Read time: 3 minutes 29 seconds
As COVID was spreading across the globe, there was another plague infecting people's minds during the lockdown.
To no one's surprise, research shows that pornography usage spiked dramatically during the pandemic.
Some psychologists, such as Joshua Grubbs of Bowling Green State University, did not believe this phenomenon to be anything of significance and was in fact expected.
"Yeah, people viewed a little bit of extra porn maybe there at the beginning of the pandemic, and then they kind of got back to their normal. That's exactly what I would have expected."
Yet new research is coming out of the UK from the largest private rehab provider, UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT), that the porn-demic American psychologists tried to downplay is real and having a major effect on their clients.
UKAT found that 36,000 sought treatments for their pornography addiction in 2021. That is an increase from the reported 10,500 in 2020, almost 250%.
As reported by StudyFinds.org, there was a shocking 13% increase in women seeking help, rising to 38% of their patients. While many of their clients came from larger cities such as London, Birmingham and Manchester, it was reported "nearly all areas covered in the UKAT data saw their numbers at least double."
And for the U.S. psychologists downplaying the negative affects of porn viewing or addiction, one patient for UKAT, anonymously and using the pseudonym "Tom," came forward to describe how destructive his addiction to porn and drugs became during the pandemic.
Tom told BBC Radio Newcastle that he ended up spending $124,000 (£100,000) on cocaine, pornography and escorts. He claimed to be watching pornographic videos for up to 15 hours a day.
"Once I got cocaine, I just had to watch porn for that rush," Tom said in a statement. "It really affects your libido in real life.
"It affected me being with women, because I was so used to watching porn. Addiction is a disease, it's an illness. I was just a mess, just absolutely broken," he added. "One night I spent £2,000 in lockdown on escorts and cocaine—that was my worst night but over the years it's well over £100,000 on the drugs and porn."
UKAT Director Simon Stephens told SWNS about the physical side of the battle against pornography addiction.
"The first thing I say to clients is that this is not always about sex, this is about learning how to deal with emotions in a way that is less destructive.
"Availability of this material that allows people to create a stimulus that creates dopamine in the brain, one of the effects of that is to suppress feelings," Stephens added. "We can offer a small amount of help but in no way can we meet demand."
This is only half of the battle against pornography. While Stephens is absolutely correct in the physical, mental and emotional effects this addiction has on the body, there is a spiritual battle being waged as well.
Charisma magazine warned of this destructive habit over 40 years ago, in September 1978. Pastor Earl J. Banning of Braeswood Assembly in Houston, Texas, discussed at length the danger of the pornography "plague" affecting America, and the responsibility of Christians to stand against it.
Banning listed some of the effective and practical stands against the skyrocketing use of pornography that has occurred since 1978, long before the invention of the internet. Writing to those who make the laws such as a congressional representative or even the president can have a major effect, when Christians unite and work together to accomplish this goal.
But Banning also lists the most affective strategy for a Christian in his article:
"The most significant thing, however, a Christian can do is pray. Obey any specific direction God gives. Stand against the plague of immorality and pray for those who are being used and abused."
Banning's words are as true today as they were in 1978. The only way to eradicate this plague ruining lives across the world, is the power of God.
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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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