Q. My husband is addicted to marijuana. He has had difficulty maintaining a complete erection since I have known him. Could the long-term marijuana use be a factor in his inability to maintain an erection? What should I do? This is a very sensitive issue.

A. To start with, your husband needs professional help. Addiction to marijuana is no different from addiction to alcohol or other mind-altering drugs. These drugs all affect a person’s ability to adapt in most social settings, resulting in difficulties in intimacy, friendships and all aspects of daily activities. I understand it is a sensitive issue, but it needs to be addressed. There are many social services available in most large U.S. cities, and many large companies offer their employees access to trained professionals who specialize in addictive behavior. Perhaps there is a family counseling network in your neighborhood that you and your husband can attend together, where you can discuss this freely.

Medically, human studies have shown that marijuana usage can lower the level of testosterone in the blood. This decrease in testosterone will cause a decrease in libido and erectile function. I would expect that when your husband stops marijuana usage, his erections will eventually return; however it may take many months.

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