Piper offers important information and insight on pornography:
The new narcotic. Morgan Bennett just published an article by this title. The thesis:
Neurological research has revealed that the effect of internet pornography on the human brain is just as potent — if not more so — than addictive chemical substances such as cocaine or heroin.
To make matters worse, there are 1.9 million cocaine users, and 2 million heroin users, in the United States compared to 40 million regular users of online pornography.
Here’s why the addictive power of pornography can be worse:
Cocaine is considered a stimulant that increases dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is the primary neurotransmitter that most addictive substances release, as it causes a “high” and a subsequent craving for a repetition of the high, rather than a subsequent feeling of satisfaction by way of endorphins.
Heroin, on the other hand, is an opiate, which has a relaxing effect. Both drugs trigger chemical tolerance, which requires higher quantities of the drug to be used each time to achieve the same intensity of effect.
Pornography, by both arousing (the “high” effect via dopamine) and causing an orgasm (the “release” effect via opiates), is a type of polydrug that triggers both types of addictive brain chemicals in one punch, enhancing its addictive propensity.
But, Bennett says, “internet pornography does more than just spike the level of dopamine in the brain for a pleasure sensation. It literally changes the physical matter within the brain so that new neurological pathways requirepornographic material in order to trigger the desired reward sensation.”
Think of the brain as a forest where trails are worn down by hikers who walk along the same path over and over again, day after day. The exposure to pornographic images creates similar neural pathways that, over time, become more and more “well-paved” as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. Those neurological pathways eventually become the trail in the brain’s forest by which sexual interactions are routed. Thus, a pornography user has “unknowingly created a neurological circuit” that makes his or her default perspective toward sexual matters ruled by the norms and expectations of pornography.