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  • Laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices may be partially allowed in many drug and alcohol rehab programs.

    The drug addiction treatment programs that allow a laptop or cell phone use may limit when and how you are allowed to use them. Other addiction recovery facilities may simply ban their use altogether.

    Laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices can distract from the recovery process. They may also expose you to triggers that can lead to a relapse or other setbacks.

    Drawbacks Of Bringing A Laptop To Rehab

    Laptops are usually limited from rehab programs to help you focus on your treatment.


    An inpatient drug or alcohol rehab program often asks patients to be focused solely on their recovery. This is especially important during the initial detox period, where withdrawal is usually most severe and the risk of relapse is high.

    Inpatient programs have many moving parts. Group therapy sessions, counseling, and workshops may take up large portions of your day during rehab. Using electronic devices during these sessions may reduce the effectiveness of your treatment.

    Exposure To Triggers

    Laptop computers with Internet access offer nearly unlimited information at your fingertips. This includes harmful information, such as triggers that can set back your rehab program or even lead to relapse.

    Examples of triggers that can be found on the Internet include pictures of drug paraphernalia, receiving messages concerning substance abuse, and reading or watching videos about drug use.

    Even if you log on to your laptop with good intentions, it can be easy to see a trigger before you realize it. The treatment process for substance abuse and addiction can be delicate, which is why treatment providers may see your laptop as a risk to your physical and mental health.

    Benefits Of Bringing A Laptop To Rehab

    Being on your laptop during rehab can be distracting and downright harmful in some cases. However, many treatment centers recognize the benefits laptops can offer, which is why they may only be limited and not banned.

    Outside Support

    Patients staying at a rehab facility may feel isolated from their family members and loved ones. It may be possible to feel like you are not getting enough support, even with medical professionals around.

    Laptops can be used to communicate with family members and loved ones through messaging apps, social media, or video conference calls.

    A Sense Of Normalcy During Rehab

    Substance abuse and addiction can affect anyone, including people with full-time jobs and family commitments. Inpatient programs often need patients to stay in the treatment center until the program is finished. 

    However, some patients may still need to keep up with work while in rehab. These patients may still need a laptop to continue work obligations or pressing responsibilities.

    The online nature of today’s world often involves staying connected at all times. Having a laptop around can help teach patients how to stay sober while avoiding triggers.

    Do The Benefits Of Using A Laptop Outweigh The Drawbacks?

    Many drug rehab centers stay on the side of caution when it comes to electronic devices. If laptops are allowed into rehab, they may only be available during downtime, or after your schedule for the day is already done.

    Preventing isolation and keeping contact with the outside world is still important to many patients. Many treatment facilities may offer landline phones to make phone calls, or offer wellness activities to increase healthy communication among patients.

    Bringing appropriate reading material that is free from triggers can also increase patient comfort while minimizing distractions. If you’re wondering whether you should bring your laptop into rehab, looking into alternatives may be just as helpful for your recovery process.

    Find A Treatment Center That Works For You

    The policy on laptops and electronic devices is just one factor to consider when looking for an inpatient rehab program. 

    You may also want to look into the types of therapy offered, the medical specialists that will be available, the support and wellness activities at the facility, and other services.

    The decision a treatment facility makes about electronic devices is almost always done with the patient in mind. The goal that both you and your treatment program should share is a safe and long-lasting recovery from substance abuse.

    To learn more about treatment programs that best fit your needs, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2022 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - Map - SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on June 24, 2022
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