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A new study suggests substance abuse impairs sexual performance in men, even after they stop using drugs or alcohol. Earlier studies suggested men spontaneously recover their normal sexual performance several weeks after they end substance abuse, MedicalXpress reports.

The study included 905 men, 549 of whom had been diagnosed with addiction to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or a combination of substances. The men who were diagnosed with addiction had an average of one year of abstinence. The researchers found the men who had been addicted had a moderately to significantly impaired sexual performance, in the areas of sexual desire, satisfaction, arousal and orgasm, compared with men who had not been addicted.

The researchers wrote in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, “These results seem to contradict those that argue that drug use only impairs sexual functioning temporarily. Moreover, they suggest that sexual functioning does not improve just by stopping drug use.”

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