Good therapy | abstinence (2023)

Good therapy | abstinence (1)abstinenceIt is the complete and total avoidance of an activity such as drinking, having sex, shopping or gambling. It is often used as a strategy to avoid problematic or dangerous behavior.

What is abstinence?

Abstinence contrasts with concepts such as restricted use or self-control because the abstinence model calls for complete abstinence from a substance or behavior. For example, a person who limits alcohol intake would not practice abstinence, but a person who refused all alcoholic beverages on a long-term basis would abstain from alcohol consumption.

Abstinence is generally understood to mean completely avoiding sexual behavior, especially in children and adolescents. A person who only hasSexwith his partner he is monogamous but not abstemious. On the other hand, a person who promises not to have sex until marriage has committed to abstinence until marriage.

celibacy versus abstinence

Some people confuse the terms celibacy and abstinence; However, there are some important differences between the two concepts. First, celibacy has primarily sexual connotations; however, abstinence can be used more broadly to mean "not engaging in any activity". Specifically, celibacy means abstaining from all sex (and marriage) for life, as when one takes a "vow of celibacy". A person who is sexually abstinent may choose not to have premarital sex, but is not celibate as he still allows sex in a specific context.

sexual abstinence

Not having sex is the surest way to avoid STDs and pregnancy. Many high schools and religious programs in the United States teach only education, which advocates abstaining from sexual intercourse until marriage. While abstinence is the only guaranteed method of avoiding diseasethe pregnancyIn current discourse, abstinence-only programs are generally seen as ineffective. Instead, some educators advocate emphasizing the benefits of abstinence and then teaching strategies to prevent illness, promote healthy sexuality, and ensure that emotional needs are met.

In some cases, withdrawal can have physiological effects, but misconceptions about the effects of withdrawal on a person's body and mental state are also common. For example, some believe that abstinence can lower testosterone levels; Investigations often come to the opposite conclusion. One study found that testosterone levels in men peaked after seven days without intercourse. However, abstinence can increase the risk of disease.erectile dysfunction.

Since then, a study has been published in theFamily Planning and Reproductive Health Magazinefound that adult women who voluntarily abstained from sex were less likely to do soused illegal drugs, alcohol abuse or unemployment. While this does not necessarily mean that abstinence led these women to make certain lifestyle choices, it may be that women who make these choices are more likely to experience periods of sexual withdrawal.

Does abstinence work?

Withdrawal can have different effects depending on the context in which it is applied. For example, some studies have shown that abstinence is not as effective when used as the sole form of education in reducing teen pregnancy rates, and a 2011 study found that state sex education guidelines that only address abstinence point to have a positive correlation with high rates. . of teenage pregnancy.

Other research shows that abstinence can have some benefits: some abstinence programs are positively correlated with reduced rates of teen pregnancy. A study published inHealth Communications Magazinefound that the "Not Me, Not Now" campaign in Monroe County, New York, was strongly associated with a decline in teen pregnancy rates in that county.

Withdrawal is often part of recovery programs that focus on addictive behaviors. This is because many researchers assume that even a single exposure to an addictive substance can cause it.triggerAddictive behavior in someone with a drug problem. He12 steps modelused byAlcoholics Anonymousand similar programs advocate total abstinence from addictive substances. One study found that long periods of substance abstinence were associated with a lower risk of premature death. However, certain factors can increase the likelihood that a person will remain abstinent, including how long they have been in addiction treatment and how long they have been in treatment.

Not all addictions can be treated with abstinence, and it is not always possible or healthy to avoid certain behaviors over the long term. Sometimes “abstinence-based treatment” is used to refer to “drug-free” treatment, with the ultimate goal of getting a substance addict to stop using any drug. In extreme cases, and in many cases of opiate addiction, this method has proved to be unreliable, as drugs such as buprenorphine can be prescribed to help people to come off the drug of abuse and thus maintain a healthy lifestyle. healthy and functional.

Harmful Effect of Withdrawal (AVE)

There are some notable downsides to withdrawal. One of these is best described as a harmful withdrawal effect (AVE). When a person commits to abstaining from something like addictive substances, sex, etc.compulsive behavior, there is a possibility that they will give upwishesor thetemptationengage in this behavior. When the commitment to remain abstinent is broken, it is not uncommon for people to experience the effect of violating abstinence, which often manifests itself as intenseDebtSpena.

Stroke was not only associated with substance userelapse, but with patterns ofEating disorder. In case ofBulimiaFor example, one study found that the AVE helped alleviate the excessive purging cycle. For example, if a person with bulimia takes a bite of a food that they have been forbidden to eat, the AVE can be activated and they can feel it.Essattackenit's unavoidable, as they've already broken off withdrawal and are therefore more likely to get caught up in the binge/purge cycle.

Since stroke is an all-or-nothing form of thinking, some might argue that a person's attitude, not the withdrawal itself, is harmful. But in cases where a person tends tocognitive bias, abstinence may not be the healthiest approach.


  1. Borreli, L. (October 12, 2016). Temporary sexual abstinence: 6 surprising ways your body changes after you stop having sex regularly. Medical journal. Retrieved from
  2. Collins, SE and Witkiewitz, K. (2013). harmful effect of abstinence. Retrieved from
  3. Doniger AS, Adams E, Utter CA, and Riley JS (2001). Evaluation of the impact of the abstinence-focused teen pregnancy prevention communication program, Monroe County, New York.Health Communication Magazine, 6(1), 45-60. Retrieved from
  4. Hirsch, L. (2019). Abstinence. Adolescent health. Retrieved from
  5. Jiang M, Xin J, Zou Q and Shen JW (2003). A study of the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone levels in men.Scientific Journal of Zhejiang University, 4(2), 236-240. Retrieved from
  6. Mandal, A. (May 14, 2019). What is abstinence? Retrieved from
  7. Nettleman, M., Ingersoll, KS, and Ceperich, SD (2006). Characteristics of adult women who abstain from sexual intercourse.Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 32(1), 23-24. doi: 10.1783/147118906775275226
  8. Olsen, Y. (April 10, 2015). Ask the PCSS-MAT Experts: Tackling Challenging Problems in Addiction Medicine: "Abstinence-Based" Treatment Centers. American Society of Addiction Medicine. Retrieved from
  9. Scott CK, Dennis ML, Laudet A., Funk RR, and Simeone RS (2011). Surviving drug addiction: the effect of treatment and abstinence on mortality.American Journal of Public Health, 101(4), 737–744. dos: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.197038
  10. Stranger-Hall, KF & Hall, DW (2011). Educating Only About Abstinence and Teen Pregnancy Rates: Why We Need Comprehensive Sex Education in the USPLoS Eins, 6(10). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024658
  11. Ward, T., Hudson, SM and Bulk, CM (1993). The violating effect of abstinence in bulimia nervosa.addictive behavior, 18, 671-680. Retrieved from

Last update:23.05.2019


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tuan Roob DDS

Last Updated: 10/11/2023

Views: 6043

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tuan Roob DDS

Birthday: 1999-11-20

Address: Suite 592 642 Pfannerstill Island, South Keila, LA 74970-3076

Phone: +9617721773649

Job: Marketing Producer

Hobby: Skydiving, Flag Football, Knitting, Running, Lego building, Hunting, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Tuan Roob DDS, I am a friendly, good, energetic, faithful, fantastic, gentle, enchanting person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.