What You Should (And Shouldn’t) Pack For Rehab

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Photo by Erol Ahmed

Making the decision to go to rehab is the most important decision you could make in your life right now. It is a difficult but imperative step towards recovering your life and getting back to the person you wish to be. The process is not easy – sometimes painful – but allowing yourself to trust it, and going in with an open mind will give you the space you need to free yourself and heal any wounds that contribute to your addiction.

The place you go will be new and different with new people, fresh faces, peers, and experts. While initially, you may feel out of place, there are things you can do to ensure you are as prepared as possible to move forward with your life. As you move towards recovery, here are some things to bring with you that may help you in your journey, and some things you should definitely refrain from bringing along.

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Even if you are not a writer, most recovering addicts benefit from keeping a journal of their thoughts as they go through the process of recovery. As your system begins to clear, your mind becomes more focused and the nature of rehab is to get to the root of the problem. So when your mind is clear and your body is recovering, thoughts, feelings and emotions are bound to surface. It is often very beneficial to have a private place to jot down your thoughts or sketch images of your inner world.

Warm Clothes

In addition to your regular, every-day clothing, be sure to pack a warm sweater or sweatshirt and warm socks. It can sometimes be chilly inside a rehab facility and in the event you are focusing on your healing, you don’t want to be distracted by the cold.



What has most motivated you to take this important step? Having photos/drawings of reminders of these things can help keep you motivated and focused on the things that you have determined are important enough to take this step to recovery. Be mindful, however, that you take only positive reinforcement photos and not any that may trigger painful or negative memories linked to the underlying cause of your addiction.

Personal Care Products

Even if right now you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck and have the energy level of a slug, rest assured eventually – with treatment – you will begin to feel better. So bring your favorite toiletries – maybe even makeup or perfume/cologne – for those days when you begin to wake up feeling more and more refreshed and rejuvenated.

Things You Should Not Bring

Triggering Materials

If you have personal belongings that may bring up feelings or urges that would counteract your treatment, leave these things at home.

Sexy Clothes

Focus on your mental health, not your looks. Everyone in rehab is there for the same reason: to heal from an addiction. It is important that your focus stays on your journey. So bring your slippers, baggy sweatpants, and your floppy t-shirts because comfort is more important than appearance.

Drug Paraphernalia

It goes without saying that any kind of drug paraphernalia or references to recreational drugs and alcohol use should be left behind. Even better, toss them before you go! Make a commitment to yourself that these things are a part of your past, not your future.

Of all things to bring, the most important thing is trust. Trust yourself that you are doing the right things, even if you feel a bit lost. Trust that you will get the help you need and trust that the end will be worth the means. No matter how difficult things may seem before rehab, realize this opportunity opens doors for you to break free from the bonds of addiction and explode out into the world with a fresh, clear mind and focused intention. Trust the process.

If you have any questions regarding your rehab experience, contact us today and we can help make sure you are prepared for your first step.


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