The “New” Public Health Crisis
Author: Steve Huston  


Arguably one of the most memorable public service announcements (PSAs) in the war on drugs, was “This is your brain… This is your brain on drugs.” This PSA changed from the ‘80s generic version of frying an egg to the specific drug of heroin with a frying pan smashing an egg and then wreaking havoc—smashing dishes, etc. Well, pornography is also finally being seen as the strong drug and destroyer that it is.

At first thought, most don’t see a connection between drugs and pornography, but the way they affect the brain is the same.Quoting from Fight the New Drug:

The way substances like cocaine and opioids make users feel high is by triggering the reward pathway to release high levels of dopamine without making the user do any of the work to earn it. Want to guess what else does that? Porn.

And that surge of dopamine is causing more than just feelings. As it goes pulsing through the brain, dopamine helps to create new brain pathways that essentially lead the user back to the behavior that triggered the chemical release.

The more a drug user hits up or a porn user looks at porn, the more those pathways get wired into the brain, making it easier and easier for the person to turn back to using, whether they want to or not. (To read this whole article click here)

Another way that drugs and pornography similarly affect the user is that a tolerance is built up so that one can’t feel the effects as much. So the need for an increased and/or stronger dose of the product is required in order to get the same “high.”

Dr. Jeffrey Satinover of Princeton University—in the Senate Committee Hearing on the Brain Science Behind Pornography Addiction and the Effects of Addiction on Families and Communities—described the destructive nature of pornography in this way:

With advent of the computer, the delivery system for this addictive stimulus has become nearly resistance-free. It is as though we have devised a form of heroin 100 times more powerful than before, usable in the privacy of one’s own home and injected directly to the brain through the eyes.

When looking at the brain scan of a normal brain compared to brain scans of heroin users and pornography users, the porn addicted brain has the greatest deterioration in brain activity. To view a picture of these comparisons click here. Our brain is a most wonderful gift from our Creator; the ways in which we mar and destroy this gift are truly sad. With gratitude we should avoid that which He says to avoid, and with praise, cling to that which is true, honest, just, pure, and lovely. (Phil. 4:8)

Recognizing that pornography can impact brain development, increase risky sexual behavior, and lead to sexual addiction; the states of Utah, Virginia, and South Dakota have voted overwhelmingly to declare pornography a “public health crisis.” As these things are brought to light more and more, there should be no question that pornography is destructive to the mind, body, and soul. Pray that other states will follow suit, making known the dangers of this “new” drug.

Pornography is not just a “public health crisis;” it’s a CHURCH health crisis too! The Barna Group statesthat 68% of church going men view pornography on a regular basis. Think about that for a minute; that means there’s a good chance that one of the men sitting on your right or left during worship is struggling with this gripping addiction. It affects our children, teens, and young adults as well. 76% of 18-24 year old Christians actively seek out pornography. But it’s not just a problem with males; 33% of females aged 13-24 are using porn regularly. This is a crisis and we must act now! Our children are being deceived and enslaved. They are engaging in activities which are dangerous to their life and their soul. There are warnings which must be given and conversations that need to be had.

We have an epidemic of mass proportions within and without the church. In the name of “being relevant” many churches have loosened their standards and have shunned holiness as a lifestyle. To be relevant is to speak truth, not accept trash. It’s to offer hope to the hopelessly bound and to play a role in shattering strongholds through Biblical counsel, prayer, and love as Christ loves us. The church is to be a bastion of true love. Pornography is a cheap imitation of what love and sex should be; yet only 9% of church goers and 7% of Pastors say that they have a program at their church to help those struggling with pornography.

The church has gone down a slippery slope as far as our entertainments go. What was once seen as profane and rejected for the sake of holiness and love of God has been replaced with an embracing of those same profane images, words, films, and such. All these things which we partake of play a role in who we become. Many of these entertainments serve as “gateway drugs” which leave the person wanting more and stronger perversions of the Truth which God’s Word so strongly admonishes against. Take great care in what you are allowing in your home, on your phone, and on your computers. Put no unclean thing before your eyes—that warning applies well before reaching full-blown pornography.

Regular pornographic use rewires the brain and the chains of pornography addiction are forged strong; but we have good news! There is ONE who saves and heals. He can break the chains of any addiction and free from any bondage. He is the only begotten Son of God. His name is Jesus.

If you find yourself entrapped in this snare of the devil, you’re not alone. If you’d like us to pray for you in this struggle, email us at We would feel privileged to confidentially pray for your victory over addiction, in the saving and keeping power of Jesus.

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