The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration‘s National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that of over 22.5 million people who suffer from addiction, less than 20 percent get treatment.
So while going to rehab for addiction treatment can be scary, it’s important to keep your eye on your long-term goal — reaching sobriety and learning to live without drug abuse. This is a new beginning, and you’re not allowing yourself to just become another statistic. In order to get the most out of your experience, it’s important to know what to expect and pack appropriately.
Now, all treatment programs have their own specific set of rules and lists of items you are permitted to bring, so it is important to reach out to yours before going. That said, this is a general packing guide you can follow:
Bring the Essentials
While many rehab facilities are indeed luxurious and designed to help you relax, it’s important to remember that you are not at a spa retreat. You’re there to focus on detox and addiction recovery, and any personal items that do not help facilitate that can get in the way. Because of this, most treatment centers prohibit many personal items that are not deemed essential to your wellbeing or everyday care.
Essential items are general categorized as the following:
- Toiletries – These include essential bathroom and personal care products like toothpaste, deodorant, mouthwash, shampoo and conditioner, body soap, basic makeup, etc. All items must be alcohol-free.
- Comfortable clothing – You’re not going to rehab to dress to impress. Wear whatever will help you stay calm, relaxed, and receptive to treatment.
- Sunscreen / sunblock – You may be outside for longer periods of time than you realize, and many rehab programs offer plenty of time in the sun.
- Cozy pajamas – It seems like a no-brainer, but be sure to pack for comfort at all times, not just during the day!
- Extra underwear – Especially if you are going through detox, you may sweat more than usual and will want to change more frequently to stay comfortable.
- Some cash and/or a debit card – You may have opportunities to purchase snacks or make other small purchases.
Other Items You May Want to Bring
There may be some items considered “essential” to rehab that you may not consider in everyday life. During most programs, you will spend time both inside and outside, and you will also have opportunities to exercise and focus on health. It’s also perfectly normal to want to bring along at least some small items for comfort and inspiration.
With these things in mind, other items you may want to bring include:
- A workout outfit and sneakers / tennis shoes – Entering addiction recovery is the perfect time to start practicing overall health. Many rehab centers offer fitness classes or have a gym on-premise for your wellbeing.
- Sandals / flip flops – Not only may these options be more comfortable for you, but you may also be taking shoes on and off more frequently.
- A modest swimsuit – For most rehab facilities, this means swim trunks for men and a one-piece for women.
- Bathrobe and slippers – Just another way to keep comfortable!
- A journal – Some addiction treatment centers will give you a journal to write in, but either way, it’s a good thing to bring. Chronicling your progress and exploring your thoughts will help keep you on track.
- A small photo or encouraging letters from family and friends – Contact the facility first to ask what is and isn’t permitted in this area, but a reminder from home that you are loved and cared about is usually acceptable.
Things to Avoid Bringing
Again, all facilities have their own sets of rules. However, you will generally want to avoid bringing the following items. Not only can these get in the way of your treatment (and that of others), but you may also not have an opportunity to use them in the first place:
- Entertainment devices – Most electronics are prohibited in the first place, so don’t bring any entertainment devices that require charging and/or internet connection. Many rehab facilities even require you to leave items like phones and tablets at the front desk when you check in to prevent any distraction during treatment.
- Aerosols, alcohol or chemicals – Make sure none of your toiletries should contain these items as they may invoke drug abuse urges.
- Opened vitamins or supplements – Many places will allow you to bring these in for health reasons, but only if they are unopened. If you have any medication you need to take, disclose it upfront while you’re checking in.
- Weapons – Even if you are legally carrying the weapon, it will not be permitted inside for your safety and that of others.
- Candles or incense products – This is usually for safety reasons, but other people in the program may also be irritated by these scents.
Still Looking for an Addiction Treatment Program?
It’s not too late to confront your drug abuse and go to rehab. At Footprints of Serenity, we help individuals from all walks of life find the addiction treatment program that works for them. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your options and what to expect in rehab.