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08.22.2018

Do Treatment Centers Allow You To Make Phone Calls When You Want To While You Are There?

Getting clean and sober is the most important thing for individuals who are suffering under the yoke of drug or alcohol addiction. Addiction destroys the quality of life and relationships. Drugs and alcohol take a heavy toll on the body. With today’s dangerously potent opioid drugs, the toll on a person’s health happens very quickly, even if the person is young and healthy when the addiction begins.

Because recovery is such an imperative, entering a detox and rehab program is essential. Many people resist or defer entering rehab because they fear a loss of freedom. Every rehab has a structured environment that is managed for the purpose of making drug and alcohol use impossible during treatment. The environment is also made to help clients focus on treatment. Many clients and their families have questions about rehab rules, such as whether clients can make phone calls and whether phone use is restricted.

Cellphone Use While In Treatment

Each rehab has a policy regarding cellphones. Many centers require clients to surrender their cellphones while in the addiction recovery center. Other centers may allow cellphone use, though they reserve the right to restrict use if there is a problem. Cellphones are of primary concern for several reasons, including the following:

  • Potential contact with drug dealers
  • Patient privacy
  • Distraction from treatment
  • Trigger potential

Rehab centers are vigilant about keeping drugs out of the centers. A common problem is a client who contacts a friend or even a drug dealer. Someone may then attempt to smuggle narcotics into the rehab. Some facilities see banning cellphones as a way to combat this.

Patient privacy has become a concern with smartphones. Clients could take pictures while inside the rehab that compromise the privacy of other clients. Videos and recordings could also be made that could be used to breach confidentiality.

Rehab centers want clients focused on recovery. If the clients are consistently talking to outside sources, they may not be using their time at the center to its full potential. For this reason, many centers restrict cellphone use.

Smartphones provide ample opportunities for exposure to substance use triggers. The Internet, email, and phone conversations may cause temptation or distress that makes clients vulnerable to feeling that they need drugs or alcohol. Treatment centers want clients to feel they are not in need of these substances.

Use Of Phones At The Facility

Most rehab centers have phones available for client use. If a center restricts cellphone use, it most likely has client phones. There are usually rules for phone use, and phone use could be monitored. Generally, the phones are available at certain times and for certain call lengths. However, some court-ordered rehab programs may have additional restrictions. It is best to check with the individual rehab about the phone policy.

Stages of Rehab

Phone use policies may also be different at various treatment stages. Many substance abuse treatment programs provide a detox clinic followed by a rehab program. Detox clinics involve medically supervised treatment that is meant to cleanse clients of the harmful toxins in their bodies. Rehab is a longer-term stage of recovery that involves therapy, education, and support.

While in detox, clients experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms range from uncomfortable to painful to unbearable. In some cases, withdrawal is medically dangerous. During detox, clients receive treatment for these distressing and sometimes dangerous symptoms. Treatment eases the symptoms, allowing the client to comfortably adjust to being drug and alcohol free.

During rehab, clients have passed the acute stage of addiction recovery. Having physically adjusted to being substance free, they enter therapy programs aimed at preventing future relapse. These include several approaches, such as:

  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Addiction education
  • Mental health treatment
  • Spiritual guidance
  • 12-step programs
  • Art therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Aftercare
  • Others

Phone policies may depend on whether the client is in detox or rehab. Also, it may depend on the type of therapies provided at the rehab, as well as the rehab’s philosophy. Some rehabs have more structure and rules while others want to create a more co-operative environment.

Rehab and detox are difficult but necessary for recovery. Confronting addiction, experiencing withdrawal, and defeating relapse triggers takes work and patience. In time, many clients are able to leave substance abuse in the past. Once the drugs are out of their systems, they are able to focus their lives on other priorities and forget all about drug and alcohol use.

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Season 3, Episode 31: 29 Years of Recovery w/ Andy V.