Can I Bring Electronics Into Rehab?

Can I Bring Electronics Into Rehab?

The most simple answer to this question is ‘generally, yes’, but you will only be able to use electronics during free time while you are at rehab. Electronics are not, for instance, allowed during a workshop session, therapy or counselling session. You will be expected to give your therapy sessions your full commitment and time to give you the best chance in succeeding in recovery. At Rehab Clinics Group, all our centres permit the use of electronics during down time.

If you’re thinking of going into rehab to recover from a drug or alcohol addiction, you may be anxious or nervous and worried about how you are going to keep in touch with friends and family, and make contact with the outside world. Many of us are dependent on our smartphones to do a variety of things, which is why many rehab clinics do not have issues with you bringing your smartphone, laptop or tablet with you when you are admitted. The main deliberation linked to this issue is, however, whether you ‘should’ bring a smartphone to your rehab centre when you receive treatment.


Arguments Against The Use Of Electronics

When you attend rehab and start treatment, the most important thing is that you are determined to succeed in your treatment and get better. The negatives associated with electronics is that they can heavily distract patients from their recovery and their ambitions.

Many rehab clinics, although allowing electronics, still have concerns about the connections that smartphones and other electronics give the user to the world outside their recovery centre. There is a concern that patients may use their electronic devices to make contact with bad influences such as drug dealers, or be tempted to purchase alcohol or other illicit drugs online. One positive benefit of attending a rehab clinic as an in-patient is that it removes distractions and temptations. These temptations could be easily accessed through a smartphone, if the patient desired.

Although many rehab clinics permit the use of electronics in their facilities, they will not permit patients to contact drug dealers or find ways to access or purchase alcohol. If you are caught using your electronic devices in such a way, you may be asked to leave the rehab facility without completing your treatment. You are also likely to lose any money you have spent on treatment to date. Many rehab clinics have a zero-tolerance approach to the seeking out of drugs or alcohol to ensure that all patients have the best chance in succeeding in their treatment programmes.

When in rehab, you will be encouraged to find other ways to spend your free time, undertaking more mindful and holistic activities to keep your brain free from distractions. You’ll be encouraged to take part in sessions such as art therapy, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, breathing techniques and music therapy. Instead of bringing your electronics, why not bring a musical instrument or some books as an alternative?


Arguments For The Use Of Electronics

The main argument in defence of the use of electronics in a rehab facility is that they give a patient more of a realistic life setting while in rehab, preparing them for when they return to the outside world after their stay. For instance, by using their phone while in rehab, they become familiar with using it while remaining sober and learn to avoid using such devices to seek out drugs or alcohol. It is believed that after a patient checks out of rehab, they find it difficult to return to normal life and electronic devices become vehicles to seek out temptation. By using the electronics while in rehab, the risk of this is decreased.

Another argument for the use of electronics in rehab is that asking patients to stop using them will perhaps make their course of treatment more difficult as they may experience anxiety, frustration or anger as a result of being unable to use their smartphones. This is especially the case in younger patients in their 20s. Completely ruling out phones and other electronics may dissuade some people from attending rehab altogether.

Rehab centres also recognise that many people being admitted into their facilities that are facing addictions have normal lives that involve professional jobs. Some people are self-employed and run their own businesses, while others have senior positions within companies. These people need access to electronics to ensure that their outside world responsibilities are still being taken care of while in rehab. These people can also keep in touch with colleagues and family members, which can aid recovery and boost motivation to succeed.


Confidentiality Risks Linked To Electronics In Rehab

When you attend a rehab facility, the facility makes a pledge to remain confidential at all times regarding your treatment. Rehab clinics do have concerns that mobile phones, laptops and tablets all have a risk in breaking the code of confidentiality, as they can be used to take pictures and videos which can be posted online without consent. It is therefore very important when you attend rehab that you are informed and both parties agree that you will not take pictures or videos during your treatment that may harm the right to privacy that other parties have in the rehab facility.

There are some rehab clinics that will allow electronics, while others will not. When making a decision on the right kind of rehab facility for you, it is therefore important to consider how important the use of electronics is to you and whether you believe it will help or hinder your recovery. Try to think of the benefits that come with not using a smartphone, i.e. the ability to switch off the mind from distractions. A clear and focused mind is one that can heal more quickly, given determination.

If you require more help and advice on this topic, get in touch with us at Rehab Clinics Group. Call us now on 03301 596 494 or Text HELP To 83222.

Laura Smart - Author - Last updated: July 27, 2023

Laura is a qualified counsellor and behavioural therapist specialising in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), REBT (Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy), ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy), ICT (Inner Child Therapy), MI (Motivational Interviewing), Hypnosis and Mindfulness practice. She has experience working with individuals suffering from conditions such as problem behaviours, internet and social media addictions, depression, anxiety, anger management and trauma.