Should Patients In Treatment Have Access To The Internet?



Addicts and alcoholics think of everything. Despite the dysfunctions happening in their brains at the executive decision making level of cognitive function, they’re incredibly smart, intuitive, creative people. The lengths to which someone struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction will go to get drugs or alcohol, consume those substances, and try to get away with it, is impressive. While it isn’t something to condone or to encourage, it is a sign of the disease. Lying, stealing, cheating, manipulating, scheming, planning, pretending, deceiving- all of these behaviors are the nature of addiction. It is because of the nature of addiction that most treatment centers limit what people in treatment are able to access, like the internet.

The internet can be a phenomenally helpful or a phenomenally harmful place. It is true that you can buy drugs and connect with people in shady parts of the internet in shady ways to get drugs delivered to you at treatment. It happens all the time in treatment centers all over the place. Addicts and alcoholics are rebellious by nature. The more rules they face the more they want to find their sneaky ways to get what they want. Some people believe that treatment and recovery should be a matter of extremes. Everything that addicts and alcoholics could do should be tightly controlled so that they don’t do it. However, they’ll still be thinking about it. They might even go further out of their way to achieve it.

What recovery is really all about is learning how to make better choices. People in treatment and recovery need to feel empowered in their ability to make decisions that are helpful, not harmful to them. In the earliest stages of recovery, that is hard to do. There’s a reason why the Alcoholics Anonymous philosophy one day at a time is used so heavily in treatment. Sometimes life can only be taken one decision at a time, one minute at a time, and so on. When you give someone in treatment the freedom and encouragement to make better decisions they might be more open to making them. Creating an environment of trust and empowerment rather than heavy restriction enables people in recovery in a positive way. Giving them access to wifi and controlled amounts of time to spend connected to their devices helps them feel less like prisoners being punished for doing something wrong and more like people who have been sick and are learning how to get well again.


Lakehouse Recovery Center offers high speed internet access for people who need to stay connected for a job, or their life. Our residential treatment programs are built on learning how to have fun again in recovery, creating tools for a life without drugs and alcohol. For information or to schedule a tour, call us today:  877.762.3707


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