You\u2019ve made the important decision to enter inpatient rehab and understandably have questions and concerns. Addiction has been a long road full of angst, bouts of depression, health problems and a host of personal problems, but it\u2019s familiar. For first-time clients, rehab represents uncharted territory, so it\u2019s natural to feel some trepidation, not to mention all of the everyday matters you must attend to if you are employed and\/or a parent. You\u2019ve already toured the facility and talked to others who have been in rehab, but you still have questions. Below are practical tips including steps to take ahead of time (e.g. employment, childcare and financial issues) and what to bring to rehab. Arranging Work Leave According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 76% of people with substance use issues have jobs. Stigma and fear of losing employment are two reasons why many people who need addiction treatment don\u2019t seek help. Most people can\u2019t pick up and leave their jobs for 30- to 90-day stays at inpatient facilities without making plans well in advance. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protect addicted individuals from discrimination and enable them to obtain treatment while legally safeguarding their employment.1 Once you enter a rehabilitation program, you\u2019re protected by the ADA and cannot be fired for reasons related to addiction or being in rehab, even if it causes you to miss work. While many people contemplating entering rehab have a fear of being fired, you can file a discrimination lawsuit against your employer if you are fired unfairly. Furthermore, employers are required to maintain confidentiality regarding their employees\u2019 medical issues and if this is violated, you can file a case against them. Under the FMLA, qualified employees can take 12 weeks of medical leave per year for issues including addiction disorders. Unfortunately, this leave is generally unpaid unless the employer chooses to provide paid leave.1 Before you talk to your employer, become familiar with your rights and your company\u2019s policy on drugs and alcohol, as well as insurance and medical leave policies. It\u2019s also a wise idea to speak to your insurance company and a medical professional to get more information about your medical and disability rights. Talking to your employer well in advance of entering rehab is the right thing to do not only for you, but for the company. Although your position is protected, your employer has every right to make arrangements so other employees or a short-term temp can assume your responsibilities while you\u2019re gone.1 Arranging Childcare Although barriers to seeking addiction treatment affect both genders, women tend to face myriad pressures. These barriers are associated with caregiver roles, intrinsic socioeconomic conditions and greater societal bias\/stigma associated with their substance abuse. Women often fear they will be perceived as irresponsible or neglectful (\u201cbad mothers\u201d) if they admit to having an addiction. They worry disclosing this information will lead to losing custody of their children. These challenges often interfere with treatment initiation and engagement.2 If you have younger children, the thought of finding childcare while you attend addiction treatment can seem daunting. This can be particularly challenging if you are a single parent or your partner works full time. If you have family and close friends who live nearby, turn to them first for help. If out-of-town relatives are willing to assume childcare responsibilities, attending rehab during your children\u2019s summer vacation is a possibility. If you are a caregiver to an older parent, this also presents a dilemma. Express your concerns to the treatment facility because they may have resources available or suggestions you didn\u2019t consider. If the prospect of leaving your children or older parent seems wrong, consider how your addiction has impacted them and how much better off they\u2019ll be when you are healthy.3 Paying for Rehab Many insurance companies offer comprehensive behavioral health coverage that includes residential, partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient treatment for substance use and psychiatric disorders. This varies greatly by carrier, so it\u2019s wise to consult your provider before you arrange treatment, or most facilities can do the legwork for you to ensure your benefits are maximized. If your insurance does not cover inpatient rehab or only partially covers services, many rehab facilities can work with you to set up financial arrangements.3 Items to Bring to Rehab The focus of drug rehab is on health and wellness, so don\u2019t bring anything counterproductive. Any items containing alcohol \u2013 including mouthwash \u2013 are forbidden. You should also leave jewelry, expensive personal effects (e.g. designer clothing, purses or excessive cash) at home. In addition, anything sexually overt or suggestive, from pornography to sexy clothing, has no place at any drug rehab facility.4,5 \tSeveral casual, comfortable and season-appropriate outfits (enough for 30 to 90 days) \tA few pairs of comfortable shoes, slippers and sandals for the shower \tA jacket, sweatshirt and sweaters \tA one-piece swimsuit for women and board shorts for men (no exceptions) \tExercise, recreation and hiking clothes \tPersonal hygiene products (e.g., toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant) \tA couple of pictures of loved ones \tMedications in original bottles with your name and instructions from the prescribing physician \tDietary supplements (e.g. vitamins or minerals), subject to approval \tImportant contact names, (e.g. physicians, lawyers and family members) with addresses and telephone numbers \tBooks, magazines, art supplies and a journal to write in, subject to approval \tPersonal pillow or blanket \tLaptop (which will be held by staff and signed out at approved times) \tAs much as $100 cash and a credit\/debit card to be held in an office safe until needed (e.g. outings) \tHair dryer \tLaundry bag4,5 Although entering inpatient rehab involves preparation and forethought, it is well worth it \u2026 and the first important step on the path of recovery and a living a fulfilling life. \tGoing to an Addiction Treatment Center with a Job. American Addiction Centers website. http:\/\/americanaddictioncenters.org\/rehab-guide\/with-a-job\/ Accessed May 25, 2017. \tCenter for Substance Abuse Treatment. Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2009. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 51.) Chapter 5: Treatment Engagement, Placement, and Planning. doi: https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/books\/NBK83238\/ \tHow to Manage Work and Family Obligations During Your Addiction Treatment. Promises website. https:\/\/www.promises.com\/articles\/addiction-treatment\/how-to-manage-work-and-family-obligations-during-your-addiction-treatment\/ Published February 15, 2013. Accessed May 25, 2017. \tPacking for Rehab: What Should You Bring? Rehabs website. http:\/\/www.rehabs.com\/packing-for-rehab-what-should-you-bring\/ Published August 26, 2015. Accessed May 25, 2017. \tWhat to Bring to Rehab. Dual Diagnosis website. http:\/\/www.dualdiagnosis.org\/addiction-treatment\/what-to-bring\/ Accessed May 25, 2017.