Maybe you both used to run in the same circles back in Seattle, have the same friends and the same dealers.
Maybe you are both addicted to the same substance.
Maybe you have never been in love before and you think that these amazing feelings can do nothing but good for your recovery.
As hard as it is to hear, these reasons are not strong enough to justify creating a romantic relationship with somebody else in rehab. There are good reasons why most Seattle rehab centers discourage romantic attachments between recovering addicts. It is not because they are inherently prim and prudish, but because it can be one of the most damaging decisions somebody in recovery can make.
Here is a closer look at why a Seattle rehab romance is simply not a good idea.
1. Because It Moves Your Focus Outward
When you are just beginning the early stages of recovery, it is vitally important that your energy is directed inward. These first days and weeks require your full attention as you move your recovery forward. When you are in love, it is natural to project your energy toward the other person. This leaves you drained of resources to work on yourself and your own journey to sobriety.
2. Because It Disrupts Personal Reflection
One of the most crucial components of early recovery is learning how to be brutally honest about yourself and your addiction. You need to be able to turn the spotlight on yourself and expose the ugly side of your addiction to yourself and the world during your therapy. This is not easy in front of a romantic partner, as the tendency is to present yourself in the best light possible. Open and honest reflection is nearly impossible with a new love in the mix, and that could seriously harm your recovery path.
3. Because It Affects Physical Health
After a long period of drug abuse, your body needs time to recover. Sexual activity may not be in your best interest right now, especially if you are at risk of carrying STDs from previous risky behaviors. Moving forward through recovery means working towards a healthy balance of mind, body, and spirit. Sexual activity could prove to be a significant obstacle to your goals.
4. Because It Increases Relapse Risk
The risk of relapse for addicts is already high, between 40-60 percent according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Being romantically involved with another addict, even while in recovery, could raise that risk to considerable heights. On your own, even if you relapse, you will have the tools you learned in treatment to get back on track. With a ‘partner in crime’ by your side, it is even easier to slip back into and continue drug use habits. You may think that you can support each other while in recovery, but it is important to think about your support network, and how strong you need the people in it to be. Could a newly recovering addict provide that strength? It is not likely.
5. Because It Is a Rule Breaker
The final reason to avoid romance in rehab is that it is most likely against the rules. Nearly all treatment programs contain a “non-fraternization” policy that outlines what kind of romantic behavior is prohibited and how patients that engage in that behavior are handled. Sometimes, though not always, a continued violation can result in expulsion from your treatment program.
Nothing can derail a person’s journey to recovery faster than a new romance. It is common for those in recovery together to form strong spiritual attachments. These connections can easily be mistaken for feelings of love.
It is absolutely critical that a newly recovering addict remain focused on recovery for at least a year. This gives you a better chance at gaining control of your addiction and avoiding relapse in the future.
At Recovery Village at Ridgefield, we approach recovery from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Your treatment plan is highly customized to suit your individual needs as you move towards recovery.Contact us today to begin your journey.