things to bring

7 Essential Things to Bring to Rehab

Getting sober is a big deal. Making the decision to start the process for recovery from addiction certainly isn’t easy, and there’s a long road ahead. But taking that first step is crucial.

Rehab is a major investment of time and money, and you need to be prepared to make the most of the experience. The rehab facility will become your home for the next few weeks or months, and so it’s important to bring along everything you’ll during your time away from the outside world.

Packing can be stressful, but we are here to help. Let’s take a look at things to bring to rehab.

1. Medications

Many addicts have prescription meds they’ll need while in rehab. Any prescription meds you’ll need have to be in their original bottles, and liquid meds will need to be new and sealed.

Keep in mind that you won’t be allowed to keep your medications with you once you’ve checked in. The staff doctors will store the meds and distribute them as needed. It’s a good idea to make a list of the meds you take and the dosage for each.

It’s important that any prescription drugs you take be carefully monitored, due to the fact that you will be going through the stressful process of detoxing off dangerous substances.

2. Documents

There are a few important documents you’ll need when checking in. Be sure to bring a form of ID, such as your driver’s license or passport. You’ll also want to bring your insurance card and a prescription card. 

It’s also a good idea to bring some cash for vending machines, as well as a debit card or credit card in case you want to pay for certain items at the rehab facility. 

3. A Contact List for Making Calls

You won’t be permitted to have a cell phone in the rehab facility. In fact, your contact with loved ones will be limited during the detox process, because it’s vital that you be able to focus on your recovery.

But we encourage you to bring a list of emergency contacts in case there’s a need to reach someone quickly. Your contact list should include the names, phone numbers, email addresses and physical addresses of anyone you might need the facility to contact in an emergency situation.

Some facilities might offer stamps and envelopes available for purchase in case you want to write letters, or you can bring your own.

4. Toiletries

You’re going to need to bring some basic items for living in a detox facility for a month or more. This includes everyday toiletries such a shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste and a toothbrush, and a hairbrush and hairdryer.

Some facilities will allow you to bring a few makeup items but stick to the basics. And go ahead and leave items like mouthwash, perfume, and anything else that might contain alcohol at the house because it’ll just get tossed out.

5. Items for Downtime

Keep in mind that there will be downtime when you can take part in various activities. We suggest bringing along items such as sketchbooks or cameras that support pastimes you enjoy doing in your normal life.

Many people in rehab bring books, knitting materials, and notebooks for journaling. 

Just be aware that some facilities have restrictions about the types of personal items that are allowed during this phase of your recovery.

6. Clothing

Let’s take about clothing. We suggesting packing at least a week’s worth of clothing, and be sure to bring items that you’ll be comfortable in. And be sure to bring plenty of socks and underwear.

It’s a good idea to bring sneakers for walking, and a pair of flip-flops to shower in.

You might want to consider bringing a nice outfit or two in the event of a special occasion at the facility, or in case you have visitors.

You will have access to a washer and dryer, so be sure to bring clothes that are easy to care for. Also, consider bringing your own laundry soap in case that isn’t proved by the facility.

Basic jewelry items such as your wedding ring or a watch are allowed, but leave everything else at home so you don’t risk losing them.

7. Photos of Loved Ones

You’ll likely not see loved ones for a month or more, so you might want to bring photos of those who mean the most to you. After all, it’s important to have daily reminders of the relationships that fill you with love and joy during the challenging experience of getting clean.

Things Not to Bring to Rehab

We’ve already mentioned a few things you’re going to have to leave at home, and here are a few more.

You won’t be allowed to bring playing cards, games, or workout equipment. The facility will provide any games or equipment that are permitted.

Pornography isn’t allowed, nor food or candles, and you can definitely forget about tobacco products, alcohol, e-cigarettes or weapons.

Rehab facilities also do not permit the use of any electronic devices such as cell phones, video games, or TVs.

This might already sound like a terribly unpleasant experience, but keep in mind that you are entering a detox facility to focus on getting clean and building the foundation for a new life. That’s why it’s important to eliminate any distractions. It might seem hard at first, but it’s best if you can simply learn to trust the process.

Essential Things to Bring with You to Rehab

Rehab is a huge step on the road to recovery. Spending time in a rehab facility will be challenging yet rewarding. This list of things to bring with you will make your stay more pleasant and comfortable.

Just remember that you are doing the right thing for yourself and for your loved ones and that the best times in your life are still ahead of you.

Click here to learn more about the detox process.

Article Reviewed by Paul Alexander

Paul AlexanderPaul Alexander is the founder and CEO of Northbound Treatment. He received his Certified Addiction Treatment Specialist training at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA, and was awarded Outstanding Alumni Service Award in 2002. Paul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society, Summa Cum Laude, from University of California, Irvine, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. He believes wholeheartedly in transformational leadership, organizational health and effective, fully integrated substance use disorder treatment.

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