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First Things First Column

First Things First Column The Family Column is a series of articles providing helpful information on families and marriages. It is published every Sunday in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Subscribe to our  Family Column RSS Feed.

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Perhaps after reading the last two weeks’ columns, you believe that you or someone you love is addicted to pornography. While the temptation may be great to keep it quiet, there are resources available to help with recovery.
The U.S. Justice Department believes that nine out of 10 children between 8 and 16 years old have been exposed to porn online. The porn industry preys on young people, understanding the brain’s power and the challenges of forgetting these images once they have been seen. Many men understand that porn is costing them all they have – in many instances their career and their marriage – but they can’t quit. One man told his counselor he spent $75,000 in one month viewing porn.
Mark Laaser, author of "The Pornography Trap," says research shows that the endorphins released in the brain while looking at pornography are 200 times more potent than morphine and more addictive than cocaine. Because images are stored in the brain and can be recalled at any moment, researchers believe porn addiction may be harder to break than a heroin addiction.
You might be surprised to learn that about 90 percent of child sexual abuse victims know their abuser. In case you have been led to believe that child sexual abusers look like shady characters, think again.
With all that summer brings, parents must be on their toes when it comes to keeping children safe. Whether they are home alone, playing sports, swimming at the pool or lake, gaming or just hanging around the neighborhood with friends, in seconds a family’s world can turn upside down forever.