A Rehab Checklist on How to Pack for In-Patient Treatment

Getting into a rehab program means you are heading in the right direction. If you are going for a stay at a clinic or treatment center, you will need to bring some personal items with you.

Each treatment center will be different and have its own guidelines, so you will need their rehab checklist first. There will be several items you will not be able to take, but that should be clearly stated.

Your focus will be on healing but you are likely to be stressed, so a few creature comforts are a good idea, aside from the necessities. Let's break down a rehab checklist for you, to make your preparation a little less stressful.

Checklist for Drug Rehab

It can be really easy to forget even the simplest and most basic but necessary item when packing for your rehab stay.

What to Pack


Take enough clothes to cover the length of your stay. If it is an extended stay, ask about laundry facilities, if you will need to bring your own detergent, if you will need small change to operate the machines.

Ask about dress codes, if they don't allow blue jeans or hoodies, for instance.

You will need night clothes, a robe and slippers are a good idea, as well.

You may want to take items to be worn in layers, for colder climates or early morning or evenings.

Ask if there are any special events planned where you may need something dressier, like an evening dress or dinner jacket.

If there is a gym or a swimming pool or sauna or hot tub, you will want swimwear. The swimwear must be appropriate, so no thigh-cut speedos or tiny bikinis will be allowed.

Chances of underwear, at least one pair for each day, more if you know you will need them. Socks, underpants, bras, and undershirts.

Besides slippers, you may want to consider running or gym shoes, comfortable walking shoes and slip-on types of summer shoes like flip-flops or sandals.

Clothes to Avoid

Try to avoid clothing that is very revealing or of a sexual nature. Halter tops, short shorts or low cut tops and blouses. Shoot for comfort, familiar and casual.

Avoid tee shirts with ads, offensive or suggestive slogans or pictures and anything that promotes drugs or alcohol use or anything with sexual content and suggestions.


Any of the liquids you take, shampoos or cleansers will need to be free of alcohol. This would include hand sanitizers, mouthwash, and certain hair sprays.

Your personal items will include toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, any hair product you need, like shampoos and hair dryers, deodorant and shaving supplies.

Lotions, hairbrush and feminine hygiene products, if needed.

As far as towels, bed linens and those items are concerned, they are normally provided. If you have concerns in that department, then you should pack your own.

Personal Items

Valid picture identification will be needed, along with your insurance card or provider and a list of emergency contact numbers.

Your phone number list should include a medical professional, next of kin and emergency contact, if different from those mentioned. Depending on the type of program, you may want to include your sponsor.

You likely won't have your cell phone, so a prepaid calling card or change for the payphone, if one still exists.

You will need some form of money, but you may not need or want to have a lot of cash. Find out what the policy is, as a bank card may be fine.

Your prescriptions, if needed, filled for the duration of your stay. If they are liquid, they should be new and sealed. Bring your prescription and dosages with you, as the doctor on site may be able to help you.

Down Time

Your rehab checklist needs some 'you time' items. Maybe pictures of your kids, sketchbook or some crafts like knitting or a recovery journal. You can bring books but you will need to check with the treatment center, as some materials may not be allowed. Most will provide reading material.

You will need to find out their policy on smoking, as you may need to bring enough to get you through your stay. Chances are you will not have a place to buy them so if you smoke, bring more than you will need.

What Not to Bring

You will not be able to bring any outside food or drinks. If you have special diet requirements, you will have to make arrangements beforehand.

No drugs or alcohol will be allowed. This means the above-mentioned toiletries that may contain traces of alcohol or even your own pain medication that can have narcotics.

You will need to find out the policy regarding cell phones, and other equipment, like laptops and tablets. Some e-readers may be allowed, but you will need to check.

Cards, games and other entertainment sporting equipment will be supplied and not allowed to be brought in.

No weapons or sharp items, and find out about what they do with your personal razor or nail clippers. They will likely have a check-in, check-out policy at shower time.

No candles and no pornographic materials. There may be a debate on what is considered pornographic, so check with them on the materials you wish to bring.

While You Are Out

You will have made arrangements with your boss and workplace for your leave. You need to arrange childcare for the entire time you are gone, to keep them on their regular schedule and notify your friends and family, to let them know you will be away.

Have a trusted friend or family member watch your home, to water the plants, pick up your mail and keep it safe and looking lived-in and occupied. If you cant get someone to stay, think about light timers to keep the place looking used.

Your rehab checklist needs to include being kind to yourself, some praise and positive thoughts.

If you have questions about inpatient rehab, Diamond House Detox is available 24/7 to speak with you or coordinate same-day admittance. Call (800) 205-6107 or complete an online inquiry form to learn more.

Learn More About Inpatient Treatment


  1. https://www.poison.org/articles/2007-jun/hand-sanitizer-whats-the-real-story

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on November 2nd, 2018.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet
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