Effect of Variable Substances on Sexual Function: A Narrative Review

Document Type: Review article


1 Mental Health Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Substance use disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders worldwide, including Iran, and according to the latest studies, 2.8% of people have been affected in Iran. Sexual dysfunction is one of the most serious and most troublesome problems associated with substance use.
Methods: Research has been conducted on reliable and credible Persian and English databases regarding correlation between substance use and sexual dysfunction. By reviewing the Persian and English scientific bases, this article has been written.
Results: The effects of substance abuse on sexual function are different in terms of both the duration of use and the person’s gender; for example, opiates such as opium, which are also found in narcotic pain medications, initially prolong the period of excitement and improve sexual activity in some individuals; however, for long term effects, they can reduce sexual desire and make erectile dysfunction. In addition, the use of stimulants and cannabinoids is mainly associated with the improvement and increased sexual desire. However, chronic and long-term use of these substances reduces desire and impairs the function. Similar cases about alcohol use are also evident.
Conclusion: Substance abuse positively correlates with sexual dysfunction with a variety of manifestations, and prevention or treatment of this commonly occurring disorder can lead to improved sexual health.


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