Prescriptions During Drug Rehab - PAX Riverbend

Will a Drug Rehab Center Confiscate Your Prescriptions?

If you have made a conscious decision to seek help for a drug or alcohol problems, you’re already one step closer towards achieving sobriety. That said, you may have concerns about the dos and don’ts when it comes to drug treatment facilities. One of the biggest concerns for those hoping to overcome an addiction is whether or not they can bring prescription-based medications to a drug treatment facility with them. Although they may be permitted, patients will be required to follow certain protocols to ensure the safety and success of their treatment.

Understandably, this is a tremendous concern as some patients will need to continue taking their prescription-based medication to address other health problems while simultaneously battling their addiction. In this article, we will take a closer look at the guidelines that most drug treatment facilities have in place when it comes to bringing prescription medication into their facilities.


Although rules and regulations can vary slightly, most drug treatment facilities will allow patients to bring current prescription medications with them. Some facilities may also require that the patient’s medications meet the following criteria:

  • Prescribed by a licensed physician
  • Bring only enough to last for the duration of treatment
  • Liquid-based medications must be sealed
  • Must be in original bottle or container

It is also important to note that many facilities will allow nicotine patches, over-the-counter medications, and vitamins. Obviously, they would like to see patients not only overcome their addiction but also improve their overall health as well.


While all drug treatment facilities are concerned with your overall health and well-being, they are also very much aware that prescription drug abuse is on the rise. According to, an online resource providing information related to alcohol and substance abuse in America, over 47,000 people died as a result of an opioid overdose in 2017, which, coincidentally, is the most commonly abused of all prescription medications. As such, drug treatment facilities reserve the right to confiscate any medication that does not meet their criteria for permitted medications.


If someone is struggling with chronic pain and taking narcotic pain relievers, these medications will be closely scrutinized because of their addictive substances and risk of polysubstance abuse. Also, it is not uncommon for some drug treatment facilities to recommend that patients take an alternative pain reliever. In some cases, the medication may be locked away from the patient and provided to them on an as-needed basis as indicated by their prescription.


Although over-the-counter medications do not pose the same threat as prescription medications, it doesn’t rule out the potential for abuse. Therefore, most drug treatment facilities will address the need for these medications and also monitor how the patient may be taking them. Some of the over-the-counter medications that patients are allowed to bring to a drug treatment facility include

  • Ibuprofen
  • Melatonin
  • Cough medicine
  • Cold medicine

While we are on the topic of what OTC medications are permitted, we should also take a look at what is not allowed. Having already established that rules and regulation can vary slightly from facility to facility, most of them will not allow patients to bring any medication that contains alcohol or will require that the medication is in its original container. Similar requirements are also in place for vitamins as well. Generally speaking, if you’re honest about your need for the medication, prescription or otherwise, most drug treatment facilities will be willing to work with you. After all, withholding or denying you the medication you need could jeopardize your health, not to mention your ability to overcome your addiction.


The best way to avoid some of the challenges that come with bringing prescription medication into a drug treatment facility is by scheduling a consultation with your physician. In doing so, you will be able to go over the medications that are essential to health. Also, if push comes to shove, you can find out if there are alternative medications that you can take while you are in a drug rehab program. That said, if you’re ready to overcome your addiction to drugs or alcohol, you’re encouraged to speak with one of our friendly and compassionate representatives today at 866-300-6707.

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.