If you’ve decided to attend a drug treatment center, congrats to you. Taking that first step toward recovery from an addiction is very courageous. As you approach your drug rehab stay, you may wonder what kinds of things to pack. After all, you may be there for about a month, so you want to make sure that you think things through and pack appropriately.
Most drug treatment centers are fairly picky about what they let patients bring to the center. They all have a list of things that they do not allow you to bring, such as alcohol or drugs, weapons, or large sums of money. So, what should you bring?
Here are 7 essentials to pack when you’re headed to drug treatment center:
1. Your medications in the original bottles
If you’re on medication, you’ll want to pack that medication and be sure that it’s in the original bottle as prescribed by your doctor. If you’re on narcotic medications – such as Xanax, Suboxone, Klonopin, and so on – if they’re doctor prescribed, you can certainly bring them, but they will most likely be locked up and administered by the staff.
2. Contact information for key people in your life
Bring the contact information for your physician, loved one, or any legal representation that you have. You may have already furnished this information, but you may want to pack it just in case that information gets lost in the shuffle of paperwork.
3. Appropriate clothing
Keep in mind that the typical stay at a drug treatment center is for several weeks or around 28 days, so be sure to pack enough clothes that will get you through. Take note of the season you’re in and pack your clothing attire accordingly. If it’s winter, be sure that you bring warmer clothes and perhaps a jacket. If it’s summer, you may want to include shorts, tank tops, swim suit, sunglasses, flip flops, and other cool clothing. Some drug rehabs offer exercise programs or the opportunity to exercise, so you may want to pack some workout clothes and tennis shoes. Also, pack some comfortable pajamas and consider bringing a robe. It’s a good idea to leave any promiscuous clothing at home.
4. A journal
Even if you’re not much of a writer, packing a notebook or journal offers you the opportunity to do a little bit of therapeutic writing while you’re at the drug rehab. Many patients find it relaxing and healing to write out their thoughts and emotions on a regular basis, especially when they’re going through rehab. You may be flooded with emotions or feelings that you haven’t felt in a long time, and writing can serve as a therapeutic tool to help you contend with them. At the same time, there will be opportunity to see a counselor or attend group counseling, so you may want to jot down some notes to read later. Journaling throughout your drug treatment center stay is something that you can look back on throughout your life, seeing what areas you’ve grown in and simply journaling your life story.
5. Personal items
You’ll most likely have some free time in between sessions, so consider bringing a few personal items to occupy your time. You could bring a couple of good books or magazines to read, a puzzle to put together, or try some therapeutic mandala coloring books. Many rehabs offer a variety of things to do in your off time, but just in case, bring your own items to enjoy.
The drug treatment center may supply some toiletries, but remember to bring your toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, makeup, soap, shampoo, or personal products that you require, like tampons or shaving cream.
7. Important documents
Be sure to bring your insurance card, as well as a picture form of ID, like your driver’s license. If you will be needing a prescription while you’re at the drug treatment center, bring the prescription script for it. You’ll also want to be sure that you bring a little bit of cash, debit card, or checkbook. There may be opportunities to go on an outing and you may want to purchase a few things while you’re out.
You can always ask the drug treatment center to give you a list of recommended items to bring to treatment. Most drug rehabs have a list of recommended things to pack and things that are not allowed at the rehab center. When you get to the drug treatment center, chances are the staff will go through your belongings to be sure that you have followed the guidelines. If they find something that is not allowed at the rehab, most likely they will confiscate it. This goes for things like cell phones, computers, tablets, and other gadgets that may not be allowed at some drug rehabs.
The professional staff at drug treatment centers do their best to ensure the safety of all their patients. Therefore, they will not allow certain items at the center. Their primary goal is to keep people safe and help them recover from the disease of addiction. They’re not out to treat people like children by confiscating things. They simply know what works and what affords people a better chance at long-term sobriety, so they’ve come up with guidelines.
The opportunity to receive drug treatment
As you embark on a new journey attending a drug treatment center, realize that this is an exciting time in your life. There are some wonderful treatments for the disease of addiction, and a short-term stay at a drug rehab gives you the opportunity to receive such treatment. There you will be able to learn more about the disease of addiction, while abstaining from your drug of choice. You’ll be able to receive some counseling on the disease of addiction, as well as other issues that you may be struggling with, such as depression or anxiety.
You may also help in creating a relapse prevention plan, choosing an aftercare program that will help you continue in your sobriety. This may be a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Or it could be going to outpatient treatment for a while, or getting a professional counselor for a season. The chances of you relapsing decrease significantly when you continue with your recovery efforts once leaving a drug treatment center. In other words, putting down the drink or drugs isn’t always enough. It’s learning how to live life without coping by using substances. In and out of drug rehab, there’s plenty of opportunity to continue to learn and grow.