What to Bring to Rehab

A basic rehab packing list will likely include:

  • Comfortable clothing, including good walking shoes
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Bath soap
  • Hair brush or comb
  • Personal items (e.g., photos of loved ones, a journal, etc.)
  • Leisure and entertainment items (e.g., books, magazines, etc.)
  • Prescription medications
  • Contact information for loved ones at home
  • Payment information
  • Insurance card

It can be tough to know what to pack for a stay in a rehab facility. Most facilities will provide new clients with a list of what to bring – and what not to bring – and this list can guide specific packing choices. There are also some general rules to follow.

Clients should pack basic staples for their stay during treatment. Generally, toiletries, relaxed clothing, and a few comforts from home are on most rehab packing lists. It’s a good idea to pack a bathrobe, particularly if you’ll be sharing bathroom facilities. Depending on the facility, a swimsuit might be a necessity. Pack a couple nicer outfits for special event evenings and leave the rest to comfort.

People who have any items that help them sleep, such a light-blocking mask or a favorite pillow, are encouraged to bring those along as well. Medications should be brought in the prescription bottle they came in. The prescribing physician’s name and contact information need to be clearly visible on the bottle too. Expect staff members to take all medications and dispense them at given times. These requirements are unavoidable since many clients who enter treatment are there because of prescription drug abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states up to 52 million people over the age of 11 abuse a prescription drug at some point in their lives.

Many treatment centers restrict the type of content that can be broadcast inside the facility. For this reason, cellphones or laptops may not be allowed.

It’s important to have your insurance card handy; however, this information may already be taken prior to admission. Most insurance providers now offer coverage for substance abuse treatment. The Affordable Care Act has aided in increasing this coverage. Even so, according to the Cape Cod Times, many rehab facilities still don’t accept insurance, citing just 64 percent of America’s treatment centers were accepting private insurance in 2011. Thus, individuals planning to attend treatment should inquire about their coverage benefits before making any solid plans.

What to Leave Behind

There are a few things that people often think they should pack and end up regretting. Don’t bring food; there’s plenty at inpatient facilities. Items that may be dangerous are prohibited at most rehab facilities, so clients should verify any specific rules against items before packing them. Things like shaving razors and belts apply here, since self-harm is common among people who abuse drugs or alcohol. The British Medical Journal notes substance abuse is more likely if an individual engages in self-harming behaviors during adolescence.

Jewelry and large sums of cash should also be left at home. Refrain from packing anything valuable aside from items worn daily, such as wedding bands. The facility isn’t responsible for their safety.

The most important think clients need to bring to rehab is themselves. A good attitude and a willingness to accept help will produce far more favorable results than anything else.

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