What to Bring to Rehab and What Not to Bring

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There is comfort in familiarity. When you are preparing to go to somewhere new (such as a drug rehab center), it can help to bring a few items that remind you of home. In today’s post, we offer some guidance and suggestions about what to bring to rehab and what you shouldn’t plan to have with you while you’re in treatment.

What to Bring to Rehab

When you are deciding what to bring to rehab, you should consider several factors, including:

  • How long will you be in rehab?
  • What type of program will you be attending?
  • Will there be an outdoor component to your treatment?
  • What are the policies of the facility where you’ll be getting help?

Of course, the final bullet point is probably the most important one. But there is value in thinking about why you should bring certain items with you and leave others behind.

Every rehab center has its own rules about what participants can bring with them. In general, these are put in place for two reasons:

  • To ensure the continued safety of all clients and patients, staff members, and visitors.
  • To eliminate distractions and help participants focus their full attention on the care they are receiving. 

Having said all of that, here is a representative list of what many rehab centers encourage (or at least permit) people to bring with them:

  • Your driver’s license or other government-issued ID
  • Your insurance card
  • Emergency contact information
  • A small amount of cash
  • A few photos of friends or family members
  • A notebook or journal
  • Books or magazines
  • Minimal jewelry (such as a watch and wedding ring)
  • The names and addresses of people that you may want to write letters to
  • A week’s worth of comfortable, non-revealing clothing
  • A week’s worth of socks and underwear
  • One or two pairs of shoes
  • Slippers and/or shower shoes
  • A coat, jacket, or sweater
  • An appropriate supply of any prescription medications you are taking, in unopened containers that identify the medications and confirm that they have been prescribed to you
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Toothpaste and a toothbrush
  • Necessary personal hygiene products
  • A small amount of makeup

Some rehabs allow clients and patients to smoke or use other tobacco products in designated areas at certain times during the day. The best thing you can do is simply call the addiction treatment facility and ask them what is and what isn’t allowed at the rehab center.

Woman trying to bring everything she can to rehab

What Not to Bring to Rehab

As with the list of what to bring to rehab in the previous section, the following is a general list of items that are commonly banned from addiction treatment centers:

  • Any mind-altering substances
  • Anything that contains alcohol (such as certain types of mouthwash and perfumes)
  • Aerosol products
  • Knives or other weapons
  • Unapproved medications
  • Revealing clothing
  • Clothing with potentially offensive images or messages
  • Clothing that features images related to alcohol or other substances
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Pornography
  • Cell phones, tablets, computers, or other electronic devices
  • Candles and incense
  • Most jewelry

Some centers permit patients to bring a few electronic devices (such as e-readers or digital music players with earphones) as long as these devices cannot be used to connect to the internet. 

How Else Can You Prepare for Rehab?

Preparing to enter an addiction treatment program isn’t simply a matter of determining what physical items to bring to rehab. It can also involve getting yourself in the proper frame of mind so that you can make the most of your experience.

To do that, you should also think about bringing the following with you:

  • The realization that you need help: This may seem obvious, but being able to admit that you can’t do it all on your own can be essential for successful recovery.
  • An open mind: While you’re in rehab, you may need to discuss painful topics or confront uncomfortable truths. Trust in the judgment of your treatment team, and do your best to fully engage in all aspects of your care.
  • A desire to learn: This includes both acquiring information and making beneficial changes. As you learn about the disease of addiction and the process of recovery, you need to be ready to turn your newfound knowledge into productive actions.
  • The belief that your life can get better: Untreated addiction can be defeating and demeaning. Now that you’re about to start treatment, it’s important to find the spark of hope that can motivate you in the weeks and months to come.
  • The knowledge that treatment is just one part of the process: Treatment typically lasts from a few weeks to a few months. Recovery requires a lifelong commitment. Don’t expect quick fixes or easy improvements. Rehab can provide you with vital tools and a solid foundation – but the work of building and maintaining a healthier future will be an ongoing effort.

Contact Our Rehab Centers at Renewal Health Group

The Renewal Health Group network of treatment facilities includes respected rehab centers in convenient locations throughout southern California. 

If you or someone that you care about has been struggling with an addiction to alcohol, opioids, or another substance, we may have the solutions you are seeking. Treatment options at our rehab centers include detoxification, residential treatment, partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), and traditional outpatient programming. 

In each of our centers and at every level of care, dedicated professionals provide customized services while maintaining a safe and supportive environment. When you’re ready to start living a healthy, drug-free life, the Renewal Health Group team is here to help. To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our admissions page or call us today.

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