You’ve completed the phone assessment and been accepted into treatment. Your insurance company has approved your stay, and the facility has scheduled your intake. All you need to do now is pack a bag. But what should you pack? How can you be sure you know what to bring to rehab? Just as important, how will you know what to leave at home?
Why Does it Matter What You Bring to Rehab?
When you’re getting ready to enter a treatment facility, it is common to have a lot of questions about what your day-to-day life will be like. Will they let you smoke? Are you allowed to write letters or send emails? Can you have a phone in rehab?
Another common question: Why are there so many rules about what I can and can’t bring to rehab, and what I will and won’t be allowed to do once I’m there?
Drug rehab is a highly structured experience. Every aspect of an effective program will be designed to help you establish a solid foundation for successful recovery. Anything that could disrupt this effort will be restricted. This includes what personal possessions you can have with you throughout your time in treatment.
List of What to Bring to Rehab
After wading through the previous section, you may be wondering if there are any items left that you can actually bring with you to rehab. Our team is happy to tell you that there are!
If you want to know what to bring to rehab, here are some suggestions:
- A moderate amount of comfortable clothes, including (of course) socks and underwear: Most facilities recommend bringing no more than a week’s worth of clothing with you. All rehab centers have laundry facilities, so you don’t need to bring your entire wardrobe.
- Approved toiletries and other hygiene items: Remember that you can’t bring anything that can be used as a weapon or consumed as a means of getting high. So, as we noted earlier on this page, you cannot bring scissors, needles, or anything that contains alcohol. But you can (and definitely should) bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and deodorant. You may also bring hair conditioner, skin cream and similar items. Feminine hygiene products and electric shaving devices are also permitted.
- A limited number of personal items: You can bring books and magazines. If you have been keeping a journal (or you want to start), you will be able to have a notebook and writing implement. Most rehab facilities allow their clients to have personal CD players, MP3 players, or similar devices, as long as you can listen to them with headphones or earbuds and they don’t connect to the internet.
- Your driver’s license or other ID, a small amount of money, and a list of people you may need to contact while you are in treatment (including their names, addresses, and phone numbers): This list might include your parents and/or your partner, a few close friends or family members, your lawyer, your probation officer, and your family doctor or other healthcare provider.
If you smoke, and if the rehab permits tobacco use, you may also be able to bring unopened packs or cartons of cigarettes with you. Among facilities that allow patients or clients to smoke, most do not sell these products. This means that you will most likely need to bring enough to last for your entire stay.
What Not to Bring to Rehab
You should not bring anything to rehab that could be dangerous to yourself or anyone else at the facility. You should also refrain from bringing any items that can undermine your progress in treatment, make others feel uncomfortable, or have a negative effect on anyone else’s recovery efforts.
Here are some examples of items that are typically prohibited in rehab facilities:
- Alcohol or any other drugs
- Weapons or items that can be used as weapons (such as scissors or other sharp objects)
- Cell phones, laptops, ipads, and other devices that can connect to the internet
- Revealing clothing
- Clothing with logos of alcohol companies or references to drug use
- Clothing with profane, blasphemous, or otherwise offensive language or images
- Food or beverages
- Candles or incense
- Vapes or electronic cigarettes
- Cleaning products
- Cologne, perfume, mouthwash, and other items that contain alcohol
- Expensive jewelry
- Large amounts of cash
Remember: When you enter a residential rehabilitation program, your goal should be to focus your full attention on your treatment and your health. Anything that distracts your focus or detracts from the positive healing environment has no place in the facility.
Yes, the thought of not being able to check your email or text your friends can be disconcerting. But it really won’t be as bad as you fear it might. And briefly disconnecting from the online world is a small price to pay for the opportunity to build a healthier future.
Above all else, the safety of clients, staff, and visitors should always be the top priority. You may not initially understand why a certain item is prohibited for safety reasons – but if an addiction treatment center has determined that something shouldn’t be there, they definitely have their reasons.
Contact Our Rehab Center in California Today
Every drug rehab center has its own rules about what items a client may or may not possess while they are in treatment. The information on this page includes general examples of the types of items that are usually permitted or often banned. This page should not be interpreted as a statement of the rules or policies of Phoenix Rising.
For a complete list of the items you can bring with you to treatment at Phoenix Rising, please contact us directly. During this call, we will also be happy to answer any questions that you have about why any items are or are not authorized. We can also discuss the circumstances that may prompt us to reconsider a policy or grant an exception. Call us today to begin the conversation!