If you’re planning to get treatment for drug addiction or alcohol use disorder, congratulations! You’re taking a courageous step towards living a happier, healthier, and sober life, and you deserve all the merits for it. Now, it’s time to think about what to bring to the rehab center of your choice.
Treatment facilities can vary in what you’re permitted to pack with you, and this can be due to several factors, such as the condition you’re seeking treatment for and the program offered by the center. The best way to find out the exact things you can bring with you is to ask if they have a recommended checklist.
Fortunately, it’s easy to find rehab facilities in New Jersey and other parts of the country that provide checklists on what you can and can’t bring. And for the most part, the essentials are always the same. Here’s a list of the typical things you’ll need when you finally decide to get treatment.
Make sure to consider the weather, the prevailing dress code at the facility, and the duration of your stay when choosing which clothing items to pack. Most facilities recommend you bring at least one week’s worth of clothes that are versatile and comfortable enough for you to wear daily.
Examples of clothing items to pack for your stay in the facility:
- Comfortable sports shoes
- Sweatpants or yoga pants
- Comfortable slippers
Your toiletries should also mostly consist of daily essentials that you can use for grooming and maintaining personal hygiene. These include the following:
- Toothpaste and toothbrush
- Hairbrush or comb
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Bath soap
- Safety razor
- Makeup essentials (if desired)
Other items such as lotion, lip balm, and face wash can also be packed at your discretion. Just have in mind that many facilities will ask you to bring these items new or unopened. Alternatively, some facilities may also distribute their own toiletries to patients.
For more information on hygiene products you can and can’t bring, it’s best to call the rehab facility where you will be receiving inpatient care.
3. Important Documents
When you arrive at the facility, you will be asked to provide a personal identification document such as a driver’s license and an insurance card for their record.
For your healthcare needs, you can also bring with you a prescription card or pharmacy card if necessary. With regard to money, you won’t typically need a debit or credit card while in rehab, but a small amount of cash is okay to bring for vending machines.
4. Prescription Medication
If you have any medications you are regularly taking, make sure to keep them in their original packaging. Consider listing down the prescribed medications and their respective dosages as this can be helpful for the medical team who will be attending to your needs.
Vitamins are also good to bring, but make sure that the rehab facility is aware that you have them. In general, you should confer first with the facility if you’re planning to pack items such as:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Food supplements
- Narcotic medications
- Medications with alcohol
5. List of Important Contacts
During your first few days or weeks, it’s normal to miss loved ones while receiving treatment. This is why you should always prepare a list of friends and family members whom you can call. The rehab facility will also want to update the important people in your life about your progress. If you have a family doctor, the facility can also keep them informed throughout your treatment process.
Some treatment facilities provide reading materials to patients. If you’d like to bring your own books, check to see what is permitted first. In many cases, the facility will encourage patients to read self-help, recovery, and spiritual books to help with their personal healing. Consider bringing along paperback books or e-books (if Kindle or mobile devices are permitted) rather than heavy hardcover books.
Individuals receiving treatment are encouraged to write down their feelings and experiences during treatment. This is because journaling can be a powerful tool to guide the healing process and can help patients learn more about themselves or remind them of how far they’ve come.
8. Leisure and Entertainment Items
Some inpatient rehab facilities offer free WiFi so you can bring your laptop computer, tablet, or mobile phone with you as a source of entertainment and means of communicating with your loved ones.
Aside from gadgets, a deck of cards, crossword puzzles, or board games are also good entertainment items to bring. Just make sure you get the green signal from the facility first before you pack them.
9. Medical Equipment (If Any)
If you use a walker, cane, wheelchair, or CPAP machine, make sure to bring them with you. The same goes for dentures, glasses, hearing aids, and orthotics that you use regularly to live a better quality of life.
10. Photos of Family, Friends, and Pets
And last, but not least, don’t forget to bring photos of people you love. These can be a powerful reminder of why you are getting treatment for your drug addiction or alcoholism. Photos stimulate memories and emotions, and they can be of great help to you especially during the not-so-good days.
Gathering and packing the essentials is just one way to prepare yourself for your inpatient treatment. You should also consider speaking to a doctor or nurse from the facility, or anyone who can help you ease your jitters. They’ll be more than happy to shed some light on what a typical day may look like, and they can also help you become better prepared for your journey to sobriety.