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What Should I Bring To A Drug Rehab Center?

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

Medically reviewed by

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

April 5, 2019

The decision to seek help to combat addiction will be one of the most important ones you’ll ever make. While many drug rehab centers provide amenities, it is beneficial to prepare items from home to ease the transition. Increasing your comfort and quality of life in a rehab center ensures that you can stay focused on your recovery, rather than on feeling out-of-place.

Clothing And Shoes

When preparing your suitcase, make sure to pack enough clothing for the duration of your stay. It is important to choose outfits that make you feel relaxed and at ease. Your success rate will increase if you feel at home in your rehab center. Consider comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing while packing. Keep these items in mind to cover your bases:

  • Gather at least seven outfits (including undergarments) that can be layered and one cardigan or pullover sweatshirt.
  • Include at least three sets of pajamas, a robe, and a pair of house slippers for indoors.
  • Select appropriate footwear based on the activities planned for your stay. Tennis shoes are suitable for moderate activity and a casual pair of slip-on shoes would be best suited for everyday wear.

Feeling your best will aid in recovery while feeling depressed about poor style or feeling too cold or hot will only distract you.

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Most rehab centers will provide you with basic toiletries, such as toilet paper, soap, and shampoo. But they won’t provide you with more personal items. Hygiene products that are used daily should be brought along. If you have a product preference, it is best to bring these items from home. Remember to pack the basics, such as:

  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash
  • Razors, shaving cream, lotion, and nail clippers
  • Styling product, comb, cosmetics, and deodorant
  • Feminine products
  • Over-the-counter and prescription medications

Self-care is important on the road to recovery. Hygiene will not only make you feel healthier, but help boost your confidence while you are working on yourself and regaining the sober lifestyle you deserve.


Feeling comfortable and at-ease in your environment will make the situation easier to handle. So consider bringing personal items, such as photos or books. While most programs are guided with an itinerary, you will have downtime for writing, reading, or even learning a new skill.

Beyond personal items, you should also make sure to bring essential items that will help make your stay more comfortable. Some essential items include:

  • ID, insurance cards, and paperwork
  • Cash for vending machines and store runs
  • Telephone list
  • Mp3 player and magazines
  • Sketch pad, diary, and photo album

If you are artistically gifted, it may bring satisfaction to create something while in recovery. Adult coloring books are known for having meditative properties. Crossword, Sudoku, Tetris, and word puzzles are challenging and may provide a lightweight distraction. Think of some activities that spark your interest and carry them along to stave off boredom.

Keep In Mind

Some facilities have regulations for items brought from home. Many rehab centers offer an online list or handbook to aid in preparation. When in doubt, ask a staff member for specific rules. Keep these points in mind while you prepare:

  • Few centers will allow mouthwash containing alcohol. Consider an alcohol-free alternative.
  • Nail polish, acetone, and other inhalants should be checked, as these can be abused.
  • Towels are often provided by the facility. While personal bedding may be preferred, be sure to check before bringing your own linens.
  • Some rehab centers have a strict cell phone policy. Others are more lenient and only only monitor your activity.
  • Cigarette smoking may be regulated or prohibited.
  • Leave valuable items at home, and only bring jewelry that will stay on your person. Necessary valuables should be secured with the front desk or a locker.

Learning More

Whether this is your first time in rehab or if you’ve experienced rehabilitation before, it’s important to feel prepared. For more advice and useful information on drug rehab centers in your area, please contact us at We can help you find the answers you need.

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