After the DSK Affair, France Discovers Sex Addiction

This post is in partnership with Worldcrunch, a new global-news site that translates stories of note in foreign languages into English. The article below was originally published in Le Figaro.

(PARIS) — Since the arrest of Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York City last May, psychoanalyst Jean-Benoît Dumonteix’s practice is always packed. “The DSK affair was revelatory,” says this sex-addiction specialist. “Male patients tell me that when they saw DSK hauled into court, they had the impression they were being judged instead of him.”

Dumonteix says the tribulations of the former International Monetary Fund managing director, who was charged with sexual assault after an encounter with a hotel maid and later released, has been cathartic for many of his patients. “They assumed that [Strauss-Kahn] had the same kind of pathology they did, and that broke through the denial.”

Until recently in France, sex addiction was considered more of a pseudo pathology, reserved for American stars like Tiger Woods, David Duchovny and Michael Douglas, who made bizarrely public apologies and went to special centers for treatment. “There’s greater awareness of the problem now,” says Dumonteix, “but the phenomenon is not on the increase.” (See photos of the case of Domique Strauss-Kahn.)

Sexual dependence is classified as a dysfunction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. The concept made its first appearance in the 1970s, prior to becoming the subject of a book, Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, by Patrick Carnes. American psychiatrist Aviel Goodman also produced breakthrough research on sexual dependence. “And we mustn’t forget Freud,” says psychiatrist Marc Valleur. “He described masturbation as the original addiction.”

Between 3% and 6% of the sexually active population, mainly men, suffers from sex addiction, according to a 2011 study by Professor Florence Thibaut of the psychiatric service of Rouen’s CHU hospital and France’s national health-and-medical-research institute Inserm. “There is relatively little interest in sex addiction in France because there are still a lot of taboos about it,” says Thibaut.

In life, sex addiction can play out in various ways — multiple conquests or partners, regular visits to prostitutes, or compulsively visiting sex websites or watching pornographic movies. (See what makes powerful men behave so badly.)

Just Can’t Stop
But how can we distinguish between an active sex life and frenetic need for seduction, and pathological dependence? “This addiction means that the addict will prefer sexual behavior to any other form of social behavior or other activity. As with addictions to alcohol or cigarettes, an addict can’t stop,” Thibaut explains.

Every time the addict is overcome with anxiety or stress, he or she will try to escape the feeling by engaging in a sexual act. After the initial relief, the addict suffers feelings of negative self-esteem — which start the cycle over again. It’s a vicious circle, and behavior usually intensifies into frenetic attempts to find ever more elusive relief.

Sex addicts end up cutting themselves off from the world. “Some of them can spend the day masturbating as they watch movies, or get fired because they couldn’t help checking out sex sites while they were at work. Others go broke paying for call girls, their wives leave them …,” says Dumonteix.

What do the different types of addicts have in common? Progressive isolation, depression and a very low sense of self-worth. In the view of French sexologist Dr. Catherine Solano, “emotionless sex produces addiction.” (See if sex addiction is a disease or convenient excuse.)

According to Dumonteix, whose patients are 95% male, “the behavior is almost always due to some childhood trauma.” This may have been rape or groping, but it is often some kind of intrusion into the child’s intimate sphere. The child may also have been subjected to inappropriate behavior or images.

Dumonteix says most of his patients are ages between 25 and 35, discovered porn on the Internet and cannot stay away from it. “Some of them got addicted at age 15 and have at least 10 years of addiction behind them,” he says.

“Some of my clients are lawyers, surgeons and businessmen who become addicted because of the huge stress they are under. But they too mainly suffer from some kind of trauma,” says Dumonteix.

“The corridors of power are propitious terrain for hypersexuality because they make seduction and conquest much easier,” Solano says. According to Thibaut, celebrity is not a determining factor. “Sex addiction among celebrities is played up by the media, but you don’t have to be famous to go through exactly the same thing. Like drug addiction, it’s the same, famous or not famous.”

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See if the DSK affair has changed the French workplace forever.

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Promises Treatment Centers Finds Addiction Interventions Particularly Powerful Over the Holidays

While many families overlook drug or alcohol problems during the holidays to keep the family intact, the addiction specialists at Promises Treatment Centers have found that addiction interventions are especially powerful at this time of year.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 29, 2011

Holiday music and films instill visions of what the holidays should be, but they aren’t the reality for the millions of families affected by addiction. As holiday celebrations approach, families are left with a series of less-than-ideal ways to approach the addict in their lives. Do they ban the addict from the holiday festivities? Should they allow the addict to ruin another get-together?

Fortunately, there is another option. Staging an addiction intervention confronts the problem head-on, helping the addict get the treatment they need and granting family members the peace of mind to enjoy the holiday season.

An addiction intervention is a pre-planned meeting with the addict and their closest family, friends and colleagues that is designed to help the addict into drug rehab. In a loving, supportive manner, concerned participants describe the way addiction has impacted their lives and the consequences for refusing to accept help.

Families are often reluctant to confront a loved one’s addiction during the holiday season. But according to the addiction specialists at Promises drug rehab centers in Malibu and Los Angeles, in many ways the holidays are the best time to stage an addiction intervention.

“The holidays can be one of the most effective times to break through a loved one’s denial,” said Dr. David Sack, CEO of Promises Treatment Centers. “When family members stage an addiction intervention or help a loved one into treatment over the holidays, they send a particularly strong message that the family’s number-one priority is for their loved one to get well.”

The message is particularly powerful during the holidays because it is a time when many people struggling with addiction assume their downward spiral will go unnoticed or get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of holiday preparation. It is also one of the only times of the year when family members are together in the same place. Families that step in and take action can get their loved one’s attention, increasing the likelihood that the addict will accept the help being offered.

Without intervention, in just a few short months a drug or alcohol problem can go from worrisome to deadly. November and December typically see an increase in drunk driving accidents, accidental overdoses, depression and domestic violence, often tied to drug and alcohol abuse. Delaying drug rehab means a few more months that loved ones, including children, may be exposed to harmful behaviors and many more late nights spent worrying for the addict’s safety.

Substance abuse typically worsens over the holidays, with Thanksgiving Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve consistently ranking among the top drinking holidays of the year. Some reasons for increased drug and alcohol abuse over the holidays include:

“Nothing, including a date on the calendar, should stand in the way of getting help for addiction,” said Dr. Sack. “The longer someone waits to begin drug rehab, the more damage may be done to their physical and emotional health as well as their relationships, career, finances and future.”

The best way to spread holiday cheer isn’t by buying another high-tech gadget, but giving the gift of sobriety. Drug rehab is a safe place to address the feelings and underlying issues that have contributed to drug and alcohol addiction and lay the foundation for happier holidays ahead.

About Promises Treatment Centers

Promises Treatment Centers in Malibu and West Los Angeles are the premier addiction treatment centers in southern California. Led by some of the country’s leading addiction specialists, Promises has built an international reputation for innovative addiction treatment and exceptional service. Whether an individual requires detox, residential drug rehab, outpatient treatment, extended care or a sober living environment, Promises has been the drug rehabilitation center of choice for more than 20 years. For more information about Promises Treatment Centers, visit or call (877) 351-7506.

Promises is part of Elements Behavioral Health, a family of behavioral health care programs that includes The Ranch, The Sexual Recovery Institute and The Recovery Place. Elements offers comprehensive, innovative treatment for substance abuse, sexual addiction, trauma, eating disorders and other mental health disorders. We are committed to delivering clinically sophisticated treatment that promotes permanent lifestyle change, not only for the patient but for the entire family system. For more information about Elements Behavioral Health, visit


Dr. David Sack
Elements Behavioral Health
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Chris Herren speaks to teens at SSTAR about drug addiction

Chris Herren spoke at Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR), Nov. 22 to a group of teenagers about the heroin/oxytocin addiction which led him from a $5 million NBA career to rock bottom in record time.

A six-foot-three point guard, Herren really started his career on the courts of Durfee High School where he drew the attention of several college recruiters. He played at Boston College and later moved on to  Fresno State. His claim to fame were stints in the NBA where he played first for the Denver Nuggets, and later the Boston Celtics.

Injuries throughout his career diverted him from the court. He covertly (and often publicly) battled drug addiction including heroin and what he called the “gorilla on (his) back,” the prescription painkiller oxycodone.

Though Herren lost his golden ticket to the professional arena, he has become just as popular in his efforts to share the lessons he learned on the court. He trains and mentors young basketball players in his company Hoop Dreams with Chris Herren, Inc; and runs the Chris Herren Foundation, which provides funds for addicted individuals who want treatment but can’t pay for it. 

He co-authored (with Bill Reynolds) the book Basketball Junkie; and shares his story in lecture halls across the country. Herren spoke at SSTAR last week, because the local facility started him on the path to sobriety.

“When I pulled in here tonight, I saw the lights of the (detox) building across the street and some strong memories came up. It was just a little over three years ago, that SSTAR opened its doors to me and my recovery,” Herren said.

Herren warned audience members about the dangers of starting bad habits young. Among these were teenagers enrolled in SSTAR’s Adolescent Community Treatment Program (ACT) which provides outpatient treatment to people aged 12-17 who are using or have used drugs or alcohol.

“I look at many of you in the audience now, and I see myself. When I was your age, at Durfee, and took my first hit of cocaine, I didn’t have any idea that the choices that I was making then would follow me throughout my life,” he said.

Herren told heart-wrenching stories which probably parallel the rise and fall stories of many ordinary people addicted to drugs and alcohol—with a few exotic details thrown in. Yet whether he was speaking about smuggling drugs into Bologna, Italy;  or being spared arrest in Iran due to the kindness of a fan, a postal guard, who discreetly confiscated his package of drugs; he never loses sight of how this related to the people in the city he grew up in.

“My whole life everyone was telling me, you have to get out of Fall River, don’t go home, it is going to be your downfall. The irony was wherever I was in the world—China, Italy, Tehran, wherever I was, I could find drugs. Eventually I came to realize, Fall River wasn’t my downfall, I was my downfall,” Herren said.

The ACT program at SSTAR provides treatment to teenagers struggling with addiction. In addition to traditional substance abuse treatment the program incorporates family participation; and learning skills such as anger management and communication. Fees are sliding scale, but nobody is turned away if they can’t afford to pay. For more information about the ACT program call 508-558-2490.

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Addiction treatment after jail not available

A P.E.I. addict who just finished a jail sentence is angry he was unable to continue addiction treatment immediately after leaving jail.

“Every kind of theft that I did was to go out and feed my addiction,” 24-year-old Kyle Kenny told CBC News.

Kenny got hooked on pain killers six years ago after a car accident. He was stealing to pay for hundreds of dollars worth of drugs a week: percocet, dilaudid and oxys.

He got clean during a four-month stay the Provincial Correctional Centre in Sleepy Hollow. When he was released earlier this month, he wanted to go straight into in-depth addiction treatment from jail, but a lack of coordination of jail and community addictions services got in the way.

Kenny asked to go directly into P.E.I.’s youth day program or to in-house treatment in New Brunswick, but he had to go back to once-a-week counselling.

“The reason why I’m so mad about it is I’ve been crying out for help,” said Kenny.

“I wanted to go straight from incarceration, not get out on the street and risk the relapse.”

On P.E.I., jail addictions services are offered by correctional services and community treatment by Health PEI. The two services were unable to coordinate, and Kenny will not get into full-time treatment until mid-December.

Kenny said the lack of coordination is particularly difficult to understand, given that a recent corrections review found 70 per cent inmates are struggling with addictions.

Margaret Kennedy, director of addictions for Health PEI, said a committee is looking at the problem.

“[We want to make] sure they have a smooth transition,” said Kennedy.

“We wouldn’t necessarily want somebody to start over.”

That committee is expected to release recommendations next month.

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D.A. honored for support of addiction programs

Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams in his office with the Council on Chemical Abuse’s 2011 President’s Award, which he received for his work in implementing and supporting programs to combat drug and alcohol addiction.

Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams said he is humbled that the Council on Chemical Abuse awarded him the 2011 President’s Award for implementing and supporting drug-and-alcohol addiction-treatment programs.

“This award should go to my entire staff in recognition of their commitment to making people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol change their ways,” said Adams, who received the award recently at the council’s annual conference at the Crowne Plaza Reading, Wyomissing. “We need to focus on programs to prevent recidivism.”

Adams thanked the council for selecting him for the award.

The council, based at 601 Penn St., provides programs and support for those with addiction problems.

“We recognize there is a correlation between abuse of drugs and alcohol and criminal behavior,” Adams said. “We have programs that help save the taxpayers’ money because we do not have to incarcerate people with addiction problems.”

He said his background as a probation officer and defense attorney provided him with an understanding of the correlation between addiction and criminal behavior.

Adams said Berks is in the forefront of implementing alternative sentencing programs.

George J. Vogel Jr., executive director of the council, said the President’s Award is the most distinguished honor presented at the conference, bestowed in recognition of an individual’s ongoing commitment as a dedicated leader and professional in a field impacted by addiction.

Vogel said Adam’s commitment to those addicted to drugs and alcohol has resulted in the implementation of treatment court and other alternative sentencing programs.

“Adams encourages awareness of addiction from prevention through treatment, and the council is pleased to recognize him as the 2011 President’s Award honoree,” Vogel said.

Contact Holly Herman: 610-478-6291 or

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Drug abuse treatment law to raise number of patients 2-3 times

The number of patients of addiction treatment clinics may grow 2-3 times after the law on compulsory drug abuse treatment is adopted in Russia, Russian Ministry of Health’s chief alcohol and drug abuse specialist Yevgeny Bryun said on Saturday….

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Palm Partners Recovery Center Announces the Recent Opening of the Hamilton Recovery Center

Delray Beach, FL (PRWEB) November 23, 2011

Palm Partners, an accredited and nationally recognized drug and alcohol treatment facility based out of Delray Beach, Florida, in conjunction with Nation of Angels Corp., a non-profit corporation that provides services such as intervention, and addiction treatment facility referrals, welcomed the opening of the Hamilton Recovery Center on Friday, Oct. 21 at its office in Hamilton Township, New Jersey.

While many who live in New Jersey seek treatment in Florida, there has never been a great place for them to go once they return home from the treatment center for continuing care. Now, the affiliation between Palm Partners Recovery Center and the Hamilton Recovery Center will bridge that gap by providing addiction treatment services to those returning to New Jersey from addiction treatment in Florida. Peter Harrigan, CEO of Palm Partners said of the recent opening “We are excited to open this facility in Hamilton to be able to have the opportunity to provide those in recovery who are returning from addiction treatment these services at the Hamilton Recovery Center to help them to succeed in their recovery efforts and lead sober lives.”

John Hulick, Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Executive Director who was there representing Governor Chris Christie brought up that only 7% of those in the state of New Jersey dealing with drug or alcohol addiction get the treatment they need. Hulick further stated that “If the epidemic was any other disease besides addiction, it would most certainly be deemed a crisis. Thanks to these organizations, we can begin to help all of those individuals who desperately want to get sober but had nowhere to turn for help.”

Palm Partners Recovery Center is located in Delray Beach, Florida at 705 Linton Blvd # A105 Delray Beach, FL 33444. If you or someone you love is currently struggling with drug or alcohol addiction and need assistance or information please visit our website at http://www., or call Palm Partners Recovery Center toll free number at (877) 711-4673.


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Most docs return to work after addiction treatment

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Surgeons and other types of doctors were equally likely to return to medical practice after being treated for drug or alcohol addiction, in a new study.

Surgeons were also no different from non-surgeons in the proportion who relapsed after treatment, or the number who had their medical licenses revoked.

Researchers wrote Monday in the Archives of Surgery that they had expected surgeons might make a stronger turn-around than other doctors, in part because of the expectation of “perfection” in everything they do.

“Being a safety-sensitive specialty, they receive greater scrutiny when returning to practice following chemical dependence treatment,” said Amanda Buhl from the Washington Physicians Health Program, who worked on the study. “We actually hypothesized that they would have more favorable outcomes following treatment.”

While that turned out not to be the case, the majority of surgeons and non-surgeons were able to return to practice within a few years of treatment.

The study included 144 surgeons and 636 other physicians, including family practice doctors and anesthesiologists, who were treated for a substance abuse disorder in 16 different state physician health programs from 1995 to 2001.

Physician health programs allow doctors to be treated for drug abuse and addiction without repercussions as long as they complete program contracts, including random testing, and recover before returning to practice.

The participating doctors, mostly men, and in their mid-40s, on average, were followed for five years after treatment to see how many of them fulfilled the contracts and if they went back to work.

Alcohol abuse was the most common reason for enrolling in the physician health programs, and was more prevalent in surgeons than non-surgeons. Other reasons for treatment included opioid, stimulant and sedative abuse.

About one in five surgeons and non-surgeons had a positive alcohol or drug test result after treatment, and the same number were reported to state licensing boards because of relapses or non-compliance with the programs.

Still, after five years, 60 to 65 percent of all doctors had completed post-treatment monitoring contracts, and as many as 75 percent had their licenses restored and were practicing medicine again.

Slightly more surgeons than non-surgeons didn’t return to medicine for a variety of reasons, including having a license revoked, leaving voluntarily or dying.

The findings “certainly demonstrate favorable outcomes following successful treatment for a substance use disorder,” Buhl told Reuters Health.

Studies have estimated that about ten percent of doctors will abuse drugs or alcohol at some point during their careers — similar to figures in the general population.

But if they do get treatment, they tend to do better than the average non-doctor, possibly because they have a lot to lose, said Dr. Keith Berge, an anesthesiologist from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who has studied drug dependence in physicians.

Although physician health programs have helped address addiction by emphasizing treatment over punishment, there’s still a long way to go in terms of getting doctors the help they need in a timely fashion, added Berge, who wasn’t involved in the new research.

“There’s a huge barrier to physicians admitting to these problems, and often they’re pretty far gone in their addictive illness by the time they come to the attention of (other) physicians or state medical boards,” he told Reuters Health.

“The medical community — families, colleagues — need to remain vigilant to not only the signs and symptoms of substance use disorders, but to stress and burnout, those conditions that can lend themselves to drug and alcohol abuse,” Buhl agreed.

Berge said that the question of drug and alcohol addiction in doctors is increasingly being seen as an important patient safety issue — but the safest thing isn’t necessarily to remove doctors from the operating room or bedside for good.

“There is a scarcity of physicians, so the goal is not to basically take good physicians that can have a useful, safe career out of practice,” he said. “The goal is to have a valuable societal resource fixed and put back into place to provide safe, competent patient care.”

SOURCE: Archives of Surgery, online November 21, 2011.

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California Residential Addiction Treatment Center Offers New Family Program Complementing Faith Based Drug Treatment …

Celebrate A New Life, the faith based Christian Drug Treatment Program at Hope By The Sea, encourages clients’ family members to participate in a new Family Program to learn more about the disease of addition and recovery.

Laguna Niguel, CA (PRWEB) November 22, 2011

Celebrate A New Life, a Christian drug rehab program, is one integrated component offered at Hope by the Sea, a Southern California residential addiction treatment center. This past October Hope by the Sea introduced their new Family Program and Celebrate A New Life’s clients’ family members eagerly participated. “Addiction is a disease that affects every member of the family, including extended family members. A successful recovery often begins when parents, children, spouses, partners and siblings can meet together and learn about the disease and what to expect as their loved one goes through treatment and begins to find lasting recovery,” reports Robert (Bobby) Nicholl, Celebrate A New Life’s Director of Admissions.

Hope by the Sea’s Family Program is offered one weekend per month, with the opening session beginning at 10:30AM Friday and the closing session ending at 4:30PM Sunday. The cost is $500 per family (up to three participants) and each additional participant is $150. Group sessions are guided by our professional staff, including Sharon Stafford, PhD, Dr. Quinlan Strong, Cyndie Dunkerson, Nicole Cable, and Jose Majias. Out of town family members are offered discounted rates at a number of nearby hotels.

“Going forward the goals for our Family Program participants are clear: Learn about addiction as a disease concept; identify family roles in addiction; recognize and prevent enabling addictive behaviors; move past denial, shame, guilt and fear; define and conceptualize codependence; practice healthy methods of conflict resolution; establish healthy boundary systems; create a relapse prevention plan; practice Al-Anon recovery principles; and promote ongoing recovery and healing,” says Mr. Nicholl, “Attending a Family Program can be a life-changing event, a time for each family member to focus on themselves, to learn, to relax and discover serenity.”

About Celebrate A New Life: Celebrate A New Life is a Christian Residential Drug Rehab and Alcohol Treatment Program, located in the coastal communities of Orange County Southern California. As an integrated component of one of the very best treatment facilities and drug rehab programs in the United States, Celebrate A New Life culminates a Biblical Christ centered approach to healing, restoration, and reconciliation to God, family, and to one’s own dignity and self-worth. Celebrate a New Life offers 30-60-90 day programs in a comfortable safe ocean environment. If you or a family member is in need of help call toll-free 800-708-3173. We are available 24 hours a day seven days per week.

# # #

Bobby Nicholl
Celebrate A New Life
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USC Educator and Addiction Medicine Pioneer Dr. Akikur Mohammad Launches Intervention Awareness Campaign

MALIBU, CA–(Marketwire -11/21/11)- Dr. Akikur Mohammad, Founder of Malibu Horizon, the leading non 12-step treatment center in Malibu, California and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California (, announced today that he and his team at Malibu Horizon, along with several addiction professionals in the region, are launching an intervention awareness campaign designed to educate the public about the marvels and pitfalls of the intervention process.

Dr. Mohammad said, “While there is absolutely no doubt that when dealing with a medical disease, proper and careful intervention by a qualified individual is the key to healing; well, that sentiment holds particularly true for the disease of addiction.” Mohammad added, “Sadly, a shocking number of interventionists working today are not just unqualified to perform quality interventions, but they are also drastically overcharging people in need for their questionable services. In my opinion, this behavior is borderline criminal and must be stopped.”

Dr. Mohammad and his peers have decided that until there is a consistent and respected regulatory system in place to monitor the actions of qualified interventionists, they are forming an alliance of addiction experts throughout the recovery industry that will be keeping a registry of qualified and reputable interventionists, and making their list available to the public upon request. Mohammad added, “Our team is launching this campaign to not only educate the public about the intervention process and how to find the best qualified interventionist for your situation, but also to provide some system of checks and balances to an intervention industry that until now has operated below the radar. There is no room for error when treating this disease and the professionals responsible for critical interventions need to be qualified or out of business; it is that simple and an awareness campaign is a much needed first step.”

For more information or for media inquiries, contact Jed Wallace at

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