Sex addiction can hook its victims in a much worse way than other vices, such as drugs or alcohol. CBN News spoke with one of the world's most renowned experts to find out why.
Dr. Doug Weiss was a main speaker at a marriage enrichment retreat recently in Rockaway, New Jersey.
"Sexual addiction is probably one of the hardest addictions to walk out of because it's part of who you are," Dr. Doug Weiss, head of the American Association for Sex Addiction, explained.
"Drugs aren't a part of who you are," he said. "Alcohol isn't a part of who you are. [It's] something that you do. Sexuality is part of who you are."
Weiss offered more insight on why this addiction is so hard to break.
"The Scripture says when we sin sexually, we sin against our own body. What happens is you get these endorphins, (it) hits the excitement center of your brain, then BOOM, you literally glue to whatever you're looking at," Weiss explained.
"Well, if that's an object, now you've created an appetite for an object, and that can create lust, sin and death in your life," he said. "That's James 1:15."
As Weiss pointed out, this is deadly serious as well as hard to beat.
"The actual sexual chemical is stronger than anything you can take," he said.
Once an Addict
Many addicts stay addicted because they believe there's no way they could ever break out of it. But Weiss explained that's far from true. He himself escaped the cycle.
"I was conceived in adultery. So you don't start off well there. And I was put in foster homes. I was sexually abused. I was an alcohol and drug addict, sex addict," he revealed.
But he didn't stay that way, and he tells others they don't have to either.
"They could get better. They could have a fantastic life. They could be free from pornography and sexual addiction—I've been free for 29 years," Weiss stated.
But he told those at a "men-only" session at the retreat that you can't do it alone.
"Anybody can be free if they're willing to do the work," Weiss assured. "But the first work is getting honest, and a lot of Christians—we're not confessing our faults one to another; we're not talking about what's going on."
"I was in Bible school and yet still fully sexually addicted. I tried, cried, fasted, prayed and memorized Scripture, but still I would fail again and again," Weiss writes in his book Clean.
He shared in the book how he'd confess his sexual sins to the Lord over and over but couldn't find healing. That is, he didn't find healing till he fully accepted these words in James 5:16: "Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed."
How to Get Free
Weiss realized it's crucial to confess to at least one other human being and get them to pray for your healing.
"There's hope once we open the door of telling somebody, 'This is what's going on with me,'" Weiss told CBN News. "And tens of thousands of guys have taken my word for that, and they have told somebody, and they start to get free."
Weiss began to confess to his seminary roommate every time he committed a sexual sin. It was embarrassing and humiliating, but he persisted. Very soon thereafter, he was healed and his sexual addiction went away.
But Weiss says you'll still face struggles, so he advises to take the next steps. For instance, stay in prayer and in the Bible.
"Be accountable," he added. "Get into support groups. We have support groups all over the country called Freedom Groups. And there are other kinds of support groups all across the country."
Other Tips on How to Get 'Clean'
In his book, Weiss writes, "To change a behavior you might want to change your conditioning from positive rewards for lust to setting up a negative reward for this behavior."
"If you look at something or do something inappropriate, have a consequence set up and enforce it," he wrote.
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