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Are Cell Phones Allowed At Rehab Centers?

Published on December 17, 2020
woman on her cell phone in rehab centers

Entering a treatment center for the first time can be a daunting experience. The treatment process is different for every individual and the standards are different from every program. 

Although the standards are unique to each rehab facility, it is common to have a few sets of rules for treatment. Although rehab programs vary, treatment centers are not likely to allow cell phones during your or your loved one’s stay. 

Prepping For Treatment

Before entering addiction treatment, it is imperative that the individual consult their intake team on whether or not they allow cell phones. Oftentimes, it is allowed for individuals to bring a few momentos during their stay; for instance, a special blanket or a favorite sweater. 

It is also incredibly important for loved ones to recognize that a treatment stay is a period of intense growth and concentration. During a patient’s stay at an inpatient rehab facility, they are not only attending therapy sessions but likely undergoing an intense detox from drugs or alcohol. 

This initial time period can be intense and lead to drastic physical and emotional changes. For this reason, it’s helpful for treatment programs to allow patients momentos from home that can make them feel more comfortable, but also maintain strict guidelines for health and safety. 

Why Cell Phone Use Is Limited

Every treatment facility is different, but it is common for most rehabilitation centers to not allow cell phones during a patient’s stay, or have very heavy restrictions upon cell phone use. Many rehab centers limit internet use overall, especially laptop use. 

There are a multitude of reasons why cell phones can impede the growth of a patient during their stay. Here are just a few: 

Negative Influences

It is common for an individual struggling with substance abuse to have several contacts to obtain drugs. Additionally, there may be friends or family members who enable the person and their drug abuse. By cutting off cell phone use, the individual has some much needed time away from outside influences.

Concentrated Healing Time

Just like any good wellness retreat, you need a breath of fresh, clean air completely separate from the pressures of the outside world. Rehab is not much different. One of the greatest benefits to rehab is the ability to step away and focus on YOU. Limited cell phone use can be an incredible way to unplug and concentrate on your addiction recovery and overall mental health. 


It is common for treatment facilities to offer a library or a media room. These extra amenities allow for other forms of pure entertainment during your stay. Cell phone use can consume a significant amount of time, time that could otherwise be allocated to your healing process. Such distractions as social media or streaming platforms can quickly consume a person’s entire day. 

Electronic Devices During Treatment

The recovery process looks different for every individual. However, the use of electronic devices, specifically cell phones, can be detrimental to a patient’s growth during their time in rehab. Understanding that healing and getting your life back on track is the most important thing. No distraction should ever impede that growth. 

Once you consult a treatment specialist, ask whatever questions you may have in order to feel more prepared to enter treatment. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, it’s important to seek professional support at a substance abuse treatment program. 

To learn more about the comprehensive treatment options available for substance use disorder treatment, please contact an Ark Behavioral Health specialist today.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice.
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