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Can Friends & Family Visit Me In Drug Rehab?

Published on April 30, 2021
Can Friends & Family Visit Me In Drug Rehab?

When first going to rehab for alcohol abuse or drug addiction, you might have a lot of questions about what it’s going to be like, what you’ll do there, and how it’s all going to work. But you also might want to know if your friends and family can visit you while you’re in rehab.

Your loved ones can likely visit you, but the exact rules depend on the facility and the treatment program you’re participating in. Some inpatient rehab centers allow the only family and some have specific times when visitation is allowed.

Are Family & Friends Allowed To Visit Me?

Most rehab facilities allow patients to receive immediate family members but there are some places that allow friends and those who are approved by the patient to visit them. 

It all depends on the treatment center you go to and whether they think the person coming to visit you is a healthy influence on you or not.

That being said, when you first arrive, you might be restricted from having any visitors. This is so treatment can start to work and withdrawal symptoms can begin to subside. After that, visitors are usually allowed. 

Families are also welcome to participate in the addiction treatment program through family therapy sessions during your stay. This can help build a stronger support system outside of rehab and address any underlying issues like codependency, anger, or communication problems.

Visitation Policies

Visitation policies can really range from rehab program to rehab program, but they likely at least allow family members at some point during your stay. These visits can be crucial to how someone struggling with substance abuse does outside of rehab. 

People who are just beginning rehab as an inpatient will likely not be allowed visitors because the treatment facility wants the focus to be on treatment and interacting with other peers during group therapy. This tends to be for the first few days to a week and then visitors are allowed in. 

Whether a rehab center allows visitors or not is definitely something you want to know before choosing it. Having that connection to the outside can be the reason someone sticks with treatment.

Coronavirus Policies

You’ll also want to check what the coronavirus visitation policies are. Most facilities are restricting visitors and offering telephone visits and sessions for family therapy. Some are also offering video conferencing to help family members visit one another face-to-face.

Rehab Visitation Do’s & Don’ts 

Whether you are the one in rehab or you’re visiting, there are a few things to keep in mind on what you should and shouldn’t do during visitation periods.


  • Follow the facility rules: Know what the rules are at the facility and stick to them. Breaking the rules will not help the person going through rehab get any better. 
  • Get to know the staff: It can be important for those visiting to get to know who is taking care of their loved one. If staff knows more about the person visiting, they might even allow more visits.
  • Encourage them more: Let the person in treatment know how much they’re supported. Encouraging them to continue with treatment and showing emotional support will mean so much to them. 
  • Be respectful: Being respectful of everyone in the rehab facility is just as important as respecting the person you’re there to see. The staff is there to help and the other patients are there to get addiction treatment. 


  • Avoid talking about the past: As much as possible, avoid talking about the problems the person has had in the past. They’re in rehab to fix the habits that led to that past behavior. Now is not the time to bring those up. Try to make light conversation.
  • Avoid visitors who use drugs: Those using and abusing drugs and/or alcohol should not visit someone in treatment. They’ll likely not be a help to the person’s recovery. For those in recovery, it’s often recommended you stay away from those who continue to use.
  • Don’t bring drugs or alcohol: Any drugs and alcohol brought to the facility will likely be confiscated before they ever get to the person in treatment. Bringing it in does not help their addiction recovery journey and can do real harm. 
  • Don’t invite unhealthy relationships: If the person in treatment has a difficult, abusive, or unhealthy relationship with someone, that person should not visit them in the rehab. 

To learn more about our treatment options for yourself or a loved one, please connect with our helpline today.

Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
This page does not provide medical advice. - Understanding Addiction
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - Managing Expectations
National Institute on Drug Abuse - Step by Step Guides to Finding Treatment for Drug Use Disorders

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