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Drugs Don't Curb Sexual Compulsions

I am writing in response to the article "Pantless Encounters: Harmless Nuisance or Gateway Crime?" (Street Talk, Sept. 20). My reason for writing is to clear up some misconceptions in the article about antidepressants being "helpful" in any way for curbing sexual compulsions.

To the contrary, after acting as an expert witness in criminal cases involving these drugs for the past 14 years, I can state emphatically that, rather than curbing those compulsions, they cause sexual compulsions. All one has to do is read a package insert for one of these drugs to find "increased libido" listed as a side effect.

In longer-term use, patients reach burnout as they do with any stimulant and can then have decreased libido. But remember that generally something goes up before it comes down. We need to remember that an anti-depressant (the opposite of a depressant) is a stimulant, and stimulants rev up the whole body.

As for these drugs curbing erections, it has instead been common practice, although unapproved by the FDA, for doctors to give these drugs to maintain erections longer due to the unpleasant side effect of inability to reach orgasm or delayed orgasm.

When I ask heads of sex abuse therapy programs the percentage of offenders coming to them already on these Prozac-like medications at the time of their crime, I am being given an approximate figure of around 80 percent.

If we do not educate ourselves before medicating ourselves we are going to end up with more sex crimes than we could ever imagine. I think our society is now seeing that as reality. I have yet to see one of these cases of a female schoolteacher arrested for seducing a young male student who was not on an antidepressant.

(Warning: Rapid withdrawal from antidepressants is extremely dangerous! The FDA warns that any abrupt change in dose, be it up or down, can produce suicide, psychosis, hostility, etc.)

Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D.
Executive Director
International Coalition for Drug Awareness

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