Choosing to embark on your addiction treatment recovery journey is an incredible victory, way to go! While the decision to go to rehab is never an easy one, it has the potential to be the most monumental decision of your life. The steps that you take from here on out will play a major role in shaping your life as a healthy, clean, and sober individual.

Setting expectations is important during the drug and alcohol treatment journey and beyond. As such, it is important to have a good understanding of what to bring to rehab and what not to bring to rehab. Let’s dive in.

What Should You Pack for Rehab?

It is extremely important for you to follow the guidelines provided by the admissions team. Typically, the admissions team will provide you with a packing list in order to make sure you are fully prepared for rehab.

The following are some of the most commonly accepted items to pack:

What to Bring to Rehab

  • Your license, ID, or passport
  • Your health insurance card
  • Clothing and accessories, all of which should be appropriate
  • One quart sized zip locked bag containing cosmetics
  • One gallon sized zip locked bag containing toiletries
  • Pharmacy card or prescription card
  • Disposable safety razors (must be stored in a plastic bag)

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  • Hair Dryers
  • Bottles of cologne or perfume
  • Nail clippers or files
  • iPods or MP3 players — Important: They must not have a camera or Wi-Fi capability
  • Lighters
  • Any prescription medications, must be in original packaging
  • A notebook for journaling

A general rule of thumb is to pack one large piece of luggage containing about a week’s worth of clothing, accounting for changes of weather. Keep in mind that the clothing cannot contain any offensive language or drug-related references. It is also advisable to pack workout clothing, sneakers, a swimsuit (one piece for ladies and knee-length swimming trunks for men, flip flops, and a sweater. Avoid bringing any valuables that that may be removed and lost during your stay at rehab.

Hygiene products are to be unopened. This includes items like shampoo and conditioner, face-wash, toothpaste, mouthwash, sunscreen, feminine products, lotion, and any basic makeup that you choose to bring. Also, be sure to read the labels on any toiletries to confirm that alcohol is not one of the top ingredients. Toiletries made with alcohol should be left at home.

Finally, we recommend bringing any photos of family, friends, or even pets. Patients like feeling connected to their loved ones through these pictures, and they can also serve as motivation to stay the course in rehab.

Prescription Meds

Any prescription medications that are taken regularly should be brought to rehab. These medications must be in their original packaging, including vitamins. It is also helpful to write a list of your medications and dosages to give to the medical team. While you may not be given access to all of your prescription meds during rehab, it will be helpful to have them so that the doctors on staff have a good handle on your medical needs.

What Should You Not Pack for Rehab?

Understanding what not to bring to rehab is just as important as what to bring to rehab. Addiction recovery requires a unique level of focus and certain items may serve as a detrimental distraction. Every drug and alcohol rehab has specific rules regarding what not to bring. The following items are generally not accepted at a treatment center.

Items You Should Not Bring to Rehab

  • Aerosol products
  • Weapons
  • Any products containing alcohol including mouth wash and hand sanitizer. Mouth wash containing alcohol will be disposed upon admission.
  • Drug-related items
  • Opened medications, supplements, or vitamins
  • T-shirts with explicit, violent themes or alcohol/drug references
  • Revealing clothing (tank tops, sleeveless shirts, midriff bearing tops, etc.)
  • Food or drink
  • Candles/Incense
  • Pornographic materials
  • Wire hangers

Packing for Rehab: Frequently Asked Questions

Most patients have a ton of questions before they enter into an addiction treatment program. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions and concern regarding pack for rehab.

Can I bring my laptop or tablet?

These electronic devices are not allowed at rehab facilities.

Can I bring my cell phone?

Typically mobile phones are allowed, however, they will be stored in a secure location during treatment and returned to the patient at discharge.

Can I bring my pet to rehab?

While most facilities do not allow animals, exceptions may be made if the animal is an emotional support animal or a visually impaired assistance animals.

Can I bring my cigarettes to rehab?

Depending upon the rehab’s smoking policy, some patients may be allowed to bring unopened cigarette packs.

Being Packed and Prepared for Treatment

Patients should use their best judgement when packing for rehab. When in doubt about an item, feel free to reach out to the admissions team to ensure that you are packing the right items. You are about to begin an incredible, life-changing journey.

If you have additional questions about what to bring to treatment: