For the majority of individuals who commit to addiction treatment, asking for help is the most difficult part of the process by far. As soon as you make the decision to seek clinical care and take the first steps towards doing so, the worst is already behind you. Next, you have to begin preparing for your stay in rehab. The preparation process will vary depending on where the rehab center is located and the duration of your stay. For example, if you are committing to a 28 day stay at a local rehab, your preparation process might look a little different than if you are committing to 90 days in a rehab center across the country.

Keep in mind that feeling a little bit of overwhelm as you pack up for rehab is completely normal. Not only are you about to embark on a personal journey of healing (which can be tough), you are diving headfirst into the unknown (which can be scary). Remind yourself that you are brave, you are capable, and in a short matter of weeks you will be well on your way to living a life beyond your wildest dreams.

Planning for Addiction Treatment

If you or someone you love is going to rehab for the first time, you might be wondering what to expect. Maybe you have a loose interpretation of the treatment process based on a movie or television show you’ve seen. In reality, going to treatment is pretty straightforward. You will pack your bags, make sure your personal affairs are in order, and travel to a drug and alcohol rehab where you will stay engaged in intensive treatment for a predetermined period of time. Once your treatment program has concluded you will return home and carry out your day-to-day life just as you did before, only without the inclusion of drugs or alcohol.

Because you will be focusing all of your mental and emotional energy on your recovery, it is a good idea to feel as prepared as possible. Of course, the most important step is deciding which rehab center you are going to attend. Once you have a plan of action in place, the next steps are simply packing and making sure all loose ends are tied up. To learn more about the process or to ask any additional questions about preparing for treatment, contact Recovery Centers today.

Packing Checklist

When it comes to packing for treatment, the simpler the better. You will want to pack enough clothing for roughly one week (you will usually be able to do laundry on-site), and keep extraneous belongings to a minimum. You don’t need to pack a pair of heels or a party dress, your bowtie collection, or 30 houseplants. Stick to the essentials, and double-check with your treatment center to see their specific guidelines. We have developed a basic packing checklist to help make preparing for your time in treatment as easy as possible.

What to Bring

Remember to pack the following for your stay in treatment:

  • A few basic t-shirts and comfortable pants. Avoid bringing clothing with any potentially offensive images or logos. Keep it very simple!
  • A pair of sneakers and a pair of slippers or comfortable shoes.
  • Several pairs of clean socks and underwear.
  • Toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant. Do not bring any perfume or cologne, no mouthwash, and no products that contain any amount of alcohol.
  • Medications that were prescribed to you in their original packaging with the original labels.
  • A blank journal or notebook.
  • You can bring a book so long as it is not triggering and does not contain controversial subject matter, but be prepared for the book to be held onto until your departure if it is deemed inappropriate by your treatment team.

What to Expect from Addiction Treatment

What should you expect from the treatment experience itself? Are you going to be sitting around in a circle with other individuals, crying and talking about your feelings? What exactly are you signing up for?

Depending on the level of care you choose, addiction treatment typically consists of a full day of therapy and recovery-related group workshops, punctuated with recreational activities and an introduction to the 12 Step model. Depending on the treatment center you choose you will either have three meals a day prepared by an on-site chef or professionally catered, or you will go on weekly grocery trips and be responsible for preparing your own meals. There is generally very little downtime in treatment, and all residents are expected to wake up by a certain time every morning and go to bed at a reasonable time every evening. You will not be able to leave the treatment facility on your own, and you will have 24/7 access to a group of support staff members who will be able to help guide you through the recovery process.

Steps to Take in Preparation

We encourage you to take the following steps when preparing for your treatment stay. If you have any additional questions about the recovery process, reach out to us at any point in time.

Personal Obligations

Make sure all of your personal obligations are being taken care of. What does this mean? Try to avoid just not showing up for work — speak with your employer and let them know you are going to be taking a leave of absence for health-related reasons. Make sure that any day-to-day obligations are being looked after (pet care, child care, plant care).

Financial Responsibilities

Make sure that your bills are set up to be auto-paid and that all other financial obligations are being taken care of in your absence. If you have any debt related to your active addiction, rest assured that it will be taken care of in time.

Shop for the Essentials

Be sure that you have enough comfortable clothing to tide you over, and make sure that you have toiletries of your own. Depending on the rules implemented by the treatment center you may or may not be able to go to the grocery store upon your arrival. Also make sure you have a small amount of cash with you; the staff will hold onto your funds until you need to use them.

Invest in a Journal

Bring a journal with you! Not only will you be able to document your time in treatment, but writing is a healthy way to process any uncomfortable emotions that might come up during your time. Journaling is also a great way to stay grounded in the present moment. You might choose to bring along some stationary as well so you can send letters to your loved ones.

At Recovery Centers we understand how difficult it can be to pick up the phone and reach out for help. While admitting that your substance use has become an issue is the first step on the road to recovery, the second step is even more important — taking action. As soon as you make the decision to contact us you will be well on your way to reclaiming your life and overcoming addiction. If you have additional questions about how to prepare for rehab or if you are interested in finding the best treatment center for you, contact us today. We look forward to helping you in every way we can.