Sexual addiction in drug addicts: The impact of drug of choice and poly-addiction

Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2017 May;63(5):414-421. doi: 10.1590/1806-9282.63.05.414.


Objective:: To compare the risk of comorbid sexual addiction in a sample of individuals with a diagnosis of substance dependence, stratifying the sample by drug of choice as well as by mono versus polysubstance addiction.

Method:: All data were collected at Santa Casa de São Paulo, Brazil. The study sample comprised all alcohol or drug dependents admitted to the Addiction Treatment Unit between November 2013 and August 2014. A generalized linear model with a binomial distribution was performed to compare the odds of having a Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) score greater than 6 points in the subgroups analyzed.

Results:: A total of 133 participants were included in our analysis, all reporting cocaine/crack and/or alcohol as drug of choice. Polysubstance addicts had a significant higher risk of a positive screening for sexual addiction compared to monosubstance addicts, age-sex adjusted odds ratios of sexual addiction being respectively 2.72 (95CI 1.1-6.71) and 0.37 (95CI 0.15-0.91). The odds of a SAST score greater than 6 was not statistically different between the cocaine/crack and alcohol groups, respectively 0.38 (95CI 0.14-1.02) and 2.67 (95CI 0.98-7.25). We found a significant relation between stronger drug addiction and greater levels of sexual addiction in the cocaine/crack group (p=0.0012), but not in the alcohol group.

Conclusion:: Our study reinforces the importance of assessing sexual behavior of drug addicts in clinical practice, especially considering users of multiple substances or with severe dependence.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Behavior, Addictive / chemically induced*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Brazil
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Cocaine-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Crack Cocaine / adverse effects
  • Drug Users / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / drug effects*
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological / chemically induced*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Crack Cocaine