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Packing for Treatment

Entering addiction treatment, especially for the first time, can be overwhelming for many suffering from the disease of addiction. You have a disease that tells you that you don’t have it and a compulsion to continue using that is almost indescribable. Getting prepared can help ease some of the stress. Once you have selected a treatment center, completed your pre-assessment and travel plans have been made, it is important that you understand what items you will need to bring with you in addition to items that you cannot bring with you. Most programs have lists of Permitted Items and Prohibited Items to assist you with these preparations.

You should bring the following items (make certain the pertinent items are comfortable):

Photo ID

A driver’s license, passport, or work ID

Medical insurance Information

Insurance cards, policy information

List of medications

Medications, dosage information, known allergies to medications.

Contacts List

List of names, addresses and phone numbers of people you wish to have contact with while you are treatment

Credit card, debit card, cash, personal checks

These items will be kept in a safe location while you are in higher levels of care

Alarm Clock

Some facilities may equip rooms with alarm clocks for you.

Dental Care

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Alcohol-free Mouthwash

Grooming Tools

Hairbrush/comb, shaving devices, hair dryer if you use one

Sleep/Lounge wear

Pajamas, Bathrobe


T-shirts, shirts that are warmer if the weather is cold, a nice shirt for special occasions


Jeans, sweatpants for exercise, a nice pair of pants for special occasions


Shorts for warmer weather and exercise


Tennis shoes, flip flops for the pool and beach, maybe even some comfortable slippers

Undergarments, socks

Comfortable underwear, casual and sport socks


A light jacket, warmer jacket if the weather is cold

Bathing suit

Especially in warmer climates there is a good chance you may be able to make use of a bathing suit


Regarding other toiletries such as soap, shampoo, hair products, sunscreen, soap, or skin lotions you may bring with you, ensure these are alcohol-free. Many of these items may be provided in higher levels of care.

Though writing materials are usually provided, free to bring your journal, extra notebooks, your favorite pen, etc. You may also want to bring additional reading materials like books, spiritual and otherwise. Items such as photos of loved ones, friends, may also be brought. The idea is to be as comfortable as possible while you are in treatment.

Regarding access to funds, you will not have direct access at higher levels of care. Typically, your family  can securely deposit money into a designated personal account on-line for you. These funds are allotted in increments to you by the staff when necessary and to pay co-pays, purchase tobacco and other permitted products. Your funds will become more readily available to you as you progress through to the lower levels of care.

Prohibited Items

As mentioned previously, there are items that are strictly prohibited while you are in treatment.

Drugs & Alcohol

Alcohol, drugs, or anything containing addictive substances such as cough syrup are obviously not permitted under any circumstances. Supposed “natural” substances such as Kratom are also strictly prohibited.


Weapons are, of course, strictly prohibited. Guns, knives, or any item that can reasonably be construed and used as a weapon is not permitted at any time.

Electronic Devices

Smart phones, lap tops, or any devices with a camera are not permitted to have on your person in higher levels of care. These items are stored in a highly secure location. As you progress through treatment into the lower levels of care, you will eventually be given your phone back and it will be your responsibility once again.

If you have additional questions, reach out the facility you are going to. In most cases, they will be happy to answer any and every question you have. These people truly care and are typically willing to do whatever they legally and ethically can to ensure you arrive in treatment safely and as prepared as possible.

You are about to embark on the next phase of your new life clean and sober! It’s an opportunity of a lifetime that we don’t want you to miss!

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