What Happens to Your Smartphone During Treatment?

Written by Journey Pure Staff

A common misconception about entering addiction treatment is that your smartphone will be taken away immediately. This makes sense on its surface since smartphones are many people’s first and most immediate connection to “the outside world,” that place where the addiction started.

Smartphones also happen to be pretty “addictive” in and of themselves, pulling the user out of their immediate surroundings, which can be problematic when it comes to individual and group therapy sessions.

At JourneyPure At The River, smartphones were prohibited as recently as two years ago, but since then they’ve been made available to clients under certain circumstances.

“Coming into detox, we’re going to assess you, and take the temperature, if you will, on the phones,” said Ted “Rusty” Graves, clinical director at JourneyPure At The River. “The detox wing has detox therapists, and if they think it’s OK, then patients not looking for excuses or reasons to leave can use their phones to stay in touch with friends and family.”

After three to five days in detox, clients move into therapy, with frequently occurring group and individual sessions throughout the day. It is here where smartphone use becomes regulated through a phase system.

The Phase System

The least flexible of the three phases, Phase Red is for everyone during their first seven days of treatment. During this time, no phone use is allowed except in cases where the therapist feels it would be therapeutic. And in those cases, a therapist or recovery coach is in the room with the client.

“[Clients] are on a seven-day blackout,” said Stephanie Adams, Family Program Director at JourneyPure At The River. “They do not have access to their cell phones while in residential [but] sometimes they will have to access them to therapeutically delete contacts or look at social media prior to discharge.”

What follows is Phase Blue, which allows for two 15-minute phone calls per week. This is in addition to a 15-minute call with a sponsor per week.

Phase Green allows for three 15-minute phone calls per week, and therapists can grant two more calls if they think it’s in the client’s best interests.

“Keep in mind, none of this is down the middle of the road,” said Graves. “Sometimes we steer left or right, depending on the situation. A lot of it is up to the patient.”

Treatment at JourneyPure At The River

If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic substance abuse problem, please contact us today. We offer medically-assisted detox services, individual and group counseling, and experiential therapies. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready for you to get healthy and stay healthy.