The Intersection of Drug Addiction and the Pornography Industry

By TheBigBadWolf · Mar 16, 2019 · ·
  1. TheBigBadWolf
    Adult film producers and crew use actresses’ drug dependencies as a method of control and manipulation

    Every day there are 1.5 billion pornographic internet downloads and 68 million pornography-related internet search engine requests. With pornography in such a high demand, the revenue, time and resources for its production are at an all time high. In the United States, the pornography industry revenue is larger than the revenues of the top technology companies combined.

    To its audience, pornography appears as a fantasy world of pleasure and excitement. However, to those who participate in its production, drugs, disease, rape and abuse define the experience. These details are often kept in confidence as the truth behind the pornography industry would not only surprise its viewers, but scare them as well.

    Adult film agents, producers and directors prey upon young girls in need of money and seeking enticing opportunities. Former adult film star, Shelley Lubben, reveals that the industry lures in and exploits many girls from broken homes who are vulnerable and desperate. Although the girls are often promised a large sum of money and glamorous lifestyle, such reception leads to brutal, vicious and traumatic experiences.

    Studies have reported that sex workers develop a drug addiction while working in the sex industry, subsequently leading to negative, long-term physical, psychological and mental health. Female sex workers who inject drugs may experience an elevated risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases and blood borne infections.

    Since 2004, the National Institute of Health reported 2,396 cases of Chlamydia and 1,389 cases of Gonorrhea among adult film performers and in 2006 approximately 66% of performers had been diagnosed with Herpes. Since 2013, 205 adult film stars have died prematurely due to AIDS, drugs, suicide and homicide. In fact, the average life expectancy of an adult film star is only 36.2 years.

    Drugs are introduced to adult film actresses as a form of control and manipulation. Drugs, alcohol and prescription pills are readily available on scene before a shoot. Adult film actress Michelle Avanti recalls crew members providing her with vodka and beer before shooting humiliating and degrading scenes. In addition, producers conspire with physicians to prescribe antidepressants, painkillers and anti-anxiety medications including Vicodin, Xanax, Norcos, Prozac and Zoloft. Adult film actress Jersey Jaxin revealed:

    “...there are specific doctors in this industry that if you go in for a common cold they’ll give you Vicodin, Viagra, anything you want because all they care about is the money.”

    Drug use among adult film actresses is extremely prevalent and rapidly growing. The National Institute of Health reported that of adult film actresses who responded to using drugs, 93.9% admitted to injecting heroin, 50% to cocaine and heroin and 21.1% to methamphetamine.

    The Coalition Against Trafficking reported 87% of international and 92% of United States adult film actresses use drug and alcohol to resist and survive exploitation and violence in the sex industry. Drug and alcohol use becomes a coping strategy to endure the brutal, painful and degrading scenes, while improving performance. Adult film actress Elizabeth Rollings revealed constant use of marijuana, alcohol and pain killers before shooting scenes because she did not want to “feel the pain…from being told to hold poses for still camera shots while being penetrated and choked.” Jaxin concurred:

    “You’re viewed as an object and not a human with a spirit. People don’t care. People do drugs because they can’t deal with the way they are being treated… you have to numb yourself to go on set. The more you work, the more you have to numb yourself.”

    Avanti and Adult film actress Jenni Case recalled drug use as a means to “block-out” and “check-out” emotionally from pornographic shoots. Case revealed using drugs and alcohol to create an alternate personality, “Veronica”, to protect herself and avoid her raw feelings while completing the job.

    The availability of drugs and alcohol on set results in drug dependencies, preventing adult film actresses from escaping the industry. Although drugs and alcohol may temporarily mask the pain, the effects eventually wear off and actresses must confront and endure the physical and emotional pain. Such suffering eventually leads to anxiety, depression and erratic behavior, some actresses become self-destructive and suicidal. Although adult film producers and crew use actresses’ drug dependencies as a method of control and manipulation, once it is believed that an actress has exceeded her limit, she is discarded and denied from future roles. Adult film actresses lose value to the industry as their drug addiction grows and she is exposed to STDs and other infections. Without a constant job to support the drug addiction, adult film actresses are forced into prostitution.

    The use of drugs to coerce women into sex work led to the creation of the William Wiberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 which modified the definition of “trafficking” to include praying on a victim’s drug use or addiction, whether such addiction is preexisting or created by the trafficker.

    Original Source

    Written by: Danielle Reynolds, Mar 5, 2019,,

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Recent User Reviews

  1. aemetha
    "Article is extremely biased"
    1/5, 1 out of 5, reviewed Mar 16, 2019
    This article misrepresents research on the subject, and uses quotes only from a biased source. The result is an article that is not credible on a subject that deserves better reporting for the sake of addressing the real problem, which has been distorted in this presentation.
    Alfa likes this.


  1. TheBigBadWolf
    I may note that I believe that male adult film actors have all the same problems as their female counterparts ( sorry for the bad pun).
    Males are not at all any less sensible on the sexual/psychological sector.

    Further thoughts for males:
  2. aemetha
    This article is of very dubious worth. The numbers are frankly bullshit. The sources from the articles site all go to dead links and the closest actually credible source I can find for any statistics quoted in the article concluded that while porn stars were more likely to have tried different drugs by a significant amount, the recent use of drugs differed from the matched sample significantly only for marijuana.

    The way this article has been presented would lead you to believe that some 90% of adult film actresses in the US are shooting up heroin. This stands in stark contrast to the less than 10% who have ever even tried heroin according to more credible research.

    The sources for this article are anti-porn and sex trafficking campaigners. Shelley Luben and her organisation (which includes the other porn stars quoted) has built a career out of campaigning against porn, after having become a born again christian. Hardly a credible source for generalizing the entire porn industry.

    While I don't dispute that there is likely a problem with drugs in porn, and that many of these women have experienced terrible exploitation, the fact remains that when advocacy groups publish bullshit like this, peoples bullshit detectors go off and the organisation loses the credibility it needs in order to make its case for reform.

    Link to research:
      TheBigBadWolf and Smeg like this.
  3. Mick Mouse
    Well, the article might be less than correct, but the subject material is interesting. I had the immediate thought of "what about the Male actors" as well, as this is definitely an article for women by women
      la fee brune likes this.
  4. Mick Mouse
    I had always heard the male actors had to start out in gay porn. At some point, they have to make a choice to continue in that genre or go over to "straight" porn. I wonder what percentage of "straight" actors continue to do gay porn because of the drugs/alcohol and/or exploitation and violence?

    Either way, quite interesting subject material, when kept educational and not sensational. Good find, TBBW.

    And (as always!) outstanding rebuttal and presentation of accompanying facts, Aemetha!
      TheBigBadWolf and Smeg like this.
  5. kumar420
    Wow. Just... Wow.
    Literally tries to paint pornstars as drug addicts just because they work in the sex industry? That is some lousy reporting right there, although I've learned not to expect much from most major media outlets these days.
    The porn industry is no doubt fairly exploitative, but this article in particular doesn't even try to consider the notion that some people might actually work in that industry and like it.
    People like Asa Akira, Johnny Sins and his wife, and numerous other stars who have won a plethora of awards for their work must enjoy what they do, otherwise they would have figured out a way to get out once they had the funds to do so. Its not like there's somebody sitting off camera with a gun pointed at them. I certainly couldn't orgasm, let alone get hard at gunpoint or under the threat of my supply being cut off.
    1. TheBigBadWolf
      The parts of sex work I have had my nose in consisted of 100% addicts in low-level income sex jobs. But that was not the porn business, but working on clients.
      While in the 'upper quality' Jobs people are better paid and certainly not forced to cum by gunpoint, I have talked to quite some who couldn't cope without the help of drugs, the most used being alcohol and cocaine, followed by hard opioids, at that time mainly smoked heroin. That was before the uprise of methamphetamine, how the ratios of drugs used are today is not known to me.
    2. kumar420
      I'm sure its a very difficult industry to work in, and no doubt it preys on desperate people looking for some kind of fame and recognition that they were unable to attain in other careers. Having worked in kitchens for most of my 'career', most cooks and chefs have some type of drug or alcohol problem, at least in their earlier years.

      Porn and sex work though, that is the definition of 'performing under pressure'. No wonder they need some kind of lubricant (no pun intended) to ease them into it (alright, that one was deliberate. Apologies, couldn't resist).
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