Cell phones are a significant part of our lives today. Over 97% of Americans own a cell phone of some kind, with the majority owning smartphones. Smartphones are much more than a communication tool, so it may be difficult for you or a loved one to imagine having to go without a phone for a period of time. Entering into a residential drug and alcohol rehab can be challenging as many patients feel that their personal freedoms are restricted – especially when cell phone use is regulated. Read on to learn if there are rehabs that allow cell phones. 

What Is a Rehab?

Rehab, or rehabilitation, is used to help people recover from addictions, injuries or even mental or physical illnesses. Drug rehab programs are often what people think about when thinking of the word rehab, however. People who battle drug or alcohol addiction need additional care and help that is offered at rehab facilities.

Drug rehabs help people recover from substance use disorders. There are many different types of rehab facilities. Some specialize in certain addiction problems and/or co-occurring disorders, for example. Some are gender- or age-specific. Therapy modalities and treatment approaches may also vary at rehab facilities. 

Rehab programs for addiction may require patients to stay at the facility 24/7, such as those who would benefit most from inpatient or residential treatment. Conversely, during outpatient treatment, patients can attend treatment sessions at the facility during the day while continuing to stay overnight at home with the ability to maintain responsibilities at work or home. The question of whether there are rehabs that allow cell phones is primarily asked by patients who attend inpatient treatment. 

Are There Rehabs That Allow Cell Phones?

Some rehab facilities allow the use of cell phones while others have banned them entirely. Some inpatient treatment centers prohibit cell phone use for only the initial part of treatment or only allow phone use during a certain time of day. Whether a rehab allows cell phones or not, there are complex reasons for each side of the argument. 

Pros of Having a Cell Phone in Rehab

Some of the primary benefits of having a cell phone in rehab include:

  • Being Able to Maintain Contact with Work – According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, more than 70 percent of people battling substance use disorder are employed. Over 11 percent of those employed in the management sector have also been found to battle substance use disorder. Many of these professionals need their cell phones to stay connected to their careers and may view their job as their primary identity. These professionals can avoid the anxiety of not knowing what is going on at work if allowed to have their cell phones at rehab.
  • Being Able to Stay in Contact with Loved Ones – Whether it is family or romantic partners, both can be a needed support system. Losing touch with those a person loves during a time that can be scary and difficult for some is hard. For some people, having the ability to maintain contact with those they care about can mean the difference between recovery and relapse.

Cons of Having a Cell Phone in Rehab

Cell phone restrictions in rehab may also help those addicted to drugs or alcohol better focus on recovery. Some of the arguments against cell phone use in rehab include:

  • Avoiding Temptation – Many people attend inpatient treatment to get away from temptation or things that contribute to addictive behavior. While facilities offer a safe and structured environment, cell phones can offer the opposite of that, with a world of temptation available at one’s fingertips, from media content to contact with potentially toxic friends or family.
  • Reducing Stress – Cell phones can bring about stress or other problems. When a person needs to focus to learn the many valuable lessons during rehab, texts, social media, phone calls and the like can lead to distraction, preventing people from devoting themselves entirely to their recovery.

So are there rehabs that allow cell phones? Yes there are. But once you are admitted to a treatment program, you may be asked to store it in a safe place (such as a locker) until your treatment is complete. Remember that if a facility asks you to not use your cell phone, the request is not meant to be punitive but to help you along the path to wellness. Contact My Recovery Source today to find a rehab facility near you, including one that does or does not allow cell phones based on your preference. 

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