Making the decision to go to rehab can be the biggest and hardest decision you may ever make.  Stressing about what you can bring to rehab doesn’t have to be a part of the process.  It seems like the simple question of what someone can bring to inpatient rehab can become a huge stressor for most people entering treatment for the first time.  It may even be a reason why someone decides to not admit, but it doesn’t have to be.


What Not To Bring

Before we discuss the things that someone should bring to an inpatient rehab facility, lets discuss what you definitely should not bring.  This might seem obvious, but drugs and alcohol would be the number one thing to not bring to rehab.  Although, this may seem obvious to some, it is not always obvious to others.  Bringing drugs or alcohol into a rehab can get you into some big trouble.  Some of the problems that could arise if you were caught bringing drugs and alcohol into a rehab facility are that you could get kicked out or even have it reported to the police.  Bringing drugs into rehab can not only jeopardize the safety of everyone there, but it can also ruin any chance of you getting something positive out of the experience.

Another part about bringing alcohol into a rehab facility that a lot of people don’t think about is any products that contain alcohol in the ingredients may also not be allowed into the facility.  Shampoos, conditioners, hand sanitizers, aerosols, mouth wash, these are just some of the items that may list alcohol in the first few ingredients on the bottle.  Most rehabs will not allow someone to bring in any toiletry or other related item into the facility if it has alcohol in the first few ingredients and some may not allow a product containing alcohol at all.

Electrical items are another commonly prohibited item in most rehabs.  Hair straighteners and curlers can be a major fire hazard and most facilities will either decide to hold the item in a safe for after the person discharges from the facility or they may have a policy that you can use the item at certain times and some facilities may even have a designated straightener or curler for the patients.  Other common items that could be considered fire hazards and may not be allowed include fans, heaters and lamps.

Things that are expensive can also be commonly prohibited from entering into a rehab, because they can become the target of theft easily.  Some rehabs may suggest not to bring expensive and nice clothing into the facility, while others may even prohibit it.  Something to keep in mind is that you may not want to bring your expensive clothing items into rehab, not only because they may become the target of theft, but also the rehab may have a policy that all clothing items including shoes must go through a special treatment before you can have the item again.  Heat treatments for bed bugs and other preventative measures are commonly taken for all incoming client belongings such as clothing items.

Lastly, some other electrical items that are usually not allowed into inpatient facilities are things like video game consoles, televisions, air conditioners and anything else that could be either be expensive or a fire hazard.  Some people really feel compelled to have these creature comfort items while in rehab, but typically the facility you are entering will have their own version of these items and they do not want you bringing your own in for various reasons.


What To Bring

Let’s talk about what you should bring to inpatient rehab now.  The typical stuff that you might bring on a trip or vacation is usually the first way to think about packing for rehab.  Clothing that makes sense for the time of year and location that you are going should be considered.  If you are going to somewhere that is warm, bring shorts and tee shirts.  If you are going somewhere cold, bring a jacket and some sweatpants or jeans.

Having a couple books with you may also be a good way to spend some of your down time while in rehab, so make sure to pack something to read.  Playing cards or another small games may also be allowed in the rehab, but more than likely the facility has their own games for you to play with during your down time.

Money may not be needed for anything while someone is in rehab, but it may be nice to have some cash at times.  Facilities may have candy or other food items for sale in vending machines.  Ordering food for takeout may also be an option at times too, but more than likely you will need your own money for this.  Bringing quarters may be useful at some facilities that require them for making phone calls or using the laundry machines.

For people who use nicotine, packing enough cigarettes or other nicotine products is usually a must.  The rehab may have a policy that let’s someone buy from a store locally during their time in he facility, but most will want you to bring what you need.  Keep in mind, receiving mail or even a care package from family or friends is typically not a problem also, so if you run out of nicotine that may be an easy way to handle it.



Being prepared with the things you need for inpatient rehab can be a very important part of getting yourself ready to go so if you have further questions about what you can or cannot bring to the facility then you can likely get answers from either calling the facility and asking or checking their website for a list.  Cellphones, wallets, keys may be allowed at times in some facilities, but more than likely you can just have the items locked in a safe and get them back at the time that you are leaving.  Remember, inpatient rehab isn’t jail so if you forgot something, just ask the staff and they will likely be able to help you figure out a way to get whatever you may have forgotten.