Treatment is not focused on the complete abstinence of sex (like a heroin addict would want complete and permanent abstinence from the drug) but rather a cessation of the compulsive and damaging behavior and replacement with a healthy sexuality. Group treatment is common and similar to 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, such as Sex Addicts Anonymous. Treatment of any underlying comorbid psychiatric illnesses is essential. There is anecdotal evidence that some antidepressant medications may reduce sexual urges due to the (usually unwanted) side effect of decreased libido.
In terms of treatment alternatives, research has suggested there may be a biological component to sexual addiction; providing hope that medication may be a promising alternative for treatment. For instance, androgen reduction therapy using GNRH agonists, Pristiq, Lexapro, and Zoloft , have shown promise. Another proposed biologic model of addiction is that of chiropractic medicine. Some practitioners believe that compulsive disorders, such as sexual addiction, to result from an interruption in the brain reward cascade which produces a reward deficiency syndrome. The approach to treatment involves attempting to correct the "deficiency" through spinal adjustments and nutritional support.
Additionally, several psycho-therapies have been designed for the treatment of sex addicts. There are several inpatient treatment programs throughout the country that have designed treatment programs specifically for sexual addiction. The majority of these programs incorporate cognitive-behavioral therapies and 12-step programs such as Sex Addicts Anonymous, or Sexaholics Anonymous. However, some therapists argue against inpatient treatment. They believe it is more beneficial for an addicted person to remain in their own natural environment where they learn to recover while dealing with ordinary, everyday stressors.