Many studies have found a connection between prostitution and drug abuse. In the world of sex work, prostitutes may use drugs to cope with their lifestyle or be provided with a supply by pimps as a form of control. The connection is seen especially in those working on the street or via cell phones and crack houses, while prostitutes associated with escort-type agencies are less likely to face addiction or benefit from therapies at drug treatment centers.
How One Leads to the Other
The cycle often begins early in life. To start, many women come from troubled backgrounds characterized by abuse, neglect, and dysfunctional homes. Many may have left home at an early age. A Home Office Research Study found people with addiction and who engaged in prostitution did so sooner, about five months younger on average, compared to those who didn’t use drugs, independent of whether they participated in drug rehabilitation programs.
Prostitutes may depend on drugs to:
- Deal with emotional and physical stress.
- Increase their confidence and energy level.
- Enhance the experience when with a client.
In other cases, women may:
- Resort to prostitution to finance their dependence.
- Have impaired judgment related to drug
- Use prostitution as a last resort to support themselves.
Some may begin working due to their addiction; others resort to prostitution to make a living after addiction has affected their lives. However, there are other possibilities, especially those related to the control of outside forces.
Why Pimps Keep Sex Workers Hooked on Purpose
Pimps use drugs on many different levels. They may seek women who are addicted or have a tendency toward drug abuse, promising them a supply in exchange for their work. This relationship will continue only if the prostitute continues to work for him. The cycle of addiction is thus exploited because she will continue to seek drugs and provide services to maintain access to substances, without ever considering an intensive outpatient program to help break the cycle.
Others lure women with drugs they don’t have to pay for. A pimp may promise a better life, which can be tempting for someone who has endured much hardship. The combination of addiction and control triggers a cycle that is hard to escape.
Breaking the Vicious Cycle
The cycle can be broken, and one doesn’t have to reside at a treatment facility. It can start with outpatient detox, as dependence and withdrawal symptoms may be managed with proven treatments. Behavioral therapies target the behaviors and attitudes that support one’s addiction. An intensive outpatient method focused on behavior helps people understand the consequences of their habits and guides them on the path to living a healthier lifestyle.
Counseling may be combined with medication and treatment for co-existing mental disorders. For an intensive outpatient program near you that includes dialectical behavioral therapy; a 12-step process; and individual, group, and family therapy while factoring in underlying issues and encouraging change, contact BlueCrest Recovery Center in Woodland Park, NJ, today at 973-298-5776.