Posted on November 22, 2010 by Laura Fuller
If you’re like me, when it came time to enter treatment you were faced with a myriad of options. This is of course a good thing, since growth in the recovery field as an industry over the past few decades has led to a wide array of treatment options available. Therefore I was quite fortunate to be able to seek the very best fit for my needs.
There are centers for people suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction who also have co-occurring issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, sexual disorders, eating disorders and, really, most anything within reason you can think of. You can be in the mountains, in the desert, by the beach, close to home or as far away from home as possible.
Many, specifically those under-insured or not of the financial wherewithal to escape asylum in a state-funded facility, are not able to choose a drug treatment center in such a specified manner. So first, be very grateful that you have options and realize that it was not all that long ago that people like us were simply locked away in mental wards, considered to be lost-causes beyond hope.
One such option you will be faced with when searching for a drug and alcohol treatment center is whether or not you will attend treatment with members of the opposite sex.
First off, I will state that Origin’s Recovery Centers are all single-sex facilities with the only exception being that all Origin’s facilities do employ both sexes. As such, this article does contain a certain bias; however, we believe that bias is acceptable in this regard because there is nothing wrong with being biased in favor of that which promotes recovery.
For instance, while we believe a truly recovered alcoholic should be able to enter a bar even in early sobriety if such a person has good reason (i.e., for business/employment reasons), we are of coursed biased in favor of a person refraining from doing so if at all possible. Make sense?
So, if you are facing the question of choosing either a co-ed or single-sex facility and you are finding yourself wanting to balk at the prospect of being with only other members of your gender, first ask yourself the following: Where does this come from? Am I objecting to this because I believe I need members of the opposite sex around in order to recover? Or do I have ulterior motives?
Most of the time, this objection to being in an all-male/all-female treatment facility comes from some very obvious, yet also very understandable motivation that has nothing whatsoever to do with a desire to become recovered. We may be addicts, but we are human first and foremost and, irrespective of your personal ideology, it is pretty undeniable that man is a sexual creature.
We are not running a nunnery at Origin’s. We understand the needs and desires of individuals. We do not seek to deny them, but rather to promote a way of life that will allow you to have a more healthy relationship with them.
Let us first address the most obvious issue present here: sex and treatment. Even in co-ed facilities, sexual/romantic interaction is almost always strictly forbidden and is grounds for expulsion from treatment. Therefore, if you are serious about treatment for your addiction, and therefore serious about not getting kicked out of treatment for your addiction, then there will be no sex for you while you are in treatment. If you don’t fit into this category of focused on a solution to your problem and therefore fully compliant, we would really prefer you seek treatment elsewhere anyway.
I can just hear the alcoholics and dope addicts retort now:
“Well, hey… if sex is prohibited, and far be it from me to ever break the rules, than surely co-ed rehab is just fine.”
Sorry, but since we at Origins Recovery Centers are all recovered alcoholics and drug addicts we know how you think. You are very clever multi-taskers. You think you can use treatment to both save your life AND lay groundwork for future romantic interaction once you are no longer under our purview.
We won’t say that is impossible. Certainly, there are people who have checked into drug and alcohol rehabilitation to seek recovery, found “love” and also been able to get and maintain long-term sobriety, however that is the exception rather than the norm. Usually, when the alcoholic or addict becomes romantically involved in treatment what they get and maintain is all the hassle and distraction of a relationship in tandem with another person equally as sick and equally unfocused on sobriety. That’s normally a pretty disastrous combination.
It really all boils down to the following:
Are you willing to consider that this decision to enter treatment is the most important decision you have ever made in your life?
Are you willing to consider that this is a matter of life and death?
Are you willing to consider that in order to become recovered and to maintain it you will need to be able to focus solely on recovery while in treatment?
Are you willing to consider that having the opposite sex present while in treatment COULD present a distraction (even if you are married/committed)?
Are you willing to consider therefore that such a distraction could mean leaving treatment not fully recovered and could therefore mean eventual death as a result of a failed attempt at sobriety?
If that strikes you as dramatic, then please familiarize yourself with the long-term survival rates of alcoholics and addicts and realize that, in fact, we are dealing with a critical, critical matter here that has ended several lives. Just to be blunt about it: you can wait to tend to matters of the heart until after you get out of treatment. Let’s save your life first.
Moreover, if you can’t answer all of the above questions, truthfully, in the affirmative, then you may just not be ready for recovery. You may need to destroy a few more romantic relationships, among all other things, before it is time for you to choose a new way of life that begins in a single-sex treatment facility like ours.
We realize we will invariably suffer from lower entrance rates as a result of this decision to separate our clients from the opposite sex while they recover. This is unfortunate, but it is paramount to effectively engender, foster and preserve the recovery process and it is a principle we stand by and which we will not compromise in promoting.
Care to discuss this further? Call 1-888-U-GET-WELL or click the contact button below.