If you’re planning to attend addiction treatment, congratulations! Choosing to go to rehab is a significant decision and an admirable choice. You’re taking a step toward long-term wellness.

To get the most out of your rehab experience, it’s important to understand what to expect during rehab, including what to bring and what to leave at home.

What Should You Pack?

Each rehab center has different guidelines for allowed and prohibited items. Ask the admissions team for a packing list as you prepare for rehab. The following list contains some items you should typically pack.

1. Appropriate Clothing and Accessories

Every drug rehab center will have guidelines for what you can and can’t wear during your stay. They will likely send you a list of what you’ll need to wear. Generally, you’ll want to bring:

  • A week’s worth of outfits that you can layer depending on the weather
  • Clothing free from drug-related references or offensive language
  • Comfortable sleepwear
  • Non-revealing workout clothing (some centers may not allow leggings or cropped shirts)
  • One-piece swimsuits for ladies, knee-length board shorts for men
  • Sneakers for outdoor activities
  • Shower shoes or flip flops
  • Jewelry that you wear every day, such as a wedding ring or watch
  • Sweater or jacket for indoors

As a rule, avoid bringing expensive clothing, shoes or jewelry to rehab. Don’t bring any valuables you might take off and lose during treatment.

2. Unopened Toiletry and Hygiene Products

Bring the basic toiletries and hygiene products that you use daily, such as:

  • A toothbrush
  • Unopened toothpaste
  • Unopened alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Basic, unopened makeup essentials, if desired
  • Unopened feminine products
  • Unopened shampoo and conditioner
  • Unopened face wash and moisturizer
  • Unopened sunscreen
  • Unopened lotion
  • Unopened lip balm

While packing your toiletries, be sure to double-check each label for alcohol. If alcohol is one of the main ingredients in the product, leave it at home.

3. Important Documents

Be sure to pack your important documents, forms of identification and other essentials, including:

  • A form of identification, like a driver’s license or state-issued ID
  • Health insurance card
  • A prescription card or pharmacy card
  • A small amount of cash, if desired, for vending machines

You can bring your wallet to treatment, but typically you won’t need a credit or debit card while in rehab.

4. Prescription Medications

If you regularly take medications, be sure to pack your:

  • Prescription medications, in their original packaging
  • Liquid medication, if applicable, in it’s new and unopened packaging
  • Sealed vitamins, if applicable
  • A list of prescribed medications and dosages for each, which will help inform your medical team

You might not have access to your medication after you check in to rehab, but it will help the doctors understand your medical needs better.

Some medications and supplements may not be allowed at the rehab facility, so always ask before packing items like:

  • Medications containing alcohol
  • Narcotic medications
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Nutritional supplements

5. Reading and Writing Materials

While your focus will be on learning about recovery and taking part in activities to help you get better, there will be some downtime in rehab. To keep yourself occupied during these periods, feel free to pack:

  • A sketchbook
  • A journal or notebook
  • A book or devotional (ask which types of books are acceptable to bring)

Additionally, you can also bring along pictures of friends, family and pets to help you feel grounded and motivated during rehab.

What Not to Bring

Rehab is about healing and focusing on recovery. Some items can distract you during rehab and should be left at home. While each rehab center varies in what it doesn’t allow on-site, the following items are rarely allowed at treatment facilities.

  • Drug-related items: This includes alcohol and illicit drugs, drug paraphernalia, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices.
  • Any item or product that contains alcohol as an ingredient: This includes mouthwash, hand sanitizer and nail polish remover.
  • Aerosol products: This includes hair spray, cleaning products, etc…
  • Dental floss: Floss is typically provided by the treatment center.
  • Opened vitamin bottles and supplements: Nutritional supplements may not be allowed at the rehab facility. If they are, they will need to be unopened.
  • Excessive makeup or jewelry
  • Inappropriate clothing: Clothing depicting drug or alcohol use or explicit language or images or revealing clothing, including two-piece bathing suits for women is not permitted.
  • Electronic devices: Prohibited items include laptops, tablets, digital cameras, e-readers and smartwatches, as well as any devices with cameras or internet access.
  • Weapons: Including pocket knives or sharp objects.
  • Sporting equipment
  • Pornographic materials
  • Food and drink
  • Candles or incense

Frequently Asked Questions About Packing for Rehab

Some of the most common questions and answers about what to bring to drug rehab include:

  • Can you bring a mobile phone to treatment?

    Usually yes, but it will be securely stored upon arrival and returned at discharge.

  • Can you bring a tablet or laptop?

    Usually not. Most electronic devices are not allowed at rehab centers.

  • Can you bring cigarettes or tobacco?

    It depends on the rehab center’s smoking policy. Some rehab centers allow people to bring unopened cigarette cartons to rehab for use only during designated times.

  • Can you bring prescribed medications to rehab?

    Usually, yes, as long as the medications are not narcotics and do not contain alcohol.

  • Can you bring your own food to rehab if you have dietary restrictions?

    Usually not. However, many rehab centers cater to specific dietary or nutritional needs.

  • Can you bring an animal to rehab (e.g., a pet or assistance animal)?

    Usually not, but if the animal is for the visually impaired or is an emotional support animal, exceptions may be made depending on the facility.

Have additional questions? Read through these frequently asked questions about rehab programs.

What You Might Be Able To Bring to Rehab

Every treatment center has different lists of prohibited and allowed items. Some rehab centers allow specific items, while others will not. Before admission, here are some items you should double-check with the rehab facility about bringing with you.

  • Cell phones: Many rehab centers ban or restrict personal computers and cell phones. Some centers let you bring them, but only use them during specific times.
  • Tobacco products, including cigarettes: If you’re not ready to quit smoking, some facilities let you continue smoking outdoors, or at designated times and places. Some facilities provide smoking cessation products.
  • Bedding: While some facilities do not allow outside bedding materials, many rehab centers let you bring your bedding, pillow or blanket.
  • Music devices: While electronic devices with internet access are not allowed at most facilities, some centers allow music devices like MP3 players.
  • Vitamins, supplements and over-the-counter medications: Usually, any supplements and medications you bring to rehab must be prescribed to you and unopened. Some facilities may not allow these items at all.
  • Disposable or electric razors and nail clippers: Some rehab clinics allow these items, but only if you check them out for your shower and return them directly after using them.

What to Bring to The Recovery Village Rehab Centers

Seeking addiction treatment at one of the national locations of The Recovery Village is a great step toward recovery. Each facility in the nationwide network of rehab centers has its own welcome guide that outlines what to expect at that facility and what to bring to rehab:

Ready to help yourself or a loved one overcome addiction? Call The Recovery Village today to learn about our rehab programs and learn which can best meet your needs or those of someone you love. You call is free and confidential and there’s no obligation to commit to treatment.