Are There Porn Addiction Hotlines I Can Call?

Dr R. Y. Langham

Apr 01, 2022

Porn addiction is a behavioral addiction that resembles drug addiction in that both addictions cause chemical changes in the brain. The porn industry has exploded over the last few decades with revenues reaching close to $100B, so it is not surprising that porn addiction is on the rise.

When you excessively view porn, your body produces extra amounts of dopamine, a hormone/neurotransmitter (chemical brain messenger) that not only controls your mental, emotional, and motor responses but is also considered the “happy hormone.” In other words, dopamine is known for triggering joy and happiness (through your brain’s reward system).

High levels of dopamine (caused by viewing porn) can reinforce the experience (using porn), eliciting “pleasure,” “excitement,” “satisfaction,” and/or “happiness.” These positive emotions can cause you to keep returning to the activity or behavior (i.e., porn-watching). However, repeatedly using porn can lead to unpleasant consequences, such as broken marriages, damaged relationships, lost friendships, debt, unemployment, sexual dissatisfaction with a real-life partner, low self-esteem and self-confidence, etc.

As a result, porn addiction help is often needed to combat the addiction, and retake control of your life and sexual, emotional, mental, and physical health.

People, who suffer from a behavioral addiction, like porn addiction, are unable to resist urges to engage in certain behaviors or activities, which in this case, is porn-watching. Similar to psychoactive substances, porn addiction provides temporary rewards (i.e., sexual satisfaction, happiness, euphoria, joy, “escape,” relief, etc.), which serve to reinforce a certain behavior (i.e., porn-watching), while taking control of your life.

The truth is porn is harmful and using porn is even more dangerous. Porn is also powerful – so powerful that it can break up relationships, marriages, and even families. It can also cause you to lose your job, family, and friends. And, in some cases, porn can cause a loss of life, especially if you have strong religious convictions. So, porn can also be deadly.

The good news is you can quit your “porn habit.” More specifically, there are things you can do to stop using porn, such as making positive lifestyle changes, using self-help tools, seeking porn addiction therapy, attending a porn addiction support group, and/or investing in an online porn addiction recovery program.

If you are struggling with porn addiction, but are not quite ready to officially seek porn addiction treatment, check out this article on porn addiction hotlines. These hotlines can provide you with resources, tools, and support while you come to terms with having a porn addiction.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Porn Addiction

Although the overall signs and symptoms of porn addiction vary from person to person, some people may experience the following ones:

  • Preferring to use porn over spending quality time with friends and family
  • Having consistent and intrusive porn-related thoughts and fantasies triggered by your “heavy porn use”
  • Repeatedly failing to stop your “heavy porn use”
  • Engaging in porn-watching even though it is negatively affecting various aspects of your life, such as your marriage, romantic relationship, friendships, work opportunities, self-esteem and self-confidence, etc.
  • Spending large amounts of time (hours or days) searching for and viewing porn
  • Violating your ethics, morals, and values – in favor of using porn
  • Feeling despondent and isolated because of your “heavy porn use”
  • Becoming disinterested in performing basic tasks, such as cleaning the house, bathing, eating, going to work or school, paying bills, grocery shopping, caring for kids, washing clothes, etc.
  • Hiding or lying about your “porn use”
  • Combining porn with drugs and/or alcohol
  • Escalating your “porn use” to include “sexual hookups”
  • Experiencing an imbalance or disruption in your libido, sexual desire, and sexual arousal
  • Engaging in sexual impulsivity or compulsivity
  • Falling into debt or experiencing financial problems as a result of spending your money on porn
  • Developing a dependency on porn and/or sex

If you ask a porn addict why they use porn, he or she will likely dismiss your concerns by saying that his or her “porn use” is simply an innocent venture into a fantasy world. Thus, this individual may not view his or her “porn activities” as inherently harmful or dangerous. In fact, researchers have found that most young men (late teens and early 20s) view porn and “porn use” as a “normal” or a “socially-acceptable” form of sexual entertainment.

Keep in mind, however, that some porn addicts may also engage in non-intimate, sexual behaviors, such as “sexting” (sexually-explicit texts), “sexual hookups,” causal sex, one-night stands, and/or voyeuristic sexual activities.

According to a 2013 study, the quality of a romantic relationship plays a critical role in the development or maintenance of porn addiction. However, one notable variance was identified during the study – women are more likely to view porn with their significant others or sexual partners, while men are more likely to view it alone.

Researchers also found that men are more likely to view porn, and male porn addicts are more likely to become disinterested in having sex with their real-life partners. They are also at risk of developing a warped or inaccurate perception of romantic relationships, intimacy, and healthy sex. Experts also suggest that approximately 33% of women also have a “porn problem.”

According to a 2008 study, males tend to experience more significant consequences from excessively using porn, than females. However, porn addiction can affect both partners in the relationship. “Heavy porn use” can lead to social isolation and emotional detachment from a real-life partner. “Heavy porn use” has also been linked to mood disorders, like depression.

The American Psychological Association (APA) estimates that approximately 9% of porn users or addicts are unable to control their urges or stop using porn. If you are unable to quit porn and it is negatively affecting your life, you will need to seek porn addiction help. Porn addiction hotlines can help you find the right treatment for your “porn habit.”

What is a Crisis Hotline?

A crisis hotline is a phone number that you can call to get immediate or emergency counseling. A crisis responder is a volunteer that has been trained to take calls from people, who are struggling with or who are overwhelmed with something – i.e., porn addiction. Crisis hotlines have been in existence since the 70s and are available throughout the world. Hotlines were originally created to circumvent possible suicide attempts.

However, today, they encompass a wide range of issues, including “heavy porn use” and porn addiction. Other issues that can fall in the crisis category are sexual assault or rape, runaways, bullying, self-harm, sexuality issues (i.e., LGBT), domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, the loss of a loved one, parent/child conflict, human- or sex-trafficking, etc. The goal is to help people cope with emotional crises.

Are Crisis Hotlines Effective?

The jury is still out.

Although crisis hotlines are common, there are limited studies on their efficacy when it comes to averting, reducing, or stopping crises. A 2019 study found that there was not enough quality data to definitively assert that crisis lines are effective in preventing or halting suicides. Also, more research is needed to ascertain if crisis hotlines are beneficial for other issues, such as “heavy porn use” and porn addiction.

What Are Telephone Counseling Hotlines and Crisis Hotlines and Are They the Same Thing?

Yes, they are!

Both telephone counseling hotlines and crisis hotlines offer similar telephone support services, and both accept emergency and non-emergency calls (i.e., questions and/or concerns about porn addiction). Telephone counseling hotlines are offered at many US colleges and universities, commanded by trained volunteer college students to offset the cost of traditional mental health services.

Although these hotlines provide resources for people experiencing crises, they are also available for people, who simply want someone to listen to them – without judgment. Telephone counseling hotlines and crisis hotlines are usually manned by trained volunteers and are not designed to replace professional counseling services. Rather, these hotlines are designed to provide immediate or emergency services to someone in distress.

Some telephone counseling and crisis hotlines are also considered “emotional support helplines,” which means they are designed to handle non-crisis issues. Most non-urgent helplines can be accessed through phone calls, emails, and text messages. These services are more affordable, discrete, and flexible than traditional counseling services, which means more people have access to mental health services, especially when dealing with crises or upsetting situations, like porn addiction.

Is a Porn Addiction Hotline Considered a “Type” of Crisis Hotline?

Yes, it can be…

Most crisis hotlines are equipped to handle calls about porn – specifically, “heavy porn use” and porn addiction. In fact, these hotlines can handle any issue that is causing you significant distress – even if the issue is your “porn use.” So, yes, a porn addiction hotline is a “type” of crisis hotline. It is important to note that there are crisis hotlines that are solely and specifically devoted to addressing issues surrounding your “porn habit.” These are considered porn addiction hotlines.

Are Porn Addiction Hotlines Beneficial?

Yes, porn addiction hotlines can be very beneficial for people, who are struggling with porn addiction.

Porn addiction is a touchy subject for many people. And, for some, it is a downright taboo topic that is rarely discussed. When it is discussed, it is often looked down upon, judged, and/or criticized. It is for these reasons, that many porn addicts forego getting the porn addiction help they so desperately need. The shame associated with having a “porn habit” is enough to make some porn addicts hide or dismiss their “porn use” as “insignificant” or “normal” – when it is most certainly not.

Most porn addicts do not want to deal with the unpleasant consequences, stigmas, and labels associated with viewing porn or becoming addicted to it. Porn addiction is not always easy to treat, especially when it is compounded with other addictions (co-occurring addictions), such as drug addiction and porn addiction. However, there is a path to porn addiction recovery. A porn addiction hotline may be the first step towards “porn sobriety.”

Porn addiction hotlines, also referred to as porn addiction helplines, are free and confidential support services that are usually available 7-days-a-week for “heavy porn users,” porn addicts, and their partners and loved ones. These hotlines are specifically designed to help people, who are struggling with “porn habits.”

These services are normally offered in various languages to accommodate people from different countries. Porn addiction hotlines provide valuable resources, tools, and support (i.e., support groups, social services, porn addiction treatment or rehab facility resources, and/or non-profit organization referrals) for people, who are grappling with “heavy porn use” or porn addiction. It is common for hotline callers to request pamphlets, articles, support, self-help tools, advice, guidance, publications, etc.

However, legitimate porn addiction hotlines do not offer medical advice or guidance because they are not trained to do so. These hotlines help callers locate resources and treatments for their “porn habits.” Hotline volunteers are trained to collect basic information to find the appropriate resources and treatments near you.

These porn addiction specialists also provide information on the various treatment centers in your vicinity (i.e., various therapies, costs, admission requirements, etc.). Most porn addiction treatment approaches are tailored to address triggers, patterns, secondary health issues (i.e., mental health, emotional health, sexual health, and physical health), etc.

Porn Addiction Hotline Numbers

Listed below are hotlines that can help you navigate your “porn habit” by offering you resources, self-help tools, and support:

  • NJ Connect (1-855-652-3737) – This confidential regional hotline provides support, self-help tools, and resources to people, struggling with porn addiction, in the New Jersey area.
  • New Jersey Mental Health Cares (1-866-202-4357) – This regional behavioral health information and referral hotline can provide porn addiction information to people, who live in the New Jersey area. Trained hotline specialists help connect people, struggling with porn addiction, with the appropriate resources (i.e., treatment options, psychotherapists, rehab centers, legal help, etc.)
  • Addictions Hotline (1-844-276-2777) – This hotline, located in Morris County, New Jersey, can provide people, struggling with “heavy porn use” or porn addiction, with the support, resources, and porn addiction help they need to decide their next steps. These trained hotline volunteers specialize in helping “users” find the help they need to combat their porn issues.
  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) (1-800-622-2255) – Although this national hotline primarily focuses on alcohol and drug addictions, it also handles non-substance abuse calls, like “heavy porn use” and porn addiction, especially when the two addictions occur simultaneously.
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)/SAMHSA/U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (1-800-622-4357) – Like the other hotlines listed above, this national hotline primarily focuses on drug abuse, however, it also addresses non-drug abuse issues, such as “heavy porn use” and porn addiction. It not only provides information, resources, and self-help tools for porn users and porn addicts but also their partners and loved ones.
  • The Alcohol & Drug Addiction Resource Center (1-800-390-4056) – Similar to the hotlines listed above, this national hotline focuses on alcohol and drug addictions, but it also handles non-substance issues, such as “heavy porn use” and porn addiction, especially when it is combined with alcohol and/or drugs. Trained hotline specialists offer rehab referral services, information, pamphlets, treatments and treatment options, costs, support, etc.
  • Boys Town National Hotline (1-800-448-3000) – This national hotline provides information, resources, and self-help tools to at-risk children, who have been exposed to porn, are porn users, and/or are porn addicts.
  • National Youth Crisis Hotline (1-800-448-4663) – This regional hotline provides 24/7 short-term counseling and referrals to porn addiction treatment facilities, rehab centers, and counseling services, for at-risk youth in Tarrant County, Texas. Hotline specialists take calls from children and teens, who are dealing with a variety of issues, such as pregnancy, molestation, suicide, porn exposure, drug and/or alcohol abuse, “porn use,” porn addiction, child abuse, etc.
  • Sex Addicts Anonymous (1-800-477-8191) – This national hotline provides information, resources, literature, meeting and treatment referrals, and self-help tools to sex and porn addicts.
  • Couples Rehab (1-888-325-2454) – This regional hotline primarily provides information, resources, and self-help tools for California couples, who are dealing with drug and/or alcohol addictions, however, it also provides support and resources to couples, who are struggling with “porn use” issues.

Is There Anything Else I Can Do to Quit Porn and Reclaim My Life?

Yes, there is!

Stop Together is an online porn addiction recovery program that can help you stop using porn and give you a new lease on life. It can also help improve your self-esteem and self-confidence, and sexual and emotional health. In as little as 8 weeks, you could be “free” of your porn addiction and on your way to a healthier and happier life!