A new romance sparked within an addiction program poses a serious threat to the rehabilitation process. As such, most facilities seek to prevent recovering addicts from engaging in romantic relationships in an attempt to emphasize a concentration on healing and self-reflection.
Addiction counselors are not acting out of prudish ideals against sex and romance, but rather a concern for the patients… mainly the evidence showing how effective a romantic relationship in rehab can be at derailing a recovery.
The reasoning here is simple:
– Rehab romances are most commonly frowned upon due the fact that most everyone, when involved in a blossoming relationship, place the majority of our focus and attention towards the individual with whom our affections lie. As such, patients involved in a rehab romance are left with less energy and time to devote towards the addiction treatment process and personal reflection. Rehab is one of the few places where the emphasis must be placed on oneself 100%. Distractions will get you nowhere.
– New relationships cause people to present themselves in a positive light. Showing off favorable attributes is only natural to new love birds, and while this practice is typically harmless in normal society, it presents issues within the confines of recovery. One of the most vital aspects of recovery is a patient’s ability to be open and honest in individual and group therapy sessions. To realize the full benefit of these experiences, it’s crucial that patients feel comfortable being completely honest, with both themselves and others. In this way, patients can best face and deal with their addiction. Throwing on your game face will only serve in hindering your openness, ultimately hindering the recovery process.
– Many patients transitioning from a long period of abuse may be unable to initiate a sexual relationship from a physical standpoint. Long periods of abuse and addiction are often combined with periods of risky sexual practices. As such, it’s not uncommon for rehabilitation patients to have an undiagnosed sexually transmitted disease, requiring medical attention. Those struggling with the recovery process would be best to limit the complications associated with recovery by avoiding potential health obstacles.
Why The Temptation?
An array of personal and environmental variables make the recovery process seem an opportune time to develop a romantic relationship.
To start, many patients re-energized by the positive rewards of sobriety may feel the process to be a reawakening of sorts. Because drug and alcohol abuse often subdues our emotions and sex drives, it’s only natural to suddenly crave the affection that’s been missing.
Many patients find a spiritual bond easily obtained with those going through similar experiences. Patients will commonly interpret these feelings as love, when in reality, they are still coming to grips with their emotions.
To sum up our discussion:
Friendships = WONDERFUL… romance can wait for another day.