Can I Bring My Cell Phone Or Laptop To A Drug Rehab Center?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on March 27, 2020

Each addiction treatment center has different policies regarding bringing electronics to treatment. It is helpful to know which rules to expect regarding electronic devices, such as cell phones or laptops, before selecting a rehab center.

Bringing Cell Phone Or Laptop To Rehab

Many people have some type of electronic device they take everywhere with them so they can communicate with friends or family members, such as a cell phone or a laptop.

It is common for those who are about to be admitted for addiction treatment to ask if they can bring their cell phone or laptop to a drug rehab center.

For many, being able to contact their loved ones during their stay may mean the difference between seeking treatment and staying home. Further, research shows having a strong support system in recovery fosters more long-lasting results.

Are Cell Phones Or Laptops Allowed In Drug Rehab Centers?

In some drug rehab centers, cell phone use during addiction treatment is completely forbidden. Laptop use during addiction treatment is often limited as well, since the device functions in much the same way.

Other rehab centers are more flexible because they want their patients to feel less isolated and recognize the devices may be used to reach out to others for support.

Having a strong support system in place during recovery is important, especially during times when individuals may be tempted to start using drugs and alcohol again.

Executive rehab programs and professional rehab programs may allow cell phone use or laptop use when treating high-level executives, such as CEOs or doctors. These individuals may have high-pressure jobs and may only agree to addiction treatment if they can still fulfill their duties.

Students who are still in school and business professionals who need to discuss important issues with their employees may be given special communication privileges.

In the end, whether a cell phone or laptop is allowed is up to the discretion of the rehab center. If it is not allowed, the rehab center will ask that a person leave it at the front desk with other belongings at admission, or have a family member take the device home.

The Benefits Of Leaving A Cell Phone At Home During Drug Rehab

Those who ask to bring their cell phone or laptop to a drug rehab center may want to think twice about taking these communication devices.

Use of mobile devices during addiction treatment could potentially interfere with their chance to get sober.

Cell phone use during addiction treatment is problematic because people who receive texts and calls from their friends who use or sell drugs will not be able to focus on treatment.

Sometimes, knowing what’s happening at home can impede a person’s ability to focus on recovery as well.

Laptop use during addiction treatment allows people to connect to social media websites that could have the same effect.

Why Rehab Centers Restrict Use Of Mobile Devices

Many rehab centers restrict the use of mobile devices in order to protect the privacy of their patients.

With a cell phone, a person could snap a picture of other people who have been admitted for treatment, which could violate the privacy of the person in the photo.

Other electronic devices are also considered problematic. Trying to stay focused on addiction treatment is more difficult when patients are constantly being bombarded with the sound of their cell phones ringing from phone calls or text alerts.

Finding A Rehab Center That Meets Your Needs

Each person has different needs regarding their preference for staying connected to the outside world during their stay at a rehab center. For this reason, it is best for them to mention this information when considering addiction treatment programs.

Some rehab facilities may be willing to be flexible if a person truly wants to get help but still needs to talk to others on the outside to ensure they can continue their job or education.

In general, it is usually considered best to leave cell phones, laptops, and other electronics at home when heading to a rehab center.

Those with special preferences who need help finding a rehab center that allows the use of a cell phone or laptop should contact a treatment specialist for a list of addiction treatment centers.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on March 27, 2020
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