Will I Be Allowed to Use my Phone in Drug Rehab?
When you think about rehab, you probably feel stressed. You know that it will be a difficult time. This can make you want to rely more heavily on those things that bring you comfort. One of those things is your cell phone. Can you bring it with you and use it during rehab?
In 2009, 2.6 million people entered treatment at a specialty facility and most of them wanted to use their cell phones while they were in rehab.
Ultimately, this decision is up to the treatment center that you choose to attend. Nonetheless, the following discussion will cover possible cell phone policies and discuss why restrictions exist and how you can cope should phone use not be allowed.
To learn more about what the rehab center experience looks like, you can read “What is it Like? What Goes on in Drug Rehab?” You can also call 800-430-1407Who Answers? and speak to someone who has worked with rehab centers and knows many of their rules and regulations. Plus, if you are still looking for a program, we can definitely recommend some appropriate ones.
Typical Cell Phone Guidelines
There are a number of different approaches to the cell phone quandary. You can expect that cell phones will either be prohibited entirely or severely limited. The following scenarios are common:
- Cell phone use is not allowed
- Cell phone use is not allowed until a certain day of treatment has been reached (this may be as short as 8 days or as long as 30)
- Cell phone use is only allowed during specific communication periods
- Cell phone use is not allowed, but a telephone is provided for patient use
- Cell phone use is permitted, but is closely monitored by treatment staff and clinicians
Cell phone use may also be taken away should you choose not to follow instructions or meet expectations during your rehab stay. It is important that the privilege is respected when it is given and that all associated rules are followed.
Why Is Cell Phone Use Restricted?
There are probably people that you talk to every day, people you feel connected to, and you will miss them while you are in treatment. The rehab center isn’t trying to punish either of you by enforcing their cell phone rules. On the contrary, they are trying to help you succeed in recovery.
Treatment will include:
- Individual therapy
- Medical care
- Group counseling
- Drug education
- Support groups
- Social interactions
All of this will take up a lot of your time. There won’t be much time for phone usage during all of this and were you to choose to engage with your cell phone during these activities, you wouldn’t be fully taking advantage of your opportunities.
Will you go entirely without down time? No. Of course not. There will be times when you aren’t involved in a specific activity with recovery goals. However, during this time you should be reflecting on the things you are learning and the progress you are making. Spending that time on the phone takes you out of this meditative space, which isn’t to your benefit.
There is also the chance that your cell phone use is an extension of your addictive behavior. You may be hooked on instant gratification and constant communication may have become a habit. That is another reason phone use is often limited. If you have a cell addiction, it is more likely to make you anxious and to cause insomnia, neither of which help your treatment.
Lastly, you may be using your phone to contact old party friends and drug buddies. Contacting people involved with drug use and focusing your energy on that life means you aren’t seriously trying to work on your recovery. Take advantage of the space that rehab provides to distance yourself from all of the negative elements in your life. Don’t invite them into that space via calls or messaging.
What Can I Do in Place of Using My Phone?
When you feel yourself overcome with a need to text, chat, or message people, take a deep breath and think about doing one of the following instead:
It’s even better if you can tie your activity back to what you are doing in recovery. This keeps you focused on your goals.