What Should I Pack for Drug Rehab?

What Should I Pack for Drug Rehab?

By In Addiction Recovery, First Steps
Posted March 24, 2015

You’re going to rehab. This is the best decision of your life, but you’re a mess. Now you have to do something as simple as pack a suitcase and suddenly your anxiety is off the charts.

It’s okay. I understand. You’ve probably been on the couch or locked in your bedroom for the past few weeks. When I made the decision to go to rehab, I was in a pretty dark place. My mind was in freak-out mode while my body (which had been detoxing for two days) was completely exhausted. I would stare at my suitcase and feel as if packing was this impossible obstacle.

After I got to rehab, I realized I wasn’t alone. I remember one of my housemates coming to me with her own suitcase story, “Why did I pack this weird pillowcase, and one sock, and these boots, but zero jeans?”

Two weeks into rehab, many of us ask family or friends to send us care packages with the things we didn’t realize we’d need, —like our makeup or an extra bra. I guess we didn’t stop and realize that we weren’t going to feel like death for our entire stay, so shuffling around in sweatpants would eventually get old.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to provide you with a quick list of things you’ll likely need for your stay at drug rehab. If you think of anything I’ve left out, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Oh, and if you’re a guy and you see feminine items on the list, feel free to realize they’re not for you.

What Should I Pack for Drug Rehab?


Underwear / Bras
Yoga Pants or Sweat Pants (something comfortable)
Tank Tops
1-2 Dressier Shirts (You may want to attend church or look nice at a meeting)
Workout Clothes (After detox, you’ll want to get active)
Gym shoes
Flip Flops
Shoes that can be worn with your dressier clothes

Clothing note: You may gain weight in rehab, especially if you’re at an unhealthy weight right now. You’ll want to pack clothes that aren’t currently tight and maybe throw in some things that will still fit if you were a few pounds heavier.


Shampoo / Conditioner
Other Hair Products
Hair brush / Hair ties
Toothbrush / Toothpaste
Feminine Products

Other Stuff:

A blank journal
Pens you like to write with
Ear buds (Bring two pair if you have them. You’ll probably lose one)
Your iPad or Laptop if you have one (You can lock these items up when not in use)
Any current meds you are on (in the prescription bottle)
Your Bible

You can bring other things, like nail polish, nail polish remover, and mouthwash, but keep in mind, you may not be allowed to use them. When I was in rehab, I brought nail polish remover and it was locked up and could only be used if I was supervised. It’s all for your own protection, so don’t freak out if you’re not allowed to keep your perfume or certain hair products or toiletries. You won’t lose them.

Also, anything you forget, you’ll be able to get at the store. There’s a grocery store run once per week, so don’t stress about anything you may forget.

If you follow the list provided above, you’ll have the basics to feel comfortable and you won’t have to borrow a ton of things from other people. Oh, speaking of borrowing…If you smoke, and you bring cigarettes with you, you’re going to be asked for cigarettes constantly. I don’t mind that sort of thing, but some people do, so just keep that in mind. You’re about to live in community with quite a few other people who are all fighting for their life, just like you, so try to be friendly, even if you feel terrible. It will help you in the long run.

Congratulations on your decision to go to rehab. This is the beginning of a new life for you!

If you’re still unsure, take a look at the video testimonies from very happy former clients of The Shores.

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