Rebecca Hagelin

The cover story of the summer edition of Salvo magazine screams, "Porn is a Drug… and the addiction is very real."

I say, "screams" because the editorial board (on which I serve, pro bono) is desperately trying to shine the spotlight on what just might be the most prevalent and destructive - yet hush, hush – addiction of our time: The continuous feeding on, and debasing of women and sex through graphic and often violent depictions of sexual activity.

Dr. Donald Hilton, a practicing neurosurgeon and clinical associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center authored Salvo’s feature piece, “Slave Master: How Pornography Drugs and Changes Your Brain”. Dr. Hilton skillfully documents the biological reactions to porn usage, specifically how it affects the production and impact of dopamine in the brain. “Dopamine is essential for humans to desire and value appropriate pleasure in life,” writes Dr. Hilton. Frequent use of pornography produces a steady stream of dopamine which quickly starts to lose its impact on the pleasure center of the brain. Thus, more porn is required to achieve the same “high”.

Dr. Hilton explains, “As the desensitization of the reward circuit continues, stronger and stronger stimuli are required to boost the dopamine. In the case of narcotic addiction, the addicted person must increase the amount of the drug to get the same high. In pornography addiction, progressively more shocking images are required to stimulate the person.” Which is why a pornography user can quickly go from soft-core to hard-core to child pornography.

You can read Dr. Hilton’s entire piece, for free, at

100 billion dollars are spent each year on the porn drug in America. And it’s not just men that risk getting hooked: A study in the Journal of Adolescent Research reveals that porn is used by 87 percent of college males and 31 percent of females. Porn is becoming ubiquitous in American society, but, "Shhhhh.....we musn't speak about it," seems to be the rule. Why? Because if we openly to discuss the problem, then logic says we either have to start doing something to stem the tide, or decide to just normalize the shameful and destructive habit.

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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