Many addicts, already know they need help. Yet, not many of them are able to receive the help they need. Nearly 200,000 people die prematurely every year because of drug abuse. North America takes the lead, with the most drug-related deaths worldwide.

While death and drug addiction seem to go hand in hand, they don’t have to. Rehab is an effective way to save lives, and help addicts heal.

So why don’t more people attend treatment? For many, it’s because they are full of doubt. Not knowing what to bring to rehab, or what will happen during their stay, can make the whole process feel overwhelming.

Instead of sitting in doubt, empower yourself by learning about what rehab is really all about. Read on to learn more about what items you should bring with you to rehab, and what you should leave at home.

What to Bring to Rehab for Clothing

Many substance abuse centers will already have specific rules and regulations when it comes to clothing options. Before you start packing up your wardrobe, call and find out if there are any dress code rules.

If you don’t know what facility you’ll be attending, or aren’t able to contact them, that’s okay. Here’s a brief list of the clothing items you can bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Robe
  • Sweater
  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Bathing suit
  • Shoes
  • Flip Flops
  • Slippers

How long will you be staying at the rehab center? If you’re only staying for 7 days, make sure you don’t overstuff your suitcase.

Once you arrive, you’ll have a limited amount of space, and might not have room for excess clothing. Yet, if you’re planning on being at a center for closer to 90 days, you’ll want to make sure you bring enough clothes to provide you with some variety.

The majority of rehab facilities today will have an onsite washer and dryer. So don’t worry about having enough clean outfits to last the duration of your stay.

Preparing for Unexpected Weather

You may find yourself going to a rehab facility that’s not in your home state. Since you’re not a local, you might not know what to expect the daily and nightly temperatures to be.

You also may be unprepared for sudden changes in the weather pattern. To prepare for unexpected weather changes, bring clothes you can layer with. For example, a t-shirt, with a cardigan, and a jacket, would be a great place to start.

Toiletry Dos

Once you have all of your clothes gathered, you can begin collecting toiletries. Here’s a short list of the toiletries you’ll want to bring with you.

  • Lotion
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair Dryer
  • Basic Makeup

We suggest that if you have a disposable toothbrush, you buy a new one for your time at rehab. This way you can prevent any risk of having to deal with sickness, on top of working on your recovery.

Make sure you bring enough toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner to last the entire stay, plus 3 days. This way if you spill some or accidentally overuse some, you’ll still have plenty to last the entire time.

If makeup is something you enjoy wearing, there’s no reason you should have to stop. Yet, keep in mind, you’ll want to stick to only bringing the basic makeup items you need.

For example, you can bring your foundation, blush, eyeliner, eye shadow, and lipstick. Yet, try to avoid over packing by bringing multiple options, or unnecessary items.

Toiletry Don’ts

Avoid bringing any items that contain alcohol in them. Toiletries with ingredients like propyl alcohol are not only harmful to your body but are also considered contraband.

For example, hand sanitizer and hair spray would not be acceptable items for you to bring. Instead, you’d want to pack a bar of soap, or liquid soap without any alcohol in it.

As for your hair care, look for gels or mousses that are completely alcohol-free. Items that have any amount of alcohol are prohibited because of the risk they pose to yourself and the other visitors of the rehab.

One plus side about going alcohol-free with your toiletries is more healthy looking skin. Not only are items with alcohol a potential hazard for a relapse, but certain ones can also dry out your skin and hair.

Since your body will already be going through a major change, you’ll want to do everything you can to help it. Staying away from things that can dehydrate you, even with toiletries, is a great place to start.

Papers To Bring

Now we can start looking at the important documents you’ll need to bring with you. Here’s a short list of the papers you should definitely have.

  • Identification
  • Insurance Cards
  • Debit Card or Credit Card
  • Cash (small amount)

For your identification, you’ll want to bring one that has a photo with it. Your state ID, drivers license, or passport will work great. Next, you’ll need to make sure you have all of your insurance cards with you.

Finally, you’ll want to have some method to help you make payments. You don’t need to bring your debit card, checkbook, and credit card.

Instead, pick one of the three forms of payment to bring along with you. Also, make sure you have a little bit of cash on hand for small items from the vending machine.

Prescription Medications

Many people are afraid to bring their prescription medications to rehab. They are afraid the items might be contraband or may end up going missing.

Yet, the reality is, you need to bring any and all medications that a doctor has prescribed to you. The medications need to be in their original bottles. If one of the medications you use is a type of liquid, you’ll need to bring a brand new bottle.

The brand new bottle of your liquid medication also has to have an unbroken seal on it. Make sure you have a list that includes the name of every prescription you’re bringing with you, along with the recommended dosages.

It’s always a good idea to include on your list the name and phone number for your physician. Your prescription medications will not be contraband and will be under the supervision of the on-site staff.

Avoiding Becoming Homesick

So far we’ve been discussing practical items to make your stay more comfortable. Now, it’s time you start packing up a few items, that can help keep you from getting homesick. Here’s a short list of items that can help lift your spirits.

  • Journal
  • Hobby Items
  • Personal Momentos

When you first get to rehab, you might not want anything to do with writing in a journal. Yet, after a few days go by, you’ll begin to have glimpses of clarity.

Journaling in Recovery

New thoughts and ideas will begin entering your mind, and you’ll want a way to capture them. Another reason to journal is that writing down your thoughts, and feelings can be extremely therapeutic.

Hobbies Pass the Time

If you already have a hobby, you can put it to good use during recovery. Hobbies such as photography, drawing, or reading can help put you in a good mood. Before you pack any books, check with your rehab center to see if they have any book restrictions.

Personal Momentos

We also recommend you bring a few personal mementos that remind you of something happy at your home. Since you don’t want to overpack, only choose 1-3 small items to accomplish this task.

For example, you may want to bring a picture your child drew for you, or a photo of you and your loved one. If you have a favorite dog, bring a photo of you and them having fun together. These small items can help tremendously when you need a reminder of what you’re working towards.

Life After Rehab

Knowing what to bring to rehab can lift a tremendous weight off of your shoulders. Now instead of guessing if you’re packing the right items, you can zip up your suitcase with confidence.

Another way you can remove doubts surrounding rehab is by looking at the bigger picture.

When you’re only looking at what’s in front of you, going away can seem like a life-long commitment. Being away from your loved ones for more than just a couple of days can feel overwhelming to some people.

Instead of looking at rehab at the end of the road, look at it as the beginning. Going to a substance abuse center is just the first step, in building the life you’ve always wanted.

Here at Pathfinders Recovery Center, we are on a mission to help addicts heal, and recover. Our highly qualified staff members have medical training, experience, and a passion for making a difference.Are you struggling with an addiction? Or do you know someone who is? Waiting to take action, can be a matter of life and death. Don’t wait any longer to start your journey towards recovery. Reach out to us today using our contact us page, and let us tell you how we can help.


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  • (877) 224-0761
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