Gender Specific Treatment vs Co-ed Facilities


For the most part, experienced treatment professionals agree that gender-specific (men only & women only) addiction & alcoholism rehabilitation centers are more effective in creating a higher likelihood for attaining long-term sobriety.  There are variations in this regard; some places are coed but are set up to keep their male & female clients totally separate throughout the day, while other places are entirely separate altogether.  If you’re not personally in recovery then it may initially be difficult to understand why exactly this is.

The process of recovery is not fun, it consists of having to take a good hard look at yourself, your actions, your feelings and so on.  When people first check into treatment there is the initial period of trying to get their bearings straight, but after that it’s all about getting down to work.  So what’s the significance of a coed structure as opposed to a gender-specific structure?  When two recovering drug addicts or alcoholics are in this type of treatment setting, which entails being forced to do uncomfortable things, it drives them all the more toward seeking an easy and comforting escape and when opposing sexes are within reach of one another there will inevitably arise the spark of immediate romance – the same applies in treatment centers focusing on services toward the Gay-Lesbian-LGBT Community..  More so than in real life scenarios, men and women in early sobriety are not yet acquainted with and able to internalize concepts such as; slow & steady, applying sound reasoning over immediate gratification, following rules for the sake of simply following rules, etc.

Any treatment center that would openly allow and/or condone romantic relations among clients while in their care would without question, be the subject of great criticism.  If they were to allow such relations between staff and client it could potentially turn into a legal matter or result in loss of licensure, or both.  It is becoming more and more common to see various rehabs, sober living homes, treatment centers and other like services becoming either gender specific, or coed but with separate physical locations. 

Outwardly, it would make sense to conclude that a romantic couple sharing the same background and interests in the recovery process could help to strengthen each other’s sobriety.  If you think about, two drug addicts or alcoholics going through the same issues could be there for each other in numerous ways, especially when times get difficult.  Unfortunately, these situations almost always end up with either one or both individuals relapsing over a myriad of reasons.  People early in the recovery process are advised to keep their personal & professional lives as simple and unchanged as possible throughout the first year or two of sobriety.  Obviously if they come into sobriety already having a relationship or marriage then of course there’s much more to look at, but to come into treatment as a single man or woman and begin a relationship while living there will almost never go over well.

The creators of A.T.R.I. hope this information helps you to understand just a little more about the world of treatment and rehabilitation services.  Although we didn’t mention the nature of romantic relations between clients at eating disorder clinics, you can surmise that given the major life issues being dealt with, getting involved in that type of relationship while battling bulimia, anorexia or any other type of eating disorder might not be recommended..

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The information above is intended as a general guide based on the experience of many. The creators of this web page are not licensed physicians; we are caring individuals whom have experienced the horrors of addictive-type illnesses on many levels. We speak from many years of personal and professional experience. Please feel free to contact us for any reason at: