What to Bring to Inpatient Rehab

A group of patients participating in a group therapy session as part of inpatient rehab treatment.

Attending rehab is the best thing that you can do to get back on track if you’re currently struggling with drug and/or alcohol addiction. Inpatient rehab programs, which involve individuals with more severe addictions living in-facility throughout the duration of their treatment, is designed to help you recover and readjust into a drug-free life. There are steps that individuals should take before checking into their program to help both themselves and their loved ones prepare for the time away. The better prepared you are for inpatient rehab before check-in, the higher your chances of making a speedy recovery will be.

What to Pack

While a majority of your basic needs will be covered by your rehab facility, there are certain items that you will be expected to bring along with you. It’s a good idea to start packing in advance of your stay so that you make sure you remember everything important.

Pack clothing that you are comfortable in, as you will be spending most of your time onsite and in treatment sessions. Focus on comfort and avoid clothing that’s high maintenance or distracting. For most rehab facilities, it’s recommended that patients bring about one week’s worth of clothing. In addition, patients should bring their own pajamas and any other comfort essentials. Athletic shoes or a comfortable equivalent will ensure that you are not distracted by pinching toes or sore heels. Patients should also bring at least one warm sweater or light jacket in case they find the facility’s indoor temperature to be too cold.

Personal Hygiene

Everyone’s skin, hair, and body type are different, which is why we all follow our own unique care procedures. For this reason, rehab facilities do not regulate nor provide hygiene essentials for you. It is recommended that patients bring their own soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, and any other personal care items. Any skincare items, electronics such as blow dryers, and prescription medications should be accounted for being moving into your facility. If you are taking prescription medication during your stay, then you are going to need to carry it in its original prescription container. You will also need to provide the facility with your doctor’s prescription instructions on dosages and amounts.

Other Considerations

You may need to bring some form of payment with you if you have to make co-payments on the prescription medications that you are taking during your stay. A small amount of cash is also recommended to have in hand for vending machines or in case of a technical failure. It’s recommended that patients bring a physical list of any contacts they want to be able to reach during their stay, as they won’t have access to their personal devices and digital address books. Anyone’s number that they might want to contact, such as close family or friends, should either be memorized or written down. Alarm clocks and long-distance calling cards are also recommended, but not required, items.

Items to Leave at Home

It’s equally important that patients are aware of what items cannot be brought with them to the facility so that they are not struggling to dispose of them upon check-in. For obvious reasons, patients are not permitted to bring any alcohol or non-prescription drugs with them. They are also not permitted to bring mouthwash or any other substances containing alcohol. Firearms and, in some cases, electronic devices such as computers and tablets are not allowed. A key facet of inpatient rehab’s strategy is that patients remove themselves from any triggers and temptations often found in everyday life. When in doubt, patients can contact their rehab facility directly and ask if they have any additional questions on items they should or shouldn’t bring to rehab.

The final and most important note to make about inpatient rehab is how drastic the life change will be for both the patient and those who they surround themselves with. Although staying in-facility will make it easier for you to detox and properly recover from your addiction, you will be adopting a new lifestyle and alienating yourself from the outside world. Both patients and their loved ones should mentally prepare for the absence of the patient in their everyday lives so that it does not feel like as large of an emotional shock when it comes time to check in.