Preparing for Treatment: What to Pack for Drug Rehab - PAX Riverbend

Preparing for Treatment: What to Pack for Drug Rehab

suitcase of a person packing for drug rehab

When you begin packing for drug rehab in Indiana, it is helpful to know what to bring and which items are prohibited. After all, most addiction treatment facilities have strict policies regarding what you can and can’t bring. However, an admissions advisor should provide you with a checklist of these items to make the packing process easier.

With the many things to think about before going to treatment, many people don’t want to put the time into figuring out what to pack for drug rehab – which is why we’ve put together this guide for you.

Essentials to Pack Before Leaving for Drug Rehab

Although all residential treatment facilities in Indiana require the basic necessities, such as food, shelter, and access to bathrooms, there are several essential items that you will want to remember when you begin to pack for drug rehab. These include:

  • Any prescription medications that you take for health reasons. All medications should be in their original pill bottle from the pharmacy with the original information label on the bottle. If the medication is in the form of a liquid, you should bring one that is brand new and sealed. Lastly, along with your actual medications, you should bring a list from your doctor that outlines which medications you take and how often.
  • A short list of phone numbers, email addresses, and home addresses of people you may want to contact during treatment. You may not have access to your cell phone for portions of your treatment program, but if you arrive with a list of contacts you will be able to make phone calls and write letters to your loved ones. This list may include healthcare providers, sponsors, friends, family, supervisors, and more.
  • Stamps and envelopes to mail letters with as well as a notebook or journal and a writing utensil.
  • Your driver’s license or another form of identification as well as your proof of insurance if you are paying for rehab with insurance.
  • A small amount of cash along with your debit or credit card.
  • Any recovery-based or spiritually oriented reading materials you would like

Other essentials that you should pack for drug rehab include hygiene products, such as:

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and hair styling products (only ones that do not contain alcohol)
  • Hairbrush
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Lotion
  • Sunscreen

Clothing: Packing for Comfort

Of course, clothing is essential, but knowing which types of clothing to pack can help lighten your load. Since your room may be limited at the treatment center, it is important that you don’t overpack. You will have access to laundry, so one or two weeks’ worth of clothing is more than enough.

If you’re going to a drug or alcohol rehab in Indiana, you will want to be mindful of the time of year, as winters bring cooler weather, summers are warm, and fall requires layers. More importantly, is to dress for comfort rather than style. Most of your days will be spent in therapy sessions where you will want to feel comfortable. On the other hand, you will also want to pack for outdoor activities. Here is a list of a few suggested clothing items:

  • Both everyday shoes like flip flops and tennis shoes for activities
  • Pants/shorts depending on the weather
  • Tshirts, jackets, and a sweatshirt
  • Undergarments and socks
  • A bathing suit
  • Pajamas

Prohibited Items: What Not to Bring to Treatment

Every drug treatment center in Indiana has different rules and regulations regarding which items you can and cannot bring to rehab. Before you begin to pack for drug rehab, it’s important to consult with the treatment facility about their specific rules. These rules are in place to ensure each patients’ safety during their stay. Although this list varies from one facility to the next, items that are typically prohibited include:

  • Drugs, alcohol, or narcotic prescription medications
  • Weapons such as guns, scissors, knives, or other sharp objects
  • Outside food and drinks
  • Some electronic cigarettes
  • Mouthwash, perfume, and any other beauty products/toiletries that contain alcohol
  • Nail polish, nail polish remover, or any products containing acetone
  • Video games, movies, electronic devices
  • Cleaning supplies like bleach (these will be provided at the treatment facility)
  • Candles
  • Aerosols
  • Sporting equipment, cards, or games (these may also be provided by the treatment facility)
  • Clothing or personal items that have references to drugs or alcohol
  • Books that are non-recovery or religion-related

As previously mentioned, everything on this list of prohibited items is banned for a reason – to provide you and your peers with the safest environment possible.

What Happens If You Pack a Prohibited Item?

When you first arrive at the treatment facility of your choosing, staff will conduct a thorough baggage and personal items search to ensure that you aren’t bringing in any prohibited items. If you realize you have packed something that isn’t allowed, a staff member will either send the item home with whoever dropped you off at the treatment facility, hold your item for a loved one to come to pick up, or store the item away until you have completed your treatment stay. If you have arrived by plane and the treatment center will not store your items, simply request that they be mailed back to your home and most facilities will gladly comply.

Find Packing Information at a Drug Rehab Near You

If you’re unsure if an item that you want to pack for drug rehab is allowed or not, simply contact your treatment provider. Many rehab centers will offer printable or digital packing lists that outline exactly which items are banned at their facility. Overall, most addiction treatment facilities allow patients to bring most personal items that will help make them feel comfortable and secure during treatment. If you’re not sure of where to start, our admissions coordinators are eager to help. Contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol treatment programs in Indiana.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.