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What Can I Bring to Inpatient Rehab?

Considering inpatient rehab makes you think about the big things first. Can I afford it? Should I stay close to home? Should I go to a gender specific facility?

Then, you get into the secondary concerns. Can I find one with patients my own age? Can I go to luxury rehab? Would a rehab that shared my faith be more effective. One of the last concerns is what you can bring with you because you generally need to decide on an inpatient treatment center first.

As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reminds readers, treatment comes in many different forms, happens in many different settings, and extends for many different lengths of time. Because of the frequency of small relapses and set-backs, treatment for many people is long-term and there are multiple interventions and consistent monitoring.

So, depending upon the stage of your treatment process, the setting, the form, and the length of time you will be there, you may end up packing different things.

What follows are some generalities that will give you an idea of what you can and cannot pack when you head to inpatient treatment.

If you are ready to enter inpatient treatment and you are looking for a center that is right for you, our helpline is the source you need. By calling 800-430-1407Who Answers?, you can find resources, have questions answered, and connect with top-notch rehab centers. Give us a call today!


Bring to Inpatient Rehab

Consider the season, setting, and dress code when packing for inpatient rehab.

There are a couple things to keep in mind when you pack your clothing:

  • Dress code
  • Weather

Most rehab centers have a strict dress code and you will need to make sure that you abide by it or you may have items of clothing taken from you during intake and returned when you complete the program.

You will have time inside and outside the center, so you should pack items that will work in both settings. Typically bringing items that can be layered should help you adjust to changes in temperature.

Laundry services should be offered. You may have laundry done by staff or you may have access to a washer and dryer. Because of this, you need only bring enough clothes for a single week.

Be sure to bring:

  • Shoes: you will probably want to bring ones for daily use, ones for sports activities (if available), shower shoes, and slippers
  • Socks
  • Undergarments
  • Pajamas
  • Bathrobe
  • Shirts: tank tops may not be allowed
  • Pants
  • Coat

You may also want to bring:

  • Belt
  • Hat: these may not be allowed inside
  • Shorts: make sure they are long enough to meet the dress code
  • Bathing suit: usually a one piece for women and trunks for men
  • Special occasion items for family day


In addition to clothing, you should bring the following items.

  • A small amount of cash to be used for vending machines, washers and dryers, store runs, and other incidental purchases
  • Your checkbook or credit/debit card to pay for medications
  • A prepaid long distance calling card
  • Stamps and stationary
  • A list of names, phone numbers, and addresses for family, doctors, your sponsor, and others who you will need to contact
  • An alarm clock (these may be provided by the center)
  • A notebook/journal
  • Pictures of loved ones
  • Books to pass the time (there may be rules regarding the genre of book you can bring)

Things you are Not Allowed to do in Inpatient Rehab

Hygiene and Beauty Products

You will need enough of these items to last for your full stay so pack accordingly. Keep in mind that most rehabs do not allow patients to bring aerosol products or items containing alcohol. Make sure that you accept these rules or you will have items confiscated.

Be sure to bring:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair products
  • Comb or brush
  • Shaving cream
  • Razor
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Makeup (if applicable)
  • Feminine hygiene products (if applicable)

Do Not Bring

To maintain the safety of residents and keep you all moving toward your goals, the following items are usually banned. Please do not try sneaking them in; it isn’t worth it.

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • E-cigarettes
  • Aerosols (as mentioned above)
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Nail polish remover and other nail products
  • Unapproved over the counter medication
  • Narcotics or banned prescriptions
  • Weapons

You may be surprised to learn the following are banned as well

  • Adult reading materials
  • Electronics (gaming devices, televisions, cell phones)
  • Games and playing cards
  • Sporting equipment

They are banned to help patients maintain focus on their treatment.

As NIDA writes, no single treatment is right for everyone and no list of packing items is right for all centers. When you are ready to go, make sure that you follow your center’s rules fully.

If you are ready to learn more about inpatient drug and alcohol treatment, call 800-430-1407Who Answers? and speak with someone today.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

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