Rehab Visitation: Can You Visit Someone in Rehab?

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While some facilities do not allow visitors at all so the patient can focus exclusively on recovery, many facilities do allow visitors. Keep in mind that having a family member in rehab can be difficult for the whole family. Before admission to rehab, your family member might have had a near overdose or close to it. They may have avoided you, hid their drug use, and mismanaged their money and daily schedule. On the other hand, you probably miss them and worry about how they are faring in rehab. Let’s explore the visitation rules in rehab centers so you will better understand what to expect when you or a loved one enters rehab.

Can You Visit People in Rehab? 

The answer to this question is that the rules will differ from facility to facility, but in most cases, you can visit loved ones in rehab. It is always best to call the facility first to find out what the visitation rules are. There may be COVID-19 restrictions. If your loved one is within the first few days of detox, it will be unlikely that you can visit them until they acclimate to their new setting and are medically stabilized.

If you would like to visit a loved one at Avenues Recovery, reach out to us so we can help you with the process.

What Are Some Common Rehab Visitation Rules? 

Some common rehab visitation rules are as follows: 

  1. Get written approval from the patient’s therapist before planning a visit.
  2. Stay within the designated visiting area of the rehab facility.
  3. Smoke only in areas designated by the facility.
  4. Do not bring drugs or alcohol onto the premises of the rehab center.
  5. Do not bring weapons, cell phones or lighters.
  6. Ask if you can bring soft blankets, family photos or memorabilia.
  7. Find out the best way to communicate with your loved one (eg, phone, zoom, or in person).
  8. Ask if you can join family therapy sessions if that is available in the facility where your family member is staying.

Other Factors to Consider: 

Here are some additional factors to consider regarding facility rules:

Rehab Visiting Hours and General Rules: Most rehab centers allow visitors, but there will be rules and policies regarding visitation. These rules may restrict the days and times when visitors are allowed, the duration of visits, and the number of visitors allowed at one time. The rules will also dictate if you can bring kids or pets.

Patient Consent: In many cases, the patient's consent is required for visitors. They may need to grant permission for specific individuals to visit them during their stay.

Family and Friends: Family members and close friends are typically the primary visitors allowed in rehab facilities. Some facilities may also permit visits from therapists or counselors as part of the patient's treatment plan.

Screening and Approval: Visitors may be required to undergo a screening process, such as background checks or drug tests, to ensure they do not pose any risk to the patient or the facility.

Behavior and Conduct: Visitors are usually expected to behave appropriately and follow the rules of the rehab facility. Disruptive or negative behavior may result in restricted visitation or expulsion from the facility.

Therapeutic Value: In some cases, visits from loved ones can have therapeutic benefits for the patient's recovery process, but this can vary from person to person. The rehab staff may assess whether visits are helpful or potentially harmful to the patient's progress.

COVID-19 Considerations: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many rehab facilities implemented strict visitation policies to prevent the spread of the virus. These policies may include limitations on in-person visits or the use of virtual visits instead.

To visit someone in rehab, you should contact the rehab facility directly to inquire about their specific visitation policies and procedures. Respecting the facility's rules and the patient's wishes while being supportive during their recovery journey is essential.

Let’s Discuss Some Pros and Cons of Rehab Visitation Rules: 

  1. Required Patient Consent Before Allowing Visitors: 
    Pro - One pro of requiring patient consent before allowing visitors is that it protects the patient as they undergo therapy. Certain people in their lives may be triggers that will prevent recovery. This rule can aid in their recovery.
    Con - A con is that family members may be waiting to see their loved one, and they may feel blocked out of their loved one’s life.
  2. Required Screening and Approval Before Being Allowed Into the Facility 
    Pro- A pro of requiring approval before entering the facility is that it protects patients from potentially dangerous people entering the facility, which could jeopardize the safety of all the patients
    Con - Family members or close friends may feel rejected as they go through the screening process
  3. Required Permission From The Patient’s Therapist Before Entering the Facility
    Pro- A pro of requiring permission from the patient’s therapist before entering the facility is that it helps to protect the patient. If the therapist approves of visitation, it can aid in the recovery of the patient to have a loved one visit or to join in therapy when appropriate.
    Con - Family members may be insulted if the therapist deems them unsuitable to visit the patient. 

Tips for Visiting a Rehab Center:

The following are some useful tips to keep in mind about visiting a loved one in a rehab center: 

  • Visit as often as you are allowed
  • Keep conversation light
  • Avoid discussing triggers (like drugs and alcohol)
  • Use encouraging words
  • Get to know the staff
  • Follow the facility rules

The answer to ‘can you have visitors in rehab’ is often yes, but the process has to be done in accordance with each facility's rules and regulations. If you wish to visit a loved one at Avenues Recovery reach out to us so we can help you with the process. We are here to support your loved ones' recovery in every way possible, and visitors can often help their journey. Let us work together to enable your loved one to reach a brighter, happier and addiction free future.


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