Do Rehab Centers Allow Cell Phones?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on September 20, 2023

One of the most common questions about attending an inpatient rehab center is whether or not people can bring their cell phones. These rules may not be the same at all treatment centers, but many have strict policies regarding the use of cell phones.

Rehab Centers That Allow Cell Phones

Although some treatment facilities may allow people to keep cell phones with them at all times, most drug and alcohol rehab programs do not.

While people are often allowed to bring their smartphones, they usually have to surrender them to the facility and can only use them at designated times or not at all.

Many people dislike the restrictions placed on cell phone use during addiction treatment, but these rules are in place for a good reason.

Why Do Most Rehab Centers Ban Cell Phones?

Cell phones, particularly in the modern age of social media, can be incredibly distracting to people in addiction treatment centers.

They may also be problematic as people could contact drug dealers or be exposed to temptations like pictures or videos of people engaging in drug use.

People in recovery are at risk of experiencing strong cravings, and they may use their phones to try and access substances in moments of weakness. This can be a danger to both themselves and other people in recovery.

Additionally, it’s well-known that most people spend several hours a day on their phones, which can be very disruptive when trying to focus on recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

Rehab center stays are a time away from work, school, and other daily life activities, so it’s important to stay committed to treatment without distractions.

Can I Still Contact My Loved Ones Without A Cell Phone?

During the initial detox and withdrawal period, clients may not be able to contact people in the outside world. This is so they can focus on getting through the most challenging period.

After detox, most drug rehab facilities allow people to make phone calls home via a landline. They may offer daily or weekly allotted times for contacting family members and support systems.

Many treatment programs also have designated visitation periods where clients can talk to their loved ones in person.

Can I Bring My Laptop Or Other Electronic Devices?

Unfortunately, laptops, video game consoles, TVs, and other electronic devices are not typically permitted for many of the same reasons that cell phones are banned.

Some treatment providers may allow devices that don’t connect to the internet, such as small music players or e-readers, but these rules vary.

It can feel frustrating to miss out on sports or your favorite TV shows, but it is ultimately in the best interests of yourself and everyone else in the substance abuse treatment process.

By focusing entirely on recovery, you have the best chances of achieving long-term success and sobriety. Your cell phone, emails, and favorite shows will be waiting for you when you return.

Finding Help For A Substance Use Disorder

If you or a loved one is facing drug addiction, alcohol abuse, or mental health issues, don’t wait to find help. Reach out to us today to learn about starting the addiction recovery process.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on September 20, 2023
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