The pleasure-seeking drive can present a strong challenge to even the toughest safeguards a rehab programs implements to help recovering persons remain entirely focused on recovery.
For example, if a rehab has a policy as restrictive as separating the sexes, most adults and even teenagers are able to get around this rule. Further, separation of the sexes is based on a heteronormative assumption; for those persons who are homosexual or bisexual, same sex rehab does not offer an effective solution.
Spoiler alert: As Joe gained sobriety through the help of Alcoholics Anonymous, his relationship with Kirsten became increasingly strained.
In the end, Kirsten leaves behind a sober Joe and their daughter, because she does not want to recover. “Stress & Addiction: Research Identifies How Stress Triggers Drug Relapse.” The Huffington Post.
However, a recovering person may think that once he has detoxed, he is likely to maintain abstinence, and therefore, it is a safe time to enter a relationship or get intimately involved with another person.
Research on relapse rates, however, does not support this idea.
For instance, in October 2006, country start Keith Urban had only been married to movie star Nicole Kidman for four months when he checked into rehab for the third time.
In an interview with Oprah, Urban confessed that he feared going to rehab would destroy his new marriage. In fact, Urban considered delaying rehab for alcohol and drug addiction until his relationship with Kidman had a few years to get more solid.
This relationship dynamic can therefore unwittingly keep the substance abuser using and the caregiver rescuing, which is an unhealthy place to be for both parties.
Entering rehab is an opportunity to break an unhealthy cycle of drug abuse and codependency.
Additional good news is that many drug treatment programs will incorporate the spouse or loved one into the therapy, such as in family therapy sessions.
In fact, research studies show that incorporating a partner or spouse into treatment is very important to the recovery process. But it is also important to keep in mind that even if a spouse attains sobriety, marital problems may still persist.
Although a spouse’s or partner’s substance abuse may be a significant factor in relationship conflicts, it is likely not the only issue.