What to Expect and What to Bring to Addiction Treatment

what to bring to rehab

Sometimes transitioning into a treatment center can be overwhelming at times. Many treatment centers may have strict policies that you and your peers must abide by. Addiction is a very sensitive and fragile topic that must be taken with patience and structure. This is why it’s important to know beforehand what to bring to rehab and what you can’t.

At Sana Lake, we provide a number of excellent and trusted treatment options for several different drug addictions and mental health illnesses. We make sure everyone is comfortable and following our inpatient rules. This, of course, is to ensure the safety of everyone in our rehab centers. We understand the road towards recovery may have its ups and downs, but we’ll be by your side the whole way. 

When you arrive at Sana Lake, you’ll be able to check-in and proceed to the admissions process. Next, our accommodating staff will inspect your items and bags to ensure you don’t have any prohibited items. We also provide a check-list in the beginning, to make sure you don’t miss anything when you leave. 

What Should I Bring with Me to Treatment?

Depending on the facility, there may be different rules to go by. With this in mind, there is a list of things that you should bring with you. While you are not required to bring these items, it’s important to make sure you are all good to go before arriving. Recommended items include the following:

  • insurance cards and a form of ID (driver’s license, passport, or any other government official identification).
  • A phonebook or list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of loved ones, 12 step sponsors, doctors, or anyone else involved in your recovery process.
  • Stamps and envelopes to mail letters (if you’d plan on doing so).
  • Jewelry that holds significance to you, for example, your wedding ring or a watch. Other than that, you should keep all other valuable items at home.
  • An alarm clock of some kind (recommended without a radio). Although we can provide you with one if you don’t have one. 
  • Don’t forget your checkbook, credit card, or debit card, so you can pay for treatment medications.
  • Your current prescription medication. Make sure it’s the original pharmacy bottle with the information label fully intact. Liquid medications should remain sealed and in new condition. Also, bring a list of all your medications (with dosage information).
  • A notebook, diary, or journal.
  • A small amount of money. $50 to $100 worth of money (in smaller bills). This is for quick store runs, lunch, vending machines, or other necessities. 
  • Bring some reading materials with you, in many cases, they are required to be recovered, spiritually, or self-help oriented in some way. We can provide you with things to read as well. It’s also recommended to stick with paperback books instead of hardcovers (easier to carry) 
  • A calling card (for long-distance calls).
  • Pictures of your pets, children, or loved ones to keep in your wallet or hang up in your room.

Before you leave the house, make sure you have all the essential items with you. Go through this list and make sure you don’t miss anything you might need when you are entering your treatment plan. Also, make sure to look through all the lists on this page to make sure you are following our inpatient treatment rules. 

What Clothing Should I Bring?

Many rehabs typically have a strict dress code when it comes to clothing. It’s important to be dressed appropriately while staying warm (or cool). Make sure to pack for the weather, think cardigans, jackets, sweaters, and T-shirts. However, make sure not to pack too many things for there may not be enough room. 

Thinking about how you will wash your clothes. We provide you with a quality laundry machine for all your clothes. Pack enough clothes for a week or so. Also consider clothes that are easy to wash, avoid items that require special care (dry cleaning, etc.) Keep it simple and bring weather-appropriate and comfortable clothes that follow the rules. Here are some options:

  • Shirts, which includes tank tops and cardigans (which follow the rules of course)
  • A variety of footwear (shoes, everyday wear, flip flops, and tennis shoes.)
  • A few pairs of socks
  • Bathing suit (one-piece are typically required for women and trunks for men)
  • Pants (sweat pants, jeans, etc.)
  • Undergarments
  • One or two fancy outfits (for various special occasions you may come across)
  • Pajamas
  • A belt
  • Slippers
  • Coat/Jacket (it’s worth bringing even if there isn’t cold weather)
  • A bathrobe 
  • Consider bringing a hat (which may not be allowed indoors) 

It’s important to stay comfortable throughout the process. You don’t want to be cold or too hot during your stay at an inpatient rehab facility. It’s important to not overpack, just bring the essentials and think about other possibilities (sports, special occasions, swimming, etc.). 

What Personal Hygiene and Beauty Products Should I Bring?

It is important to bring toiletries and beauty products that are completely free of alcohol (alcohol-free). Some rehab centers may be more lenient and allow some products that don’t have alcohol as one of its first three ingredients. Refrain from bringing aerosols. It’s recommended to bring 30-days worth of beauty products, toiletries, and other hygiene products. These include the following:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste (enough to last)
  • Deodorant
  • Comb/brush
  • Shampoo and conditioners
  • Hairstyling products (if preferred and only Pump hair spray)
  • Shaving cream
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Sunscreen
  • Makeup
  • Lotion

It’s important to stay clean and comfortable through your recovery. The last thing you want is to run into problems with your hygiene and appearance. Make sure you bring what you need and plan for 30-days or so worth of use. 

What Should I NOT Bring to Inpatient Treatment?

There is a list of items you should not bring with you. It’s important to always remember the rules and regulations of our facility (or any rehab center in general). Certain items could create complications for you and your fellow peers. Rehab should be a clean, safe, and open space for recovery without distractions or drugs (especially). While each rehab center may be more open or strict, these items are banned in almost every case:

  • Drugs or alcohol of any kind
  • Weapons (knives, guns, scissors, sharp objects in general, etc.)
  • Narcotics or unapproved prescriptions
  • Food or drinks
  • Pornography
  • Toiletries and beauty products containing alcohol (like perfume or mouthwash)
  • Electronic cigarettes (or e-cigars)
  • Nail polish or any synthetic nail related products
  • Video games and DVDs 
  • Inappropriate or revealing clothing (tank tops, bearing tops, sleeveless shirts, etc.)
  • Sporting equipment (soccer balls, footballs, rackets, bats, etc.)
  • Aerosols
  • Electronics (TVs, gaming consoles, etc.)
  • Candles and incense
  • Cleaning products and supplies like bleach or ammonia
  • Games or playing cards
  • Clothing or items that contain profanity or references to alcohol, drugs, and violence

Some of these items may be confusing and very specific. Electronics, playing cards, and even DVD’s are restricted because they may be a distraction for you and others. You should always keep your focus on your recovery. With this in mind, there may be some opportunity to indulge in these activities; some rehab centers provide some of the items at certain times.

As far as food and drinks go, keeping a moderate sugar and caffeine intake is usually part of many inpatient drug rehab rules. Meals (3 a day), snacks, and other beverages will all be provided rest-assured. In the case, a specific diet needs, make sure to tell your rehab supervisors before admission. 

Items that Are Allowed in Some Centers (and Not in Others)

Not all rehab centers are made alike. Some may deny certain items while others may allow these items. The following items may or may not be allowed depending on the inpatient rehab facility:

  • Your cellphone or laptops, if allowed, these items can only be used during certain times. Make sure to bring chargers and power cords
  • Vitamins or over the counter meds (required to be in new condition and unopened)
  • Cigarettes, some rehab centers may allow you to smoke at certain times but may  limit the number of cartons you’re allowed to bring
  • Gum (unopened and sealed) 
  • Camera, for those who enjoy taking pictures. Internet-capable cameras may are prohibited 
  • Disposable or electric razors. Razors are considered dangerous and are often prohibited. However, some may allow disposable razors
  • Certain personal items to make it feel more like home. This includes pillows, beddings, or other items for your room. This should be verified with the rehab staff. 
  • MP3 players or CD players; in certain cases devices without internet capabilities (or speakers) may be allowed
  • Nail clippers (this varies from rehab center to rehab center)

What If I Bring Something Prohibited?

If you accidentally packed something that is not allowed, there is no need to worry. Many rehab centers have the person who brought you to the rehab center to take care of the item(s). Other rehab centers simply hold the item(s) for 24-hours before someone comes and picks them up for you. They may also store the items safely until you leave.  

If you arrived by plane, you may want to have them ship the items back home if they refuse to store them. Make sure you check all the rules and regulations of your facility before leaving. At Sana Lake, we make sure you are all taken care of through the process.  Packing for rehab isn’t hard, just make sure you follow all inpatient drug rehab rules and procedures. You’ve taken the first steps towards a better future, now embrace it and start your journey for yourself and your family at home.

Start Your Journey Today!

Now that you know what to bring to rehab and what you can’t, it’s time to start your journey to recovery. Addiction can be an extremely problematic situation for everyone involved. At Sana Lake, we provide the utmost care for all individuals struggling with addiction. Don’t wait to get the help you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment facility and addiction treatment options.

Article Reviewed by David Sherman, MD

David Sherman, MDDavid Sherman, MD is a Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (FASAM) and board certified in Addiction Medicine with the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is a native Missourian and graduated medical school at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine. Dr. Sherman completed a two-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He leads a highly trained staff of master level certified addiction professionals. Men and women from all over Missouri and the United States come to Sana Lake Recovery Center to get the care they need and deserve.