Receiving professional treatment for a Substance Use Disorder is a no small undertaking. The stress it brings forth can begin even before you arrive at the facility. Feelings of being overwhelmed, intimidated, and having second thoughts are normal to have, and this can be true even if it’s your 2nd, 3rd, or 10th time around. Whether you have committed to getting well on your own volition, were spurred by concerned friends and family, were recommended by the courts, or for any other reason—once you have made the decision, the process gets set into motion. If you’ve decided on inpatient treatment, it’s time to get packed.
While there are situations where a person’s professional treatment trajectory is propelled by emergency incidents, they may not have the opportunity to pack their belongings. In these cases, facilities will often allow loved ones to pack up their things for them or to send them to the facility later. Homesickness is also a factor for many at residential programs, so having items from home can be a great source of comfort.
What to Pack
Every rehab facility will have their own set of recommendations for what to bring. This is especially important for what climate and time of year you’ll be there for your stay. For example, if you’re going to a facility in New Hampshire, you probably won’t want to bring shorts and t-shirts in the middle of January. Use your discretion and judgement in terms of climate, and you should be good with clothing.
In general, the list of items you’ll want to include in your suitcase is quite standard. At Granite Recovery Centers, we suggest bringing the following items in one single suitcase:
- List of current medications and dosages
- Prescription medications in the original labeled pharmacy bottles (*any liquid medication must be new and sealed)
- Insurance cards
- One or more forms of ID
- 5-7 shirts
- 5-7 pairs of pants or shorts
- 7 pairs of underwear and socks
- 2 pairs of pajamas
- 1 pair of sneakers or comfortable shoes
- 1 pair of slippers
- 1 jacket
- 2 sweatshirts
- Hairbrush or comb
- Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, shaving supplies, soap)*
- Nail clippers
- Addresses and phone numbers
- Hair dryer
- Flip flops (for the shower)
*Note: These items cannot have alcohol in the first three active/inactive ingredients. There is no such thing as “inactive” alcohol.
As our facilities are all located in New Hampshire and we experience seasonal changes, we’ve compiled a list of items weather-specific for you to pack when appropriate:
- 1 pair of winter boots
- 1 winter hat or earmuffs
- 1 pair of winter gloves or mittens
- Clothing for layering
If there are other items you would like to bring and are unsure about, it’s best to ask the Admissions Specialist when you’re arranging your arrival. We try to accommodate everyone’s basic comforts during the duration of their stay, but also hold everyone to the same set of rules so there is fairness across the board. Your main focus is your recovery, so you likely won’t be too concerned with your outfit choices.
It’s a good idea to have enough packed for a 30-day stay. Though the amount of time you stay is subject to change and it’s better to be overprepared than under, your space for personal belongings will be limited. You will also have access to laundry facilities, so avoid over-packing and you’ll be good to go!
What Should I Leave at Home?
As you are attending treatment for a Substance Use Disorder, there are strict guidelines on what you can’t bring. Some of these items may seem a bit obvious, but others are more innocuous.
Things you should leave at home:
- Alcohol or drugs
- Unlabeled/sample/mixed medications
- Herbal products/supplemental vitamins
- Weapons of any kind
- Electronic equipment including (but not limited to): cell phones, MP3 players, headphones, etc.*
- Excessive makeup, clothing, or jewelry
- Rolling/chewing tobacco
- Cigars, cigarillos, or pipes
- Vapes or electronic cigarettes
- Clothing with inappropriate or alcohol/drug related wording or logos, or sexual content
- Baseball caps or flat brimmed hats
- Short shorts/skirts
- Halter tops, tank tops, or shirts that expose your midriff
- Pillows, blankets, comforters
- Toiletries with alcohol in the first three active or inactive ingredients
- Games, card decks, or sporting equipment
- Perfumes, colognes, body sprays, or aerosols
- Expensive items of any kind
- More than $50 cash
- Outside food or beverages
- Paints or permanent markers
- Tide Pods
*Note: if you bring an electronic device of any kind, it will be locked in secured property for the duration of your treatment.
If you have any questions on items you can bring or cannot, it’s always a good idea to talk with the Admissions representatives. Lists are subject to change, and we’re always happy to help clarify any questions you might have.
Having small comforts of home can make the process a lot easier, and can serve as small tokens of what’s waiting for us when we are well enough to being our life anew.
A few optional items you might want to pack:
- Journal or sketchbook: Great for getting down personal thoughts you’re having in a place just for you
- Coloring books: Drawing and coloring is now known for its meditative and therapeutic benefits, which are a great way to take a break between groups to let your mind relax
- Stationery and stamps: to write to friends and loved ones
- 2-3 books
- Family photos
Though we don’t allow electronics or music players, we encourage guests to bring along books for when they have some downtime. We do have televisions onsite, but reading is especially good for before bedtime.
A lot of emotions are often felt while in treatment, and it is a fruitful time for personal reflection and introspection. You’ll be doing a lot of that in group therapy, with counselors, and in your writing, but having these extra items can offer some extra comfort and self-care.
Treatment at Granite Recovery Centers
Addiction treatment is no small endeavor. It is a mentally, emotionally, and oftentimes physically taxing process that aims to align you on this journey to better yourself and your life. Our commitment is to keep you comfortable and safe while you are going through this pivotal process.
If you or a loved one is struggling with Substance Use Disorder and would like to learn more about the programs we offer, we’d be happy to chat. Our Admissions Specialists are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. Please give us a call at 855.712.7784 today.