What to Pack for Addiction Treatment by Rehab Recovery Centers

Making the life-changing decision to attend an addiction treatment program may feel confusing and difficult. The fear of the unknown is a common issue among newly sober individuals. Preparing to leave for inpatient rehab can be equally as difficult, especially if it’s your first time attending substance abuse treatment. For example, many individuals struggle to try to decipher what they should pack for addiction treatment. That’s why we have made a complete checklist of what to bring, and what not to bring, to an addiction treatment facility.

What Should I Pack for Addiction Treatment?

Most substance abuse rehab programs will have a complete checklist of what to bring with you to their facility. If you weren’t informed on what to pack during your admissions interview or phone call, check their website or call them for more information on what is allowed on the premises.

However, if you are preparing to go to a rehab in your state, the following items include the basics of what you will need throughout your stay:

  • A list of your friend’s and loved one’s phone numbers and addresses
  • Stamps and envelopes if you are planning to write letters
  • All of your current medications in their properly-labeled bottles
  • New and unopened over-the-counter medications
  • Unopened cigarettes (if your treatment center allows them)
  • A small amount of cash ($100 or less) for vending machines or miscellaneous expenses
  • Co-payments for prescriptions (credit card, debit card, or cash)
  • Insurance cards and ID
  • A journal or notebook to keep you occupied
  • Books or crossword puzzles
  • Pictures of your loved ones
  • A week’s worth of comfortable clothing
  • Pajamas
  • Tennis shoes
  • Bathing suit (if your treatment center has a pool or is near the beach)
  • Alcohol-free toiletries
  • Personal hygiene items
  • An electric razor (disposable razors are typically not allowed)

Clothing: How to Pack Appropriately for Addiction Treatment

Typically, addiction rehab programs have strict dress codes, so it’s important to stay informed on any clothing restrictions you may come across. For example, some treatment centers ask that patients refrain from wearing revealing clothing. Also, you should always consider the climate of the area your treatment facility is located in and pack accordingly.

While packing for addiction treatment, make sure to include comfortable, conservative, and weather-appropriate clothing, including:

  • Shoes that are comfortable for everyday wear, tennis shoes for activities, and flip flops or slides for the shower.
  • Comfortable t-shirts, tank tops (bring a cardigan to comply with dress code), and one nice blouse for special occasions.
  • Comfortable pants, including jeans, leggings, sweatpants, etc.
  • Shorts that comply with the center’s dress code.
  • Socks and undergarments
  • A bathing suit. Typically, women are required to wear one-piece swimsuits and men should wear trunks.
  • Comfortable pajamas and slippers
  • A coat or a jacket in case you get cold.
  • A bathrobe

What Shouldn’t I Pack for Drug and Alcohol Rehab?

When figuring out what to pack for addiction treatment, keep in mind that some items may be prohibited. If an item is prohibited by the facility, there is a good chance that it is for your safety and the safety of other patients. While some items may seem necessary, there are safer alternatives that you will be allowed to bring. For example, mouthwash containing alcohol is not allowed. This is because some patients may be tempted to drink mouthwash due to its alcohol content. However, you are allowed to bring alcohol-free mouthwash with you.

Items you should not bring with you to an addiction treatment center include:

  • Illegal substances or alcohol
  • Toiletries containing alcohol
  • Jewelry, excluding any “everyday” jewelry you may wear
  • More than $100 in cash
  • Electronic devices (unless your treatment center allows them)
  • Provocative clothing
  • Aerosol cans (hairspray, deodorant, etc.)
  • Weapons, including pepper spray, pocket knives, or anything that could be viewed as a weapon
  • Prescription narcotics
  • Pornography
  • Outside food or drink
  • Electronic cigarettes or vapes
  • Cleaning supplies (the treatment center will provide safe alternatives)
  • Playing cards
  • Anything with profanity or the glorification of drug and alcohol use

What if I Bring a Prohibited Item on Accident?

If you or a loved one accidentally pack an item that is not allowed at the addiction treatment center, do not worry. Typically, the treatment center will not throw out your personal belongings unless they are illegal or perishable.

When you arrive at the facility, an intake worker will go through your things and itemize them on a list. If any of the items you brought with you are prohibited, most programs will hold them in a locker until you complete treatment.

Oftentimes, people dislike being told what they can and can’t have. However, it is important to remember that these rules are based on years of addiction treatment experience. If an item is prohibited by your rehab, it is most likely for safety reasons. Also, some items may be prohibited to prevent stealing or other unwanted behaviors. Either way, these rules are in place to protect you and the other patients residing at the facility.

While certain treatment centers allow a greater range of personal items, such as blankets, pillows, or even decor to make your room feel more like home- some won’t. For example, most treatment facilities prohibit patients from bringing candles or incense, as these items cause fire and safety hazards. Always ask in advance to make sure that you are not breaking any safety rules. If a treatment facilitator tells you not to bring a specific item, remind yourself that they are only looking out for your best interest.

Getting Started at an Addiction Treatment Center

If you or a loved one are looking for addiction rehab in your city or state, Rehab Recovery Centers is here to help. We understand how difficult it can be to decide which specific program is best suited for you. In response, our team of certified and experienced addiction specialists will work with you or your loved one to find the most effective form of substance abuse treatment. Contact us today for more information on how to get started at an addiction treatment center near you.

Get Help Today

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