Checking into a drug rehabilitation facility is an important, life-transforming step. It is a major lifestyle adjustment that few of us have any prior experiences to compare it to. In many ways, that is a good thing, because the novelty of the drug rehab experience is part of what makes the recovery process so interesting and rewarding.
However, some of the adjustments necessary involve temporarily suspending activities and interactions with others that one may currently take for granted. Some of these adjustments are obvious, such as no longer having the same degree of freedom of movement or having full control over the use of your time. It also means seeing different people from those we are used to and limiting contact to telephone conversations or visiting with people only during specified times and under certain circumstances. Naturally, the question sometimes comes up whether it is permissible for drug rehab patients to have conjugal visits, that is, visits in which the patient can engage in sexual activity.
Sexuality is an important part of most people’s lives, and it natural to wonder whether continuing sexual activity is possible once one has entered a drug rehab facility. The realm of drug treatment options is so wide that it is impossible to answer that question with a flat yes or no. However, while conjugal visits are not banned by 100% of all drug rehab facilities, it is safe to say that the vast majority do not allow them, and for excellent reasons.
One of the primary purposes of going into drug rehabilitation centers is to help the addicted person to focus on their own situation. As even many non-addicts realize, addiction is a disease of denial, so one of the key components of getting control of your addictive activity is to take a good, honest look at yourself. This is generally the exact opposite of what we do when we are in a romantic or sexual relationship. People who are in such relationships are naturally heavily focused on their partner, their wants, their needs and the circumstances of their lives. This kind of outward focus is not usually helpful for a person trying to come to understand and deal with their own behavior.
For a person in drug rehab trying to understand why they have become addicted and how to free themselves from it, the distraction of a romantic relationship will only complicate the recovery process. This is true even if sex was formerly a normal part of a person’s routine activities. In fact, sometimes those routine activities, sexual and otherwise, and whoever you are engaging in them with is an integral part of the addictive pattern. And remember, sex too can become a form of addictive behavior. It is simply impossible to know, in the early days of recovery, the full dynamics of your addiction and the forces that caused it, which is why conjugal visits are almost never recommended during drug rehab.
The best way to find out about the specific policies of any drug rehab facility that you are considering going to is to simply inquire in advance. However, you should remember that it is usually a mistake to enter drug rehab with any rigid, preconceived ideas of what the experience should be like. The staff you will be dealing with in drug rehab are trained professionals who have worked with many people who are attempting to recover from addiction. A solid treatment program is always to some degree tailor-made for each patient, as every addict has a different background and personal characteristics. The best policy is often to simply let the drug rehab’s professional staff guide you as to what things you should or should not be doing, especially in the early days. In time, you can then discuss with them who you should see and under what circumstances.
Your time in drug rehab can be a deeply rewarding experience, where you will be able to make important discoveries about yourself, your life thus far and to reach important understandings about your relationships with others. This requires an inward-focused environment during which the demands of a fully sexual relationship are likely to be a hindrance rather than a help. Therefore, it is wise to go into the first phases of your recovery with no expectations of romantic or sexual engagements, knowing that these restrictions are only temporary and are ultimately for your own good.