About 95 percent of Americans own cell phones, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center. It is a common question among individuals considering rehab if they will be able to bring their cell phone with them.
Role of Cell Phones In Alcohol Treatment
The “need for freedom and autonomy” is a common psychological factor in people who abuse substances, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports. To go from living life as you please to being restricted by rules established by treatment centers can be a difficult transition.
The rules established by alcohol treatment facilities are there to ensure that the focus is placed on the recovery of the individual suffering from addiction, and not the outside world. Many treatment facilities believe that allowing cell phones is not a good idea because it will detract from the recovery process. Other drug rehab centers recognize that communication with loved ones may lend to strength in support—an important part in the recovery process.
The rules on bringing personal electronics often vary by facility and individual treatment plans.
Are Cell Phones Allowed In Alcohol Treatment Centers?
For the most part, cell phones are not permitted while in the early stages of treatment, or the use of a cell phone is highly discouraged. Initially, this rule was put in place so individuals would be restricted from contacting anyone who could connect them with alcohol or further enable the existing addiction.
Additionally, cell phone usage creates privacy concerns for other patients in the treatment center. If someone is allowed use of a phone, that person could take pictures or share inappropriate information over social media that would violate another person’s privacy. Overall, having a cell phone is considered too much of a distraction from the recovery process.
However, some facilities do permit the restricted/supervised use of devices. A simple text message can get you in touch with a far-off loved one, providing connection, communication, and support. Some facilities have realized the value of this interaction between loved ones for individuals undergoing treatment, and believe it to be a motivational source for them to succeed in recovery.
Most inpatient drug rehab centers will provide communication time once a week so that people can stay in touch with their loved ones. People who need their cell phone or other device to keep up with work may be allowed to use their personal devices to do so. The terms of individual use of personal electronics, like a cell phone, will often be arranged prior to admitting an individual into an inpatient treatment facility.
What About Other Electronics?
Tablets, iPods, iPads, laptops, DVD players, smart watches, and other electronic devices all typically fall under the same restrictions as cell phones. These devices allow the user to temporarily “check out” mentally and this can be detrimental to the treatment process.
Inpatient treatment typically lasts 30, 60, or 90 days. Being “disconnected” from the outside world during this time is often viewed as an important part of healthy recovery by many health professionals. While it is important to have a network of support, it is most important to have complete dedication to and focus on recovery. For inpatient drug rehab centers which do not allow use of cell phones, they may instead provide family days or visiting times, usually on a weekly basis.
It can be difficult, at first, to only have restricted time to communicate with the rest of the world. Many people who go through inpatient drug rehab say that even though they struggled to let go of cell phone use at first, they later realized it helped them focus more on healing. By refraining from cell phone use or use of other devices, they could function in a normalized fashion much sooner than if they had let use of cell phones distract them from treatment.
Other Activities During Inpatient Treatment
Treatment centers run by keeping a set schedule. A structured program allows for large portions of time to be dedicated to different treatment modalities, and use of the internet and other electronics is highly discouraged during these times.
Activities at treatment centers are meant to keep each individual’s focus on mending the emotional damage, mental issues, and physical effects that can occur as a result of alcohol abuse and addiction. Inpatient drug rehab centers often encourage stress relief with tactile activities such as pottery or painting, and mindfulness techniques, such as yoga.
These outlets are considered to be more healing than the use of electronic devices because it allows the patient to express what they are feeling into something tangible, instead of distracting themselves with devices, such as cell phones.
Treatment may involve any number of methods, all of which engage the individual completely. Behavioral therapy allows a person to focus on harmful behaviors which may have led to or contributed to addiction, and discover new behaviors to lead to a sober life. Alternative therapy, like wilderness or adventure therapy may allow a person to build skills, and gain the confidence and self-awareness necessary for a substance-free life. In any of these instances, use of a cell phone would not only be distracting, but difficult.
It is important to know that cell phone use may or may not be permitted, depending on individual circumstances and the policies of the treatment facility. However, it is also important to remember the original reason for going through treatment: healing from addiction. No matter the circumstances, healing from addiction and building a fulfilling, substance-free life, should be the main goal of recovery.
If you or someone you know struggles with alcohol addiction, contact us to learn more about treatment today.
For More Information Related to “Can I Bring My Cell Phone To An Alcohol Rehab Center?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From AlcoholTreatment.net:
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