This week, we're sharing stories of recovery and resources that can help struggling porn consumers break free. While Fight the New Drug is not a recovery resource, we recommend checking out our friends at Fortify if you or a loved one is struggling. There is hope.

At Fight the New Drug, our goal as an organization is to educate and raise awareness on the harmful effects of porn to society as a whole using science, facts, and personal accounts. But we realize for some people, this info is coming a little after the fact, and they’re already consumed by a toxic porn habit. If this is you, or someone you know, never fear—you are not alone.

In a world where pornography is generally described as something that’s “natural,” “cool,” or “healthy,” there are countless teens, men, and women who struggle with a crippling compulsion to it that’s harming their lives and relationships. And judging by the latest research, these struggles are verifiable and real issues.

But what kind of help is there for those who struggle with a pornography compulsion, obsession, or even addiction? As it turns out, a lot. There’s actually great support for anyone in need of a recovery-focused community, and one of those places is a platform called Fortify.

The Deets on a New Recovery Platform

Our friends at Fortify just launched a brand new platform, and it’s got everything anyone might need to have a successful recovery from porn. Over the years, Fortify has had over 100,000 participants, and they’ve been measuring success since day 1. They’ve seen significant declines (84%) in depressive symptoms of users, as well as an 88% reduction in porn use, which is pretty remarkable. And by the end of their experience with the platform, many of those individuals indicated 0 use by the end. Pretty cool, right?

Maybe one of the most important statistics, however, is that large majorities of active Fortify users (90% in one survey) report that Fortify has helped them move towards more long-term change. And if you’d like to read direct feedback, you can read some of the platform’s testimonials here.

Even though our organization is not recovery-focused, we recognized that many of our followers and supporters are grappling with a current struggle with porn, and that’s okay. There is hope, and resources for anyone who might be struggling. In fact, recently, we sat down with CEO of Fortify, Clay Olsen, and asked him all about the latest features of the platform and any info someone should know if they’re thinking of joining. Check it out.

Fortify 101

Fight the New Drug: Who, exactly, can be susceptible to a struggle with porn?

Clay Olsen: There are very, very few adults out there dealing with major sexually addictive patterns in their life where this struggle started in later years. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve met anyone that fits that mold.

Virtually everybody we know struggling with this was introduced to pornography as a child or teen—which is shown to be a major risk factor. Research supports the idea that the earlier you are exposed, the more it can heighten your risk for compulsive patterns and addictions.

FTND: Who is behind all the resources that Fortify provides? How involved is this platform in the recovery process? 

We lay out many recovery options that anyone can consider rather than telling people exactly what to do. This platform is not designed to diagnose, and it doesn’t cross boundaries that would interfere with the user’s culture, religion, or values. It simply allows people to create and track their own path to recovery.

Fortify is backed by science and research. We’ve brought together a team of professionals, researchers, and clinical advisors to help steer and guide the development process. Then we made sure it was easy to use with expert software developers and designers. So we’ve really invested an enormous amount of time and attention to make Fortify the highest quality possible.

FTND: What can Fortify do to help anyone with a struggle? What is the platform like?

Clay: Fortify is a science-based recovery tool to help individuals quit pornography. We do this through comprehensive training, real-time analytics, and interactive support, so that more people can find greater happiness and lasting love. Think of it kind of like a Fitbit for your recovery, but also with training and community support.

Fortify has three main components to it.

Learn: First it helps you learn and get educated about the issue you’re struggling with. In addition to encouragement and motivation, it provides creative strategies to help people overcome pornography use.

Connect: Next, it provides community and support from thousands of other individuals from over 155 countries worldwide going through this same path of recovery.

Track: Finally, Fortify helps people track daily patterns and identify risk factors. We track very specific success metrics and feed that information back to the individual and their allies so they can analyze the data and make adjustments. Additionally, we help people develop a personalized plan for their own long-term healing.

In all these ways, Fortify is a tool that can be used as support in any phase of the recovery process whether it’s pre-therapy, alongside therapy, or aftercare. And it’s FREE for youth to use, and anyone can have a free trial with us.

FTND: Recovery is a messy process for so many people. How can the Fortify platform keep users motivated and track their success?

Clay: One thing worth mentioning is that Fortify is highly “gamified.” Especially for youth, research has shown these built-in incentives can keep individuals more engaged throughout recovery. The old platform was heavy on educational videos and email notification. But now we’re feeding so much data back to the user (and anyone the user invites in as well). Within Fortify we are helping both individuals and professionals by gathering data in three main areas:

Daily Tracking: By encouraging daily tracking we’re able to help the user and their allies discover patterns and trends that are occurring in their life that they may not have been aware of.

Risk Factor Assessments: There are eleven primary risk factors that have been shown to be associated with this compulsive behavior and we monitor them all.

Outcome Success Metrics: We measure a number of key areas of well-being that many people find improve as pornography is removed from their life.

So the ability for an individual to see progress is very palpable in the new platform.

FTND: How long will it take someone to recover from porn with Fortify?

Clay: Defining recovery by a length of time is really difficult. So much depends on factors such as personality, genetics, culture, how long they have struggled, how intense their struggle is, are they working with a professional therapist, and so on. Each individual comes into Fortify with different life experiences and unique challenges.

So instead of asking how long will this take, we prefer saying, “We are here for you as long as it takes.” In addition to whatever else you have to support your progress, we want to give you extra encouragement, support, tools, resources, and knowledge to be able to keep getting up and move, day by day, in a more healthy direction.

Unfortunately, there is no magic solution to recovery. On a basic biological level, this is a literal rewiring process and it can take time. Ultimately recovery is determined by the individual’s focus and attention to it. But it is possible, and if someone chooses this platform, Fortify will be there for as long as they need it.

Clay Olsen, Co-Founder of Fight the New Drug and CEO of Fortify

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