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Can I Have My Cell Phone During Drug Rehab?

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

When you are struggling with addiction, the best way to recover is to attend a professional drug rehab program. Unfortunately, many people avoid doing so for a variety of reasons, including financial issues, a fear of withdrawal symptoms, and just simply being afraid of the unknown.

One of the most common concerns about rehab is whether or not you will have access to your cell phone. For many people, cell phones are a source of comfort as they connect you with your friends and family. However, having a cell phone during rehab can expose you to triggers and increase your risk of relapsing.

Most drug rehab facilities do not allow you to have a cell phone during inpatient treatment, as this type of program limits your access to the outside world to protect you from stressors that may cause you to abuse substances. You may be able to use your phone while supervised during designated hours.

Why Do Most Drug Rehab Programs Limit Cell Phone Access?

There are many rules and restrictions when it comes to inpatient drug rehab programs, however, most people are interested in learning about limitations on cell phone access. The most basic reason that addiction treatment centers ban cell phones is that they can distract you from recovery. But it is important to note that there are many other reasons that drug rehab programs do not allow you to have your cell phone during treatment.

Oftentimes, people choose to attend inpatient drug rehabs because they provide a safe and structured environment that prevents them from being tempted to engage in addictive behaviors. If these programs allowed you to have your cell phone, there would be no way for the staff members to monitor the triggers you are exposed to. For example, scrolling on social media could cause you to see videos or pictures of illicit substances and even footage of people abusing drugs.

Even further, allowing cell phones would decrease the overall safety of the facility. Inpatient programs implement rules that prevent drugs and alcohol from being snuck into the facility. If patients have access to their cell phones at all hours, they may be tempted to message someone and ask them to deliver them illicit substances.

Lastly, cell phones allow you to take pictures. Drug addiction treatment is designed to be anonymous and protect you from the public finding out you are there receiving treatment for substance abuse. While some people waive this anonymity, it is extremely important for others.

If people had cell phones during treatment, they might accidentally expose the identity of other patients by taking pictures or videos in the facility.

How Can I Talk to My Family Without a Cell Phone?

While you might not be allowed to have your cell phone, you will still be able to communicate with your loved ones during treatment. Most inpatient drug rehab facilities allow you to make calls to your family members during certain hours of the day. This prevents you from feeling isolated or disconnected from your family while keeping you safe and focused on your treatment.

Additionally, most inpatient treatment programs have visitation days where your family members can come and learn about your progress and support you. Addiction treatment programs are not banning cell phones to keep you from your loved ones. The staff members at these facilities will do everything they can to help you maintain a connection with your family, as support from loved ones is often a vital aspect of addiction recovery.

Other Items That Are Commonly Restricted During Inpatient Treatment

Now that you know most inpatient treatment centers do not allow you to have your cell phone, you might be wondering what other items are restricted. It is important to note that restricted items are only banned to keep you and your peers safe and focused during treatment.

When you are entering an addiction treatment program, you might not be able to bring the following items:

  • Any items that contain alcohol as the main ingredient
  • Aerosol products like hairspray
  • Opened vitamin bottles or supplements
  • Excessive amounts of makeup or jewelry
  • Inappropriate clothing that depicts drug use or explicit language
  • Electronic devices like laptops, smart watches, tablets, digital cameras, cell phones, or any other device with internet or camera access
  • Weapons
  • Pornographic materials
  • Candles or incense
  • Body spray, perfumes, or cologne

Things To Do in Your Free Time During Drug Rehab

Many people use their smartphones during their free time to scroll through social media, play games, or even read. When you are entering addiction treatment, you might be wondering how you can occupy your free time without being on your phone constantly. Thankfully, there are plenty of recovery-friendly activities you can take part in instead of using your phone.

Activities you can engage in during your free time in drug rehab include:

  • Reading a book or magazine
  • Drawing or sketching
  • Word puzzles like crossword or word searches
  • Exercise
  • Meditation or yoga
  • Writing stories, poetry, or journaling
  • Having meaningful conversations with your peers
  • Working on therapy homework

While inpatient programs keep you busy to ensure that you are focusing on recovery, you will be given some free time to use as you please. If your rehab has a gym or a swimming pool, you could take advantage of those amenities during your free time. You must engage in activities that will help you decompress so you are prepared to participate in therapy, counseling, and other recovery activities you have planned throughout the day.

Start Your Recovery Today

If you or a loved one suffer from drug addiction or alcoholism, inpatient drug rehab can provide you with the treatment and support you need to maintain long-term recovery. While these programs can be strict and highly structured, the restrictions and rules are put in place to keep you safe and encourage your recovery process.

To learn more about your addiction treatment options, contact Carolina Center for Recovery today.