packing what is needed for rehab

Rehab Essentials for Inpatient Treatment in New Jersey 

ready for rehabDeciding to enter an addiction treatment center is the first and best step those with a drug or alcohol use disorder can take. Yet, they may have held off on going to rehab because of uncertainty. Trying something new is daunting, especially when it’s life-changing. Knowing what things to bring to rehab can relieve some of the uncertainty. 

Of course, every facility has different inpatient drug rehab rules. So it’s always best to check with the facility itself to see what are actually rehab essentials. However, there are items that most inpatient drug rehab centers in New Jersey let residents bring along. 

Another tip is to prepare ahead. Check off items along the way and always bring more necessities just in case. Figuring out what to bring can be overwhelming. Preparing a little at a time can help avoid any additional stress in the process. North Jersey Recovery Center is always happy to help patients with what to bring to rehab and how to get ready for it. 

What to Bring to Treatment: Rehab Essentials

Again, each addiction treatment center has a different set of inpatient drug rehab rules although, most of them allow for certain essentials. Those entering rehab should check before but also keep in mind that the items below are rehab essentials and most likely allowed. 

Forms of Identification are Rehab Essentials 

IDs include passports, state IDs, driver’s licenses, social security cards, and birth certificates. Most states provide residents with a free ID in many cases if they are homeless. It may not be a passport or a driver’s license, but it’s an ID that staff at addiction treatment centers can use to confirm a person’s identity.

A List of Support Network’s Contact Information 

A support network is crucial to success. Patients in addiction treatment centers should write out a physical list of everyone in their support network including friends, family members, and sponsors. It’s good for patients to have, but also for addiction treatment staff in the case of an emergency. 

Sealed and Approved Prescribed Medications

Co-occurring disorders are common when a person suffers from an alcohol or drug addiction. A co-occurring disorder, comorbidity, or dual diagnosis, is when a person has two health conditions at the same time. This includes alcohol or substance use disorder that occurs in combination with another health disorder. 

Addiction treatment centers usually allow patients to bring sealed and medically approved medications. Make sure the medication clearly has patient information and the correct dosage. At times, over-the-counter (OTC) medications are allowed as well. It must be sealed and disclosed to bring it and not all OTC medications are allowed. 

Sentimental/Comfort Items 

Staying positive during addiction treatment is a difficult task. Bringing items that can help patients stay positive at rehab is essential. This could be jewelry (like a wedding ring), photos, or letters. While essential sentimental items vary from person to person, an addiction treatment facility may not allow certain items. Check before to avoid unpleasant surprises. 

Insurance Information

Treatment centers are happy to help patients or potential ones verify their insurance and figure out what their policy covers. But drug abuse treatment facilities can’t do that without insurance information. Rehab patients must remember to bring all insurance cards (health, dental, and vision) to avoid any financial troubles upon arriving. Make sure to bring a copy of your health insurance card just in case. 

Payment Methods 

Patients should plan on bringing a small amount of cash on top of other forms of payment. It’s possible a treatment center might need it to pay for prescription medication. Aside from cash, patients might want to consider bringing a debit or credit card along with a checkbook.

Additional Things to Bring to Rehab 

  • Clothing 
  • Calling cards
  • A journal or diary 
  • An alarm without a radio 
  • Self-help reading material 
  • Approved hobby materials 
  • Personal hygiene and beauty products
  • Materials to mail letters (like stamps and stationery paper) 

(Approved/Appropriate) Clothing

Self-expression is important. However, patients should not bring clothing to make a statement. Instead, they should do it with the idea of comfort in mind. Inpatient drug rehab rules dictate what the dress code looks like. This may mean that a comfy spaghetti strap top isn’t allowed.

Like all other items that aren’t straightforward, check with our facility to find out which clothing items are not permitted (if any). Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring clothing that makes an individual look and feel good. So, bring clothing that can be easily paired with other clothes and won’t require dry-cleaning. 

Patients should plan to bring a week’s worth of clothes in total. It’s best to avoid bringing too much clothing when packing for rehab as many living spaces are smaller than at home and might be shared with others.

What to Bring to Rehab: What Clothes are Rehab Essentials?

  • Undergarments – Make sure to bring more than seven days’ worth of underwear.
  • Shoes – Don’t bring too many pairs of shoes but consider bringing casual ones, shoes for physical activity, rain boots, slippers, and shower shoes (flip flops) 
  • Shirts – Bring both long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts. (Many rehabs won’t allow crop tops or spaghetti straps, so check with our team beforehand!) 
  • Pants – If it’s cold, a patient might want to bring more clothing than a person who is attending rehab in sunny weather.
  • Shorts – Just like shirts, some shorts are too revealing and may not be allowed.
  • PJs – Revealing clothing isn’t typically allowed, which includes PJs.
  • Socks – This is another item to bring more than less of since it’s easy to lose a sock or two.
  • A hatHolistic treatment and therapy often includes time spent outside, so patients should bring a hat that will protect them from the sun.
  • Clothes for activities – For some rehab centers, this might include attire for swimming, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
  • A jacket or sweater – Even if it’s not cold outside, it’s always a good idea to bring a jacket or two along.

Things to Bring to Rehab: Personal Hygiene and Beauty Products 

packing rehab essentialsAs a rule of thumb, most rehab centers won’t allow patients to bring items that contain alcohol, like polish remover. Sometimes an alcohol addiction can be so intense that individuals will attempt to drink anything that may contain alcohol in it. 

A rehab facility may allow items with alcohol in them as long as it’s a low amount. Additionally, aerosol products (like shaving cream) are usually prohibited. When packing for a rehab facility, bring a month worth of the following products:

  • Soap 
  • Lotion 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Stick or gel deodorant
  • Hair removal products
  • Alcohol-free mouthwash  
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste  
  • Hairstyling tools – A brush, plastic pick, or comb 
  • A small amount of makeup – Bring makeup remover if so 
  • Hairstyling products – Keep in mind that aerosols are typically prohibited 

Items Against Inpatient Drug Rehab Rules 

There is a reason why some rehabs don’t allow certain items at a facility. One reason is that it contains ingredients that could hurt the recovery process, such as alcohol. Also, this extends to junk food and sugary drinks that can make it tougher for the body and brain to recover as well as making it harder for patients to get into the routine of healthy living. 

Some items are better left at home if they will distract patients from recovery in general. That said, each facility is different and may have different inpatient drug rehab rules. The only way to know is to ask. But it may be a good idea to not bring these items even if they don’t go against inpatient drug rehab rules. 

Items That Aren’t Rehab Essentials 

  • Cigarettes – Many facilities allow tobacco products, but some don’t. It might be better to not bring them to avoid trading one addiction for another. 
  • Items glorifying sex, drugs, or violence – A graphic shirt may not seem like it could do much harm, but it could distract patients or trigger traumatic memories in some individuals. 
  • Weapons or sharp objects – Withdrawal symptoms may trigger suicidal or homicidal tendencies. On top of that, mental health disorders commonly co-occur with alcohol and substance use disorders. Weapons and items that could be used as weapons are dangerous to bring. Some addiction treatment facilities prohibit shaving razors and nail clippers for this reason. 
  • Outside food and drinks – Inpatient rehabs provide all meals and snacks for residents more often than not (some have vending machines). Good nutrition can help heal the body and mind, while unhealthy food can hurt it. Also, recovery individuals sometimes substitute an addiction with other unhealthy habits, like eating junk food. 

Can You Use a Cellphone in Rehab? 

Electronics devices are often against inpatient drug rehab rules. So that includes cellphones, computers, digital cameras, and CD players are other items that some addiction treatment facilities may not allow. Items like an alarm clock may be allowed, though.

With this in mind, can you have a phone in inpatient rehab? Potentially. If a rehab center does allow them, there are probably allotted times to use them. It might be better to forgo it completely. 

We Can Help You Figure Out Things to Bring to Rehab 

The best way to find out what to bring along to rehab and know what our inpatient drug rehab rules are, in general, is by reaching out to an admissions counselor. As said before, each addiction treatment facility and detox center has its own set of rules that it goes by. For instance, one may allow cigarettes and junk food while another will not. 

Also, policies can change, so it doesn’t hurt to check. To find out more about frequently asked questions about rehab and how addiction treatment can help you or a loved one, contact us now.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Laura Riley

Medical Reviewer

Laura comes to NJRC with 23 years of vast clinical experience in hospital, residential, outpatient, and community outreach settings where she has worked, supervised clinical teams, and volunteered. She has provided substance abuse and mental health counseling, clinical coordination, and advocacy to individuals, families and groups, and specializes in co-occurring disorders for both adults and adolescents.