The Reward Foundation’s three-part prevention programme

Prevention of internet pornography addiction is just as important as supporting recovery. Everyone has a role in helping others avoid addictions. Internet porn addiction is a particular risk at present because most people don’t even recognise that it can be addictive.

Prevention is much easier than recovery. Most addicts can eventually stop their addictive behaviour, but they may still feel that they are addicts for the rest of their life. This is something worth avoiding.
The Reward Foundation prevention programme recommends that we…

1. Teach people about how the reward system works and why avoiding porn is a good idea. See our sections on Brain Basics.

2. Provide psychological support where necessary using a ‘named person’ (in Scotland) or through professional counselling, or reading of other people’s challenges on recovery websites, to deal with past trauma or relationship concerns

3. Teach life skills in order to have a happy, fulfilled life that allows for emotional expression and personal development. This includes healthy sex and relationships education based on balanced reward system activity. This entails aiming for balanced, considerate, respectful, loving relationships.

Why:

• Prevention rather than cure – it is pharmaceutical-free and cheap

• Reduces addictions overall

• The key to happiness and long life is love

To be successful, our vision is for everyone to have access to good quality, evidence-based, honest and inclusive relationship education. This is a sensitive subject for a variety of reasons, but the consequences of poor or no sex and relationship education are serious. We cannot ignore the impact that internet porn is having on the wellbeing of our societies, especially among the upcoming generations. It is a serious public health issue. The Reward Foundation is willing to develop partnerships to support the availability of good teaching materials in all schools and wherever else they are needed.