You’re Never Fully Prepared for Addiction Treatment, but Make Sure You’ve Packed the Essentials
It doesn’t matter how long you will be staying in a rehabilitation center. What matters is your preparedness before leaving your home. One important reminder is packing your bag with all the essentials needed throughout your stay. You can search for the facility’s website to get an overview of the place you’re going to and they’re likely to post a list of what to bring and more importantly, what not to bring. You can also ask a friend who’s been to rehab before for some tips.
For a hassle-free rehab stay, do consider bringing the following essentials during your stay:
- A Music player. Whether you like music or not, it’s a great way to stay entertained while in the confines of your rehab room. Perhaps, you have an old MP3 player or iPod that you can bring. Just make sure to fill it with songs that you want to listen to, especially ones that can be helpful during challenging times. Remember, you may not be allowed to bring your phone inside the rehab center so a music player is the best gadget to bring.
- A pair of shoes and comfortable clothes. This might be more than an essential, but bringing the right kinds of clothes is important. For instance, you just might need tees, sweatpants, jackets, and other usual clothes to keep you comfortable inside the treatment facility. Some rehabs take their clients to a gym so be ready with a sporty outfit.
- Toiletries. When it comes to toiletries, be sure that they don’t contain any alcohol because that is strictly prohibited inside the facility. In fact, hairspray and hand sanitizers containing denatured alcohol are some of the items included in the forbidden list. Face wash, spray gel, and perfume are not allowed in the facility as well.
- Contact list. You wouldn’t want to leave your home and spend weeks inside a treatment facility without bringing your loved ones’ phone numbers in case of emergency. This is important before checking in.
- Puffs. Smoking probably isn’t beneficial to your recovery but if you already smoke and you’re not looking to quit, it’s one of the best things to do for rehab clients during downtime. Most of your time at the treatment facility will be allotted to group therapy, recreational activities, meetings, and individual therapy. But there’s plenty of free time for you to socialize with others in the rehab center.
- Flip flops. Slippers or flip flops, basically, you need them even if you’re not a fan of them. You might not feel comfortable lacing up your sneakers just to go outside to smoke, use the bathroom or for other quick things. Slippers are a necessity for ultimate comfort inside a rehab center. You can wear a pair all day if you want.
- Bathing suit. Once in a while, treatment centers bring their clients outside to have some fun, especially ones located near a beach! This is to help them enjoy their rehab period not only inside the building, but also in other places. This helps simulate an at-home environment. A bathing suit is appropriate when going to resorts, beaches and water parks. Just make sure they are not too revealing so you can comfortably enjoy the activities.
- Important documents. Wherever you may go, it’s essential to bring a valid ID such as your driver’s license, insurance card, or other forms of identification. For convenient payments, you can also bring your credit card or checkbook. Don’t forget to slip some cash in your pocket for buying coffee and other items in the vending machines.
- Medications. If you have consulted your doctor before going to a rehab, make sure you bring your prescribed medications. However, do not transfer them into a new bottle. They have to be in their original packaging for quick inspections. For liquid medications, they have to be new and properly sealed.
- Hobby items. Of course, you need to focus on your rehabilitation and recovery while in the facility. In addition, you need to take part in all the activities required inside the building. But bringing some of your hobby items from home can help you speed up your recovery from addiction. During downtime, you can do things that you like such as sketching, knitting, taking photos, or anything that makes you feel happy. A notebook is also an ideal item to keep in your room.
Things to Avoid
When packing your bag, there are also some things that you don’t need to include such as card decks, sporting equipment, alcohol, drugs, sharp objects, electronic cigarettes, and cosmetics. You can ask the administrative staff if you can bring your own bedding, blanket, or pillow for a more comfortable stay. Other things you still need to consult with them on, before putting them in your suitcase are disposable razors, nail clippers, and other essentials you might want to bring.
Other Important Reminders
Rehabs impose strict policies to ensure the well-being of their clients. So when packing your things before leaving for rehab, make sure to bring only the items that are allowed in the facility. Don’t worry if it’s your first time because some centers will give you their suggested packing checklist to make things easier for you.
Once you’re in the treatment facility, you will have to check in and have your things inspected. You will also be guided throughout the admission process. Do not hesitate to ask questions if you have anything needing clarification. For safety precautions, follow what you’re told so it will be easier for you and the staff. Of course, make sure that your family knows about this and provide them the contact number of your rehab center.
Packing for rehab is easy if you follow the center’s policies. However, do not try to bring your whole closet in your bag. A 7-day packing strategy would help you pack light. That means bringing clothes and other essentials that are good for 7 days. Then you can just wash your clothes after using them so you can comfortably wear them again in the coming week. Now, you’re all prepared for your recovery. All you have to do is focus on what you need to do to get better.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.