Getting ready to spend the next several weeks in a treatment facility can be a frightening concept, but planning ahead can make the transition a lot easier.
One concern you might have is what to pack for your stay. A quick look at your chosen treatment center’s website can provide you with a basic list of what to bring and what to leave at home, but back when I was in rehab, I would’ve really benefitted from an insider’s scoop. I found myself feeling jealous of my roommate; she had been to rehab before and she’d packed all the items I wished I’d thought to bring.
Let’s Get Packing
Here are a few “pro tips” on commonly overlooked packing necessities:
- An Old iPod:
These may be hard to find today, but odds are you or someone you know has an old iPod laying around. It’s a good idea to load it up with all the music you like. For multiple reasons, most treatment centers won’t let you bring a cell phone or any kind of device that connects to the Internet. Many clients have used these devices to leave against medical advice, take photos that violate another client’s privacy, or get drugs brought into the facility. And after you get your hands on an old iPod or MP3 player, make sure you don’t forget the charger!
- Comfortable Clothes and Sneakers:
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by the number of people who treat rehab like a fashion show or a night out at the club. Tight, revealing clothes send out the wrong message and can be a major distraction, hindering your ability to get work done. Once you get settled in, chances are you’ll just want to rock sweatpants every day, anyway. Additionally, a lot of treatment centers take you to the gym, and it’s pretty difficult to work out in tight jeans and high heels.
- Alcohol-Free Toiletries:
Believe it or not, things like hand sanitizer and hairspray are high on the contraband list. These prohibited items contain denatured alcohol, which is ethyl alcohol before it’s chemically altered. During alcohol detox, people have been known to drink perfume, spray gel, or even face wash when the cravings become too overwhelming.
- Paper List of Important Phone Numbers:
This is pretty self-explanatory. Odds are you aren’t going to have access to your personal phone to get any numbers out of it that you may need. Before you check in, take a few minutes to jot down your important contacts.
- More Cigarettes Than You Typically Smoke:
If you smoke one pack per day in the outside world, chances are you’ll smoke two packs per day when you’re in rehab. Even though a large portion of your day will be taken up by group therapy, individual therapy, meetings, and recreational activities, there’s still plenty of downtime. People frequently find themselves outside socializing and chain-smoking when there’s not much going on.
Speaking of that enhanced nicotine addiction, you’re not going to want to lace up sneakers everytime you go outside. Slippers are a necessity for smoking, getting your meds, or using the phone. Towards the end of your stay, you may even want to wear them all day, every day.
- An Appropriate Bathing Suit:
Most treatment centers take clients out to have fun, that way you don’t have to spend every minute getting deep and serious inside of a building. Those activities might include a trip to the beach or even a water park. If you bring a bathing suit that’s too revealing, you could be forced to sit out of these activities.
Additional Reading: Choosing a Rehab – Close to Home or Far Away?
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