What to Bring to Rehab
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, inpatient rehab facilities are one of the best ways to beat an addiction. When you enter drug treatment, it is important to understand that they have strict rules as to what you can and cannot bring. Although different rehabs allow different items, there are some basics you should consider bringing.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, medication management and medication assisted treatment takes place at most rehabs. They are fully stocked with a pharmacy in most cases. If you have prescription medication that is not your addiction chance are they can provide it for you.
Although the rehab will take these medications when you arrive, bring any prescription medications that you have. The staff will distribute them on your regular dosing schedule. These medications may include:
- blood pressure medication,
- heart medications,
- diabetes medications,
- HIV medications,
- cancer medications,
- anti-anxiety medications, and
- anything else that is prescribed by your doctor.
These medications should be in their original bottles with the prescription number, dosing instructions, and the doctor’s name clearly on the bottle.
If you take herbal supplements such as:
- fish oil,
- other B complexes and vitamins,
- valerian or melatonin,
- vitamin C,
- calcium, or
- any other supplement that you take on a regular basis or is recommended by your doctor.
Some rehabs do not allow herbal supplements but many do. Depending on the treatment program the treatment center might put you on a vitamin regiment. Again the rehab will most likely take the supplements and give them out in recommended amounts along with regular doses of other medicines.
When considering what clothing to pack for rehab, think comfortable. There is no reason to dress up or impress anyone in the treatment center. It is better to be comfortable particularly while you are in detox. Some things that you certainly want to bring are:
- a robe,
- comfortable shoes,
- a one piece tasteful bathing suit if the rehab has a hot tub or pool,
- denim jeans,
- t-shirts without offensive, pornographic, or drug and alcohol related slogans on them,
- bras if you are female,
- clothing that is not revealing,
- a climate and season appropriate jacket, and
- climate or season appropriate shorts or pants.
The important thing when deciding what clothing to pack is remaining comfortable while you are in detox and treatment. Most of treatment is already uncomfortable, your clothing should not be. Most rehabs also offer laundry services if you stay longer than a few days so you only have to pack a few of each item.
Many toiletries are not allowed in rehab facilities because they are easily used to hide drugs and alcohol in them. Some of the toiletries you can and should bring depending on the rehabs policies are:
- lip balm, many drugs cause dehydration and dry lips when you are in withdrawal,
- shampoo and conditioner that do not contain any alcohol although some rehabs may provide this
- deodorant, most rehabs prefer solid deodorants and prohibit liquid or aerosol types,
- bath soap, which kind allowed is up to the individual rehab, some prefer liquid soap while others recommend bar soap
- moisturizer, again some drug withdrawal types cause dry skin
- tooth paste, as long as it does not contain alcohol
- a tooth brush
- tampons or pads if you are female, expect to have these items searched because it is possible to smuggle drugs in the packages
- an electric razor, safety razors, or disposable razors, again this depends highly on the rehab, some rehabs do not allow razors of any kind
- non-aerosol shaving cream
- comb or hairbrush, just remember it will be checked to be sure it is not the kind capable of storing drugs
- nail clippers, no scissors for nail trimming are usually allowed
- curling iron or hair dryer
- hair styling products as long as they do not contain alcohol
Depending on the type of rehab you are going to, they might provide toiletries for you. It is always good to ask before packing your own or entering rehab without them. Most rehabs also discourage the use of makeup simply because it is not necessary during rehab.
Some rehabs allow you to bring personal music players or readers but not the kind that connects to the internet. Many rehabs do not allow contact with the outside world except under very specific conditions. Since rehab is private, recording devices are also out. What you can bring as far as electronics go are:
- alarm clock
- small mp3 player or other radio device, some places allow these and some do not
- headphones for the player
- sometimes tablets are allowed as long as you do not connect them to the internet
- sometimes rehabs will allow laptops when there is a need for them such as a disability or a business necessity, this is very rare and not normally recommended as it detracts from your treatment
- some rehabs will allow personal watches while others will not
- cell phones, cameras, audio, and video recorders are almost universally not allowed, ask your rehab advisor if it is allowable under special circumstances such as to help with a disability
Do not be surprised or embarrassed if the rehab center searches your belongings upon entry. It is standard procedure for most rehabs to go through personal belongings searching for drugs or other contraband. Each rehab will have its own rules regarding this. For more information about what you should bring to rehab, call us at 800-481-6320.