Addicted to Viagra in my THIRTIES: Single man confesses he"s been popping the blue pills since he was 20 years old – and can"t imagine…


Addicted to Viagra in my THIRTIES: Single man confesses he's been popping the blue pills since he was 20 years old – and can't imagine having sex without it
Daniel first took Viagra at 20 – now he spends 1,000 a year on the pills
Says hedonistic lifestyle means he needs to entertain ladies – but alcohol intake inhibits performanceSuffers palpitations and ringing in his ears after taking drugRarely has sex without Viagra – but now wants to wean himself off

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UPDATED:

18:27 GMT, 12 October 2012

A man has spoken out on This Morning to tell of his 10 year addiction to Viagra – despite being in his early thirties and never having suffered from serious erection issues.

Daniel, who works in the music industry, says he first tried Viagra age 20, when a friend offered him some during a big night out abroad. The group had been drinking heavily, but wanted to take girls back to their hotel room.

Fearful of being unable to perform to the best of his abilities, when a friend offered him Viagra, he accepted.

Addicted: After first taking it at the age of 20 to enable him to drink heavily and still perform, Daniel found he was relying on Viagra for every encounter

Addicted: After first taking it at the age of 20 to enable him to drink heavily and still perform, Daniel found he was relying on Viagra for every encounter

'My friend said to me, “I’ve got something – take this.” He
told me what it was and what it would do. We took what we needed to
take and it did exactly what it said on the bottle.'

From then on, Daniel says things progressed until he became addicted to the pills – taking them every time he was with a woman – which given his 'eccentric' lifestyle was with unusual frequency.

'I had never really had problems as such,' he says. 'But when you're under the influence, and with the life I lead… a lot of the time you meet women and your mind is on other things – but you meet women who will come back with you and expect something. You need to fulfil that.'

‘I can remember the last time I didn’t have it, but it's always been
around. I feel more comfortable with it around me than if it's not. I’ve
always had it – first started taking when I was abroad – in Amsterdam,
Spain. Whenever we go away we take a stockpile. I used to take a lot
more, but now it depends on the situation and how I feel. If I'm
intoxicated then I’m definitely going to need it.'

Daniel says this sort of frequent reliance on Viagra – a crutch for his crotch, as Eamonn Holmes puts it- it very common among his friends, who are also in their twenties and thirties.

This Morning's medical expert Doctor Robert Hicks warns that while Viagra is a very safe drug that can help many men and save marriages, taking any medication when it hasn't been prescribed by a doctor and isn't necessary comes with risks and side effects.

'Having difficulty getting an erection is a very common problem when you're tired, stressed, under the influence of alcohol. For a young man with no serious problems, a healthy lifestyle, reducing stress and getting more sleep should provide a solution.

Desperate to quit: Dr Robert Hicks says for a young man like Daniel, healthy living, plenty of sleep and stress reduction should cure any bedroom issues

Desperate to quit: Dr Robert Hicks says for a young man like Daniel, healthy living, plenty of sleep and stress reduction should cure any bedroom issues

'That’s what I want to do,' says Daniel. 'Cut everything out – but what comes with my life and the industry I’m in – I have more female friends than male,' he confesses. 'I find it hard to be on my own. And Viagra is always readily available. You can buy it online, or I can call friends. They’re even selling substitutes to Viagra in service stations now.'

'That's where I see the red flag,' says Dr Hicks. When you say that friends are supplying the drug or it is coming from the internet or overseas.

'If you don’t need the medication, the risks outweigh the benefits.'

Daniel, who says he has been taking Viagra for 10 to 12 years on a regular basis – and now spends around 1,000 a year on the pills – admits that he experiences unpleasant side effects after taking a tablet – but fears about pleasing his partners prevent him from quitting.

'I'm a great worrier,' he says. 'But now when I take the tablets I can hear my heartbeat and I can feel palpitations,' he says. There's a ringing in my ears too – I'm not sure if it comes from the loud music I'm always around or the Viagra, but it always comes after I take the tablets.'

'Hearing loss is a possible side effect, says Dr Hicks, 'although it is a rare one. The truth is, when used correctly it is a very safe drug.

He advises that anyone with erectile problems or concerns about their performance should visit their GP. 'If things haven’t worked on one occasion men can start worrying and develop performance anxiety – but that their first port of call should always be their doctor.

Used correctly and when needed, Viagra is a perfectly safe and very useful drug, says Dr Hicks

Used correctly and when needed, Viagra is a perfectly safe and very useful drug, says Dr Hicks

'It may mean medication, it may mean psychosexual counselling, it may mean a lifestyle change,' he says.

With regards to Daniel, Dr Hicks says that given that everything is in full working order, he should stop taking the tablet.

'His kit works – but he gets a psychological boost from having it on board,' he says. 'Consider not using it – your relationships will be more fulfilling and your health will be protected.

'The Important thing is that we don’t let
people think it’s normal behaviour and put themselves at risk – slim
risk, but still at risk.

'You have to be careful of some of the
herbal alternatives too: some actually have conventional drugs in them – and
that’s why they work.'

'I want to stop it all,' says Daniel. ‘I have had the opportunity to be where I want to be, to settle down. I'm trying to live in a different way, I’m weaning myself off.’

Dr Hicks has the last word: 'Honestly, what really works is leading a healthy lifestyle, have a nice romantic evening, and things are likely to go to plan.

If not, don’t be embarrassed, see your doctor. More often than not you can get to the bottom of it.'

Visit Itv.com/thismorning for more information.

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