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What to Bring to Treatment

What to Bring to Treatment

It requires deep soul-searching to admit you have an addiction, courage to seek help for your addiction, and even more courage to accept treatment in a residential setting. You will be overwhelmed by the unknown if this is your first time entering rehab. 

But you need not worry. A residential facility is welcoming and has amenities that will make you feel at home. Besides, you will be in the company of other recovering addicts with whom you can share your experiences and provide each other with shoulders to lean on.

When your drug use has made you suffer mentally and physically and no longer feel like you have control over your life, it’s time to seek treatment. 

Why Choose a Rehab Treatment?

If your drug addiction is severe, stopping the use of alcohol or drugs abruptly can be catastrophic because your withdrawal symptoms can be severe. But when you get treatment in a rehab facility, you will be under the close supervision of highly trained and qualified medical personnel. 

The doctors will help with detoxification and therapy to overcome your addiction safely. Additionally, you will undergo therapy sessions to provide skills to prevent relapse and prepare you to rejoin society as a changed person. A rehab facility also offers ongoing support to help you maintain your sobriety.

What Can You Carry Into a Rehab Facility?

Your rehab treatment can last for days, weeks, or months, so the facility will be like your second home. For this reason, you must carry everything that will make your life more comfortable while residing in the facility. Rehabs have policies to guide what you can and can not bring inside. So, it’s recommended that you have a checklist of acceptable and non-acceptable items. Rehabs are very strict and won’t admit you if you carry an unacceptable item.

At the time of admission, the officials will inspect your luggage to ensure you don’t have any prohibited items. If they find any, they will ask you to hand them over, and you can have them when you leave. For example, some facilities prohibit patients from carrying sharp objects like knives for their safety and the safety of other residents.

Some of the items you can carry to a rehab center include a list of the phone numbers, addresses, and names of people you wish to be part of your treatment. The list can include your family members, sponsors, counselors, or healthcare professionals.

Any piece of jewelry you feel you can’t leave behind should also be included. For example, you can have your watch, wedding ring, bracelet, etc. However, it is advisable not to bring in expensive jewelry. 

Also, include your prescription drugs in their original bottles with the original information labels. If you have a liquid medication, it must be sealed and stored in a new container. Make sure you have a list of all the medicines you need and their dosages. 

You can carry between $50 and $100 to be used for paying some small bills or buying a few items you may need. Do not carry a lot of cash. You may also be allowed to carry your debit card, credit card, or checkbook. You can use these for payments that require large sums of money. You may also need your identification documents like your driver license, passport, and insurance card. 

You may also come with a journal or notebook where you can keep track of your day-to-day activities at the facility and pictures of your family members. You can have these in your wallet or put them on your room table to help you feel connected to your loved ones. If you need to write and mail letters, bring envelopes and stamps. 

Other Personal Items to Pack

Apart from the above items, you may also want some items to make you feel more comfortable. 

Clothing Items

Rehab centers are very strict when it comes to clothing, so you must find out which clothes are allowed and which are prohibited. Your room or space may also be small, so there is no need for over-packing. Because rehabs offer laundry facilities, one week’s worth of outfits will suffice. The clothes you pack will depend on the expected weather and season. The clothes you carry should be easy to wash and comfortable to wear. They should not need special treatments like dry cleaning. 


You may need two or more pairs of shoes while in rehab. But they should be of different types. For example, you may need a pair of slippers (or flip-flops), closed leather shoes, and athletic shoes for your outdoor activities. Ensure all your shoes are comfortable, and don’t forget your socks. 


There are different styles of shirts, some of which may be prohibited in rehab facilities. Find out which styles are permitted and carry enough to take you for a week. Carry some shirts for special occasions and some for athletic activities. You may also need a jacket and a sweater. 

Pants, Skirts, Or Shorts

It is best to pack athletic, dressy, and casual pants if the weather permits. Some rehabs restrict the length of pants, skirts, and shorts. Double-check this before packing.

Non-Clothing Items

You will want to have grooming items with you and items that make you feel ready to get better. Here are some that most facilities allow.


As a rule of thumb, carry toiletries that can last you for 30 days. Like other items, rehab centers restrict the types of toiletries they allow. So, you need to find out before packing. You can also find out if the facility offers toiletries and how much you need to add.

All the toiletries you carry must be alcohol-free. That means you can not carry any alcohol-based perfumes, even if they contain only a small percentage of alcohol. This also applies to your antiseptic mouthwash. Some rehabs allow alcohol-containing toiletries, provided alcohol is not listed as the first, second, or third ingredient.

The everyday toiletries allowed in most rehab facilities are:

  • Lotions
  • Sunscreens
  • Conditioners and shampoos
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Stick deodorants
  • Hair sprays and heirloom gels
  • Shaving creams
  • Combs and brushes
  • Makeup

Nicotine Items

Understanding the diverse needs of our patients, we permit the inclusion of nicotine items, including vapes, cigarettes, and chewing tobacco, alongside nicotine replacement options like patches, gum, or lozenges. It’s important to ensure that all items are unopened and in their original packaging upon arrival. Additionally, please be aware of specific designated areas and guidelines within the facility for the use of these products to maintain a comfortable environment for all patients.

Aerosols and Razors

Some rehabs allow aerosols and razors, while others do not. So, ask the facility officials before you carry a deodorant or hairspray. Also, find out if razors are allowed. 

Your Hobby Items

Though your addiction treatment program will be packed with many activities, you will have some free time to do your things. You can carry some of your hobby items to keep you busy during such downtimes to help you relax after a physically, emotionally, and mentally grueling day.

Some hobbies, like crocheting or knitting, can fill your free time perfectly. You can also carry a camera if you enjoy nature walks. If you are an artist, some pencils and sketchbooks will do. All you have to do is find out which hobby items are allowed and which are prohibited.

What to Not Bring to a Rehab Facility

All rehabilitation facilities have strict policies on what they prohibit. However, you may find that what is forbidden in one facility may be allowed in the other. But in general, these items are not permitted in all rehab centers.

  • Items of clothing with references to violence, alcohol, or drug
  • Incense and candles
  • Playing cards and other games
  • Electronics such as gaming consoles, televisions, and radios
  • Cleaning supplies such as ammonia and bleach
  • Aerosols
  • Revealing clothing such as midriff-bearing shirts and tank tops, and sleeveless shirts
  • Sporting equipment
  • DVDs and video games.
  • Nail polish, synthetic nail products, and polish removers
  • Previously opened OTC medications or any other unapproved medications
  • Alcohol-containing beauty products and toiletries
  • Outside drinks and foods
  • Pornographic materials
  • Weapons or sharp objects, scissors, knives
  • Prohibited medications and narcotics
  • Alcohol and drugs

Rehabs ban the above items to help drug addicts concentrate on their recovery. You can enjoy using some of these items when you get home. Drinks and food from outside may be banned because the center will have a nutritional plan that helps your body heal. Adding excess sugar, caffeine, and fat to this can throw off your body’s balance. 

The meals provided at the facility, including beverages and snacks, are all meant to aid your recovery. If you have a special dietary requirement, let the facility officials know to make special arrangements.

Items Allowed By Some Rehabs But Prohibited By Others

Each rehabilitation center has its unique policies and regulations. So, while all facilities prohibit items, there is a special group of items allowed by some facilities but disallowed by others. These include:

  • Nail clippers
  • Electric or disposable razors
  • Cameras 
  • CD players and MP3 players
  • Gum
  • Over-the-counter medications and vitamins
  • Some facilities allow smokers to carry cigarettes but limit the number of packets or cartons.
  • Cellphones and laptop computers
  • Pillows, bedding, and other items that can make you feel at home.

If there are items you feel you can’t do without, it is helpful to choose a facility that allows them rather than join a facility that bans them and feel oppressed. It is better that way than trying to sneak in a prohibited item.

What Happens When You Carry a Prohibited Item?

When you arrive at the rehab, your luggage will be checked. But you don’t need to worry if you are found with a prohibited item. The facility officials will send those items home with the friend or family member who brought you to the rehab. Some facilities will hold them for a day until someone picks them up.

If no one can take them home or pick them up, the facility can store them safely for you until you complete your treatment and pick them up yourself. For example, if you fly to the rehab center, you will likely be alone, so your items will be stored. Surprisingly, at the end of your treatment, you may realize you don’t even need some of these items, especially those that can remind you of your drug-use days.

If you are unsure whether the item you want to pack is prohibited or allowed, you can call the facility to confirm. Alternatively, you can visit the facility’s website on the “What to Bring” or “Frequently Asked Questions” pages. You will be able to get all the information you need about what to pack and what to leave at home. If the item is unavailable on their site, then the only option is to call and ask. Their customer service representative will answer all your questions and guide you through the admission process.

Choosing the Right Addiction Treatment Facility

The facility you choose plays a significant role in your recovery process. So, when you have decided to seek rehab treatment, make sure you choose a facility that can make you feel comfortable and has a functional support system. The facility should handle therapies and ongoing treatments to help you maintain sobriety.

If you are in Columbus, OH, White Light Behavioral Health could be what you are looking for. We offer modern facilities and have experienced healthcare professionals that will make your stay comfortable and your recovery faster.

White Light Behavioral Health

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