Substance Use

Can You Visit Someone in Rehab?

family visitation

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Can You Visit a Loved One in Rehab?

Yes, visitors are often allowed in rehab, but the rules regarding who can visit a drug addiction treatment center (and when) can vary greatly between treatment centers. If this is your or a loved one’s first time in rehab, you likely have many questions, such as:

  • What’s the treatment process like?
  • Are substance abuse, behavioral health, and mental health issues addressed?
  • What can I do there?
  • What am I expected to participate in?
  • Can my friends or family members visit me for emotional support?

Starting the journey to a sober lifestyle is a huge step, and wanting to know how the process works is natural. Our team of caring treatment specialists at Zinnia Health is available 24/7/365 to answer all your treatment questions. Call us now at (855) 430-9439 or contact us online.

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What Are the Rules for Visits at Rehab?

The people you love can most likely come to see you, but rehab visitation rules can vary between substance abuse facilities and even from program to program. For instance, if you’re participating in an inpatient rehab program, it’s likely that only your immediate family members have visitation rights restricted to certain days or times.

Some treatment facilities set aside an hour or so for one or two days every week provided the person in treatment has completed the detox process. Also, many drug use programs don’t allow phone calls, family visits, or visitors for the first few days after detox.

Restricting visitors during early recovery helps the individual in treatment learn how the process works, become comfortable in what, for many people, is an entirely new environment, and overall get answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about early recovery. Health care during this time is not just physical; it’s mental, behavioral, spiritual, and emotional.

Once you or your loved one transitions to addiction recovery after detox and is ready for visitors, in addition to time and day restrictions, treatment facilities also have visitation policies regarding what can and cannot happen during visits.

Some of the more widely accepted treatment center visitation rules include:

  • Providing a release of information form to obtain permission from the treatment team before any visitors arrive.
  • Remaining within the areas of the facility designated for visitors.
  • If you or a family member smokes cigarettes, ensure no one lights up outside the facility’s designated smoking areas.

The most important rule is one shared at all substance abuse treatment facilities: don’t bring any illicit substances, alcohol, or prescription drugs. In the event you or your family member requires medication, it must be given to the treatment team to administer. The person in rehab cannot personally hold onto any medications.

In most cases, the only exception to this rule is if the person requires a certain medication to save their life, such as an inhaler for asthmatics or an EpiPen for those with documented allergies to certain foods or insect stings/bites.

Always speak to the rehab center about their specific visitation rules before inviting loved ones to come.

At Zinnia Health, we encourage the active engagement of family members in the addict’s treatment. Many of our locations offer family counseling and one-on-one therapy programs for both the addict and their immediate family members. If you’re ready to begin treatment or you have a family member in treatment at one of our facilities, call us at (855) 430-9439 .

Can Any Friend or Family Member Visit Someone in Rehab?

Exactly who can visit you in treatment and when relies heavily on the intensity of your specific treatment program and the average rules of the facility you’re in. Some rehab programs may restrict all visitation if it’s in the best interests of the person in treatment.

Other facilities may only allow immediate family, such as:

  • A spouse
  • Child
  • Mother
  • Father
  • Sibling

Some treatment programs even allow close friends and significant others to come and spend time with their loved ones, provided the person in treatment approves. However, even with the blessing of the addict, there may be circumstances in which your treatment specialists decline to allow someone to visit.

The team may decide that a certain visitor is not a wholesome influence, is triggering, or is otherwise detrimental to the success of the individual’s long-term recovery.

Regardless of a facility’s overall visitation rules, nearly every rehab center restricts all visitors when a person first enters treatment. Treatment is a program with multiple steps, and it’s a process. The addict must settle into a whole new routine once they’ve completed detox.

Everyone’s withdrawal period is different. Visitors are typically allowed after symptoms begin dissipating, and the person is progressing well through their individualized treatment program.

Once visits start, your family members (and, in some cases, even dear friends) can also begin taking part in your treatment program in the form of family counseling, which can benefit everyone affected by the addiction.

Family therapy sessions help your loved ones begin to understand the motivations behind addiction and can also help you understand and appreciate the strain that addiction places on family members who don’t abuse substances.

Addiction treatment counselors are especially helpful because they can help families pinpoint issues stemming from or contributing to the addiction, such as:

  • Difficulty communicating
  • Inability to properly address and process anger
  • Codependent relationships

Are you having a hard time with a substance abuse problem? Is someone you love struggling with addiction? The compassionate providers at Zinnia Health want to hear your story and help you heal for good. You can call us at (855) 430-9439 any time, day or night. Don’t feel like chatting on the phone? No problem—send us an email or click the green chat square in the bottom right-hand corner of the page for immediate assistance.

Visitor Do’s and Don’ts at Substance Use Treatment Centers

Remember when you were in school, and that one kid who was acting up ruined something for the whole class? Visiting someone in rehab (or having visitors when you’re going through treatment) carries some responsibility.

While you won’t ruin anything for others in the program, you could ruin things for loved ones who want to be able to see you. You and your loved ones could lose all visitation privileges if you don’t keep these dos and don’ts in mind.


  • Follow all the rules set by the facility and the treatment team.
  • Take the time to learn staff members’ names and be friendly.
  • If you’re the visitor, be as encouraging as possible to your loved one in treatment.
  • Respect all facility rules regarding place and time.
  • If visitation times are shared in a common area with others in treatment and their families, be respectful of their time and confidentiality.


  • Allow active substance users to visit.
  • Bring any type of illegal or prescription substance into the facility.
  • Engage in relationships recognized as unhealthy.

If you’re ever in doubt about specifics, call the treatment center’s 24-hour drug and alcohol addiction helpline.

Bringing Gifts for a Loved One in Drug or Alcohol Rehab

In a drug rehab facility, there are rules regarding acceptable items recovering addicts can have while going through treatment. Every facility has its own policies, and like rehab centers that encourage visitation, holiday presents, and self-care packages are also encouraged.

The most common items restricted in a substance use treatment center include:

  • Any type of weapon
  • Cigarette lighters
  • Smartphones
  • Illegal or prescription drugs
  • Alcoholic beverages

Be aware that treatment teams inspect all packages and items within. The best items to bring to someone in substance abuse treatment include favorite clothes, nostalgic pictures, cozy blankets, and other items the person in treatment finds comfort in.

Heading for Sobriety and Healing for Good With Zinnia Health

If you’re struggling with a substance addiction, you’re not alone. Zinnia Health offers whole-person treatment programs uniquely tailored to the needs of each individual. Call us today at (855) 430-9439 to take your first step towards a sober lifestyle and a brand new you.

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Ready to get help?
(855) 430-9439
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