Treating Sex and Drug Addictions All at Once | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Treating Sex and Drug Addictions All at Once

Drug and sex addictions can "fuse" into a single "hybrid" condition, the inventor of a specialized high-end treatment program tells The Fix.


Sex and drug addiction can become one.
Photo via

By Ben Feuerherd


| Share

Promises Treatment Center, a famously glitzy rehab in Malibu, California, now offers a new program tailored to treat patients suffering from sex and drug addictions that have "fused" together into a single hybrid. Addicts who use crystal meth, cocaine or other "party drugs" in conjunction with sexual activity often become simultaneously dependent on both drugs and sex, Robert Weiss, who designed the program specifically for this situation, tells The Fix. The five-week residential program currently treats six to eight male clients at a time, with an average age of around 38. Weiss says the hybrid condition affects straight and gay men in fairly equal numbers—but in different ways. "The straight guys are typically holding up in a hotel suite for a few days with cocaine, Viagra and prostitutes/porn, while the gay clients struggle with meth/sex/bathhouses/sex clubs etc," he tells us. "They act out in different venues and with a different gender—but have the same paired sex/drug disorder." Weiss says other recovery models, like AA, offer a too-simple solution of "just get sober and everything will be fine," but that his program at Promises offers a more nuanced treatment model, combing psychiatry with an interdisciplinary approach. "90% of the patients I see in treatment have an underlying psych issue," he says. "Most drug and alcohol treatment doesn't deeply address any issue other than the using itself. In my field we call that 'old school.'"

Relapse poses a particularly huge threat to stimulant addicts, particularly those with concurrent sexual addiction, Weiss continues. His program aims to target the two issues that he says are most likely to cause relapse: shame over previous sexual activity and difficulties adjusting to sober sex. "This population will already have likely tried and failed at previous (well intended residential and outpatient) treatments that avoided or simply missed fully looking at the paired and powerful sexual issues surrounding their drug use," he says. "I suspect we will do better than most with this very high-relapse population [stimulant addicts] as we are giving them more tools toward sobriety and doing more shame reduction around their sexual behaviors—acted out when high."

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
An Audience with Gabor Maté

According to the rock star of addiction theory, every addict had a traumatic childhood whether they realize it or not.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv