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What to Pack for Rehab

Residential drug and alcohol rehab programs in Boston last for at least 30 days, with many lasting for as long as 90 or 180 days. Unless you’re going to a luxury rehab facility, chances are you will want to take some personal items with you, just to make the experience a little bit more comfortable.

Below are some recommendations of what you should and shouldn’t take with you. Please note that every rehab program is different. You may want to contact the facility ahead of time to make sure you don’t unintentionally bring any prohibited items.

Things to pack

The items below are the things that you should not leave home without. Chances are the rehab program will give you a more specific list of things to pack, especially if they have a specific dress code or treatment philosophy. That said, if for some reason they don’t provide a specific list of things to bring, try to include the things below:

Important items

  • Current prescriptions and lists of medications
  • New, unopened prescription medications
  • Simple alarm clock (no radio; not internet-capable)
  • Credit card or debit card
  • Cash for vending machines (enough for about a month)
  • A notebook and a couple of pens
  • Paperback books for your personal reading
  • Personal jewelry like a watch or wedding ring. Leave all other jewelry at home
  • Contact details of your physicians and therapists
  • Contact details of family members or friends you want your rehab program to contact
  • Insurance cards
  • Valid identification
  • A few pictures of loved ones
  • Stamps, stationery, and envelopes, if you want to send out mail

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap or body wash
  • Shampoo
  • A bath towel
  • Conditioner
  • Shaving cream (non-aerosol)
  • Moisturizing lotion
  • Most makeup
  • Hair products (non-aerosol)
  • Deodorant/antiperspirant (non-aerosol)

Clothes

  • Lounge clothes
  • Exercise clothes (at least a couple of sets)
  • Underwear (at least a week’s worth)
  • Pajamas
  • A hoodie or cardigan
  • A set of somewhat “dressier” clothes

Footwear

  • Sneakers or other exercise-appropriate shoes
  • Flip-flops for the shower
  • Comfy footwear for lounging (optional)
  • At least a week’s worth of socks

What if I don’t have what I need at home?

Most rehab programs recognize that the residents may not always have an ideal home situation. Many residents may not even have a home, to begin with. For that reason, even if you forget to take these important things with you, you can rest assured that the staff will most likely make sure you have access to whatever you need.

Of course, this may lead to a less than ideal rehab experience, so you or a trusted family member or friend should at least try to get the necessary personal effects in place before you go.

Things you should not take with you

Below are items that are generally not allowed in most residential drug and alcohol rehab programs. Chances are your rehab program will provide a comprehensive list of prohibited items. Most of the items are considered to have a potential for abuse or be an excessive distraction from the recovery process.

Visitors will be likewise barred from bringing these items to restricted areas within the rehab facility. These items are generally confiscated and returned upon leaving.

If you unintentionally bring any of these items, don’t worry. Most confiscated items, perhaps save for perishables or drugs, are going to be returned upon checkout.

  • Alcohol-containing liquids (mouthwash, perfume, aftershave, etc.)
  • Nail polish or other products that could be huffed
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Rubbing alcohol/ hand sanitizer
  • Aerosol products
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Sharp objects (scissors, knives, etc.)
  • Weapons
  • Lighters
  • Candles or incense
  • Most food and beverages
  • Clothing that may upset other residents (i.e. too skimpy, has profanity, contains drug or alcohol imagery, etc.)
  • Entertainment devices
  • Sports equipment
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Opened prescription medications

Things that may not be allowed

The items below may or may not be permitted, depending on the rehab program.

For example, laptops and cellphones are generally not allowed in most rehabs as they can be a serious distraction and may be used to communicate with one’s drug dealers. However, some rehabs in remote areas which purposely have no internet connections may allow these devices as basic entertainment at designated times. Some programs may even allow wider use of the devices if the rehab allows residents to work remotely.

Some of the other objects in the list are generally allowed at most rehabs but may be restricted in the first few weeks as they may be used for self-harm. Other programs still may restrict these items for the entire duration.

  • Laptops
  • Cellphones
  • Cigarettes
  • Disposable razors
  • Internet-capable cameras
  • Nail clippers
  • Multivitamins
  • Kitchen appliances (electric kettles, coffee makers, etc.)
  • Belts and shoelaces

Conclusion

Hopefully, you found this quick guide useful. If you’re interested in a specific rehab experience in the New England area, our team at Boston Drug Rehab Centers is ready to help you find the facilities you need.