Sex Trade and Substance Abuse: A Marriage Made in Hell

Donna Sabella | September 23 | 9:00 - 10:00 AM | Room Ingman

The use of drugs among those involved in sex work, prostitution or human trafficking is well known. While not everyone uses or is addicted to drugs or alcohol, for many prostitution or sex work serves as a means to an end of getting the substances they need. For others, while initially they are drug free, they may eventually turn to substance use/abuse as an act of self-medicating to numb and distance themselves from the reality of what they are experiencing. And then there are those who are forced to take drugs by their pimps or traffickers as a means of controlling them to ensure that they will do as they are told. But whatever the reason for the use, the outcome of substance use and abuse can have severe consequences both physically and emotionally. In addressing the individual’s recovery, aside from helping the individual heal from the sexual exploitation, it is important that we help them in their recovery from drugs and alcohol. This presentation will discuss the most common types of drugs abused; what their side effects, risks and benefits are; and appropriate forms of treatment.

Presentation Objectives:

·         Name the 5 most common substances used by those in the sex trade;

·         For each substance named, discuss its impact on the user as well as several common and serious side effects; and

Describe an appropriate form of substance abuse treatment for a given substance.


About the Presenter