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How to Pack for a Stay in Rehab

How to Pack for a Stay in RehabBeing ready for rehab could make all the difference to your successful treatment, and part of being ready is packing. If you’ve never been to rehab, you probably have no idea what to bring and what not to bring. This isn’t a vacation or a leisurely retreat. You are heading to a medical and psychiatric treatment facility. You are going for one reason: to learn how to be sober. Being prepared is crucial.

Know What to Expect

Before you start to pack for rehab, it’s important that you do some research to find out what you can expect from your treatment program. Expectations are powerful, and if you head to rehab expecting one thing and receive another, your disappointment may be detrimental to your treatment. Find out what to expect by communicating with the rehab facility. Ask questions about what your treatment will involve. Ask for details such as what you will be doing on a day-to-day basis. Ask what the facilities are like and what kind of activities you may be participating in. These details will help you prepare not only mentally, but also practically in terms of what you need to pack.

Avoid Contraband

One very important question you should ask your contact at the rehab facility is what is not allowed. Many facilities have contraband restrictions -- certain items that are banned from treatment programs. Some facilities ban certain medications and tobacco products. Others have dress codes. Find out what the restrictions are to make sure you don’t accidentally break the rules by bringing things that aren’t allowed. You want to get off to the best start with your program, not as the person who brought a bunch of banned items to rehab.

Make a List

Now that you know what to expect and what not to bring, you can make a list to ensure you don’t miss anything you know you will need. Start with practical and necessary items like clothes and toiletries. Enlist a friend or family member to help you with this part. Your mind is probably not at its peak right now, and you are probably anxious about starting rehab, so you could use some help to make sure you don’t forget anything.

In packing clothes, think about not only the weather you can expect at your rehab facility, but also the activities. Is there a swimming pool? Will you be hiking outside? Will you be working out or mostly inactive? Will you be able to do laundry? Also consider the fact that you want to be comfortable. You are not going to rehab to look stylish or sexy or to impress anyone. Bring clothes that are comfortable and modest. And don’t forget your favorite pair of cozy pajamas and slippers.

Next on your list should be the non-essential items, but those that will bring you comfort. A favorite stuffed animal, a piece of clothing that belongs to your spouse, a good book and pictures of family are all items that may bring you peace of mind as you work through your treatment program. Avoid bringing anything that is valuable. Theft is not unheard of at rehab.

Going to rehab is scary, but also hopeful. You are starting out on a path to a new life and a new future. Packing is important so that you are comfortable, have everything you need and so that you are prepared to do the important work in treatment. However, the most important thing you can pack is your positive attitude. With that, you can change the world.

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