, understand that the porn addiction process begins the day you admit that you have a real problem with porn – and that this problem is negatively affecting your health and well-being. In other words, once your “porn use” starts to damage or destroy your friendships and relationships, thwart your job, life, and social opportunities and experiences, and impact your self-esteem, you are more likely to acknowledge your dependency on porn and seek treatment for it.

If your “porn use” has you spiraling down a dark, scary rabbit hole – one in which you have no control over, a porn addiction rehab treatment center may be your best hope at “squashing” your “habit.” Once you enter a porn addiction rehab center program, you are greeted with an orientation. More specifically, an intake or addiction specialist explains what will happen during your stay, the classes you may take, and provide you with an example of your daily schedule while in the program.

Next, an addiction specialist, psychologist, or counselor will go into greater detail about what to expect during your stay. These details will be geared towards your specific treatment goals and the various therapies you will attend and/or the medications you may be prescribed (FYI: Medications must be prescribed by a medical doctor or psychiatrist). During the initial session(s), you will also learn what will be expected of you and voice what you expect to achieve from the treatment process.

During your time at the center, you will not only detox from porn and learn the origin of your “porn fixation,” but also develop the healthy coping skills needed to combat urges to use porn in the future. Before you leave the program (a couple of sessions before your program ends), you and your addiction specialist or counselor will develop a post-therapy “sobriety plan” to help you maintain your “porn sobriety” indefinitely.

What Happens During the Porn Withdrawal?

First, it is important to understand that porn withdrawal symptoms do not resemble drug addiction withdrawal symptoms. Why not? Well, mainly because drugs are chemical substances that you ingest, so drug addiction is primarily physical or environmental, in nature. While porn addiction is primarily behavioral, in nature. In other words, it is not something you put in your body as you do with drugs.

Rather, a porn addiction originates in your mind. In other words, it is the sexually-explicit image(s) on your screen or in your magazine that excites you, leading to a compulsive behavior (excessively viewing porn). With drugs, it is the “substance” that triggers the compulsive behavior (excessively abusing drugs). And, because these two addictions differ, in this regard, the withdrawal symptoms also differ, in this regard.

So, how are porn addiction withdrawal symptoms different from other drug addictions?

Well, unlike a drug addict, a porn addict is not likely to experience many physical withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures, extreme fatigue, social isolation, insomnia, profuse sweating, “the shakes,” nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when detoxing from porn. However, that does not mean that withdrawing from porn will have its own host of other emotional and mental symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, guilt and shame, irritability, paranoia, anger or rage, high-stress levels, and even suicidal thoughts, in some cases.

Should I Enter a Porn Addiction Rehab Center?

Yes and no. It depends on the severity of your porn addiction.

Grappling with a porn addiction alone or even through outpatient services can be challenging – especially if you try to go at it alone. Porn addiction is unique in that it is usually accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame and secrecy – all of which can make it difficult to talk about with other people – especially your friends and loved ones. And, if sharing your “porn habit” with the people closest to you is uncomfortable and scary, imagine sharing it with people, who don’t really know you or what you have been through.

It is for these reasons that many porn addicts forgo seeking treatment – especially when the treatment involves entering a porn addiction rehab center for a certain amount of time. Porn addicts fear seeking treatment because of how society views “porn use.” “Porn use” is generally thought of as “taboo.” And, in Christian communities, it is often deemed “evil.” This fear of being ostracized, shunned, labeled, and/or stigmatized is magnified when the porn addiction treatment involves going away to heal.

Conversely, if porn is looked upon favorably by friends, family, and society (which occurs in some families, friend circles, and cultures), a porn addict may not realize he or she has a problem. This can make entering a rehab center for porn addiction treatment more difficult than it has to be.

Finally, it is important to understand that porn addiction is not recognized in the DSM-V as a mental health condition, so some counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists do not recognize porn addiction as a valid, diagnosable condition. So, it is important to seek a rehab center that has mental health providers that truly believe that porn addiction is a real and legitimate condition that requires support, therapy, healthy coping tools, and compassion to combat it.

So, should you enter a porn addiction rehab center?

Yes, if you are suffering from extreme porn addiction and you believe that you could benefit from it. You will be required to stay full-time at the rehab center; however, this may be just what you need to quit porn. Entering a rehab center will remove “distractions” from your life, so you can fully focus on recovering from the addiction and becoming the person you were destined to be.

How Can I Find a Useful Porn Addiction Rehab Center?

The best way to find a useful porn addiction rehab center is to look specifically for facilities that have professionals trained in compulsive and behavioral addictions. These professionals should also have a keen understanding of factors that influence or contribute to porn addiction and a good amount of experience helping addicts quit porn. It is also important that your rehab center specializes in diagnosing sexual disorders. And, that they have tools and resources available to treat a porn addiction.

FYI: You can’t assume that every rehab treatment center has counselors, psychologists, therapists, and/or addiction specialists on staff to help you with your “porn habit,” because that simply may not be the case, especially if the center specializes in another addiction, like drug and alcohol addiction. So, make sure the center you are looking at can offer you the addiction help and support you need to recover from your addiction.

Once you have selected two or three centers for your porn addiction treatment, call them and ask for a tour of the facility. During the tour, ask any and all questions that are concerning you and pay attention to the vibe you receive from the staff and the residents. Do not make a rash decision – visit all of the rehab treatment centers on your list and make a list of the pros and cons of each one. Don’t forget to take into account how the center made you feel while there. Once you have had time to ponder each facility, pick the one that you feel will be most useful for you.

Note: This directory provides a list of porn addiction rehab centers in your area.

What Else Can I Do Before or While I Am in a Porn Addiction Rehab Center?

You can invest in Stop Together, an online porn recovery program! What does Stop Together offer? Stop Together offers a wide variety of useful tools, such as medical experts and therapists, informative blogs on how to deal with porn addiction, audio sessions to help you better understand your “porn fixation,” exercises that can help you become and stay “porn-free,” and invaluable techniques that can help you win your war against porn. It even provides post-addiction support, so you do not feel alone once you “kick your porn habit.”

The goal of Stop Together is to provide you with porn addiction support, while you reclaim your sexual health and self-confidence. The best part? You get to do all this from your “safe space” (i.e., home) – all for $49.99. Even better? Most people finish the program within 2 months, which means in as little as 8 weeks you can be “porn-free” and back to your pre-porn life! Sounds good to me!