How Should I Prepare For Rehab?

If you have made a commitment to attend rehab in order to recover from a drink or drug addiction – congratulations! This is the first step in your journey to getting your life back on track. It is completely normal to feel apprehensive about attending rehab. For many of us, it is an unknown experience, but there is no need to feel anxious or scared. Staff in your rehab centre are there to help and support you, and will be encouraging at all times. If you are going to attend rehab for the first time, you may have wondered how you should prepare for your stay.


What You Should Pack To Prepare For Rehab

There are many items that will not be allowed by rehab clinics, so it important that you follow rules and pack appropriately for your stay. The average rehab therapy programme lasts 28 days, if not longer, so it’s important that you are properly prepared and have what you need to last the duration of your stay. Some rehab clinics will let you mimic your home environment as much as possible, as they feel it aids recovery, while others may be more strict. It depends on where you are staying, so be sure to make contact with them and ask questions on this. Here’s a general list of things you should bring with you for a rehab stay, regardless of the facility you have chosen:


Make sure you have packed enough clothes for the duration of your stay (you’d be surprised at the many people who don’t, or who don’t pack clothes at all!). Make sure the clothing is comfortable. If you are staying in a facility with access to sports or a swimming pool, you may also want to take swim and sportswear for during down time. Bring warm clothing or a jacket for outdoor activities, as many rehab centres offer outdoor/nature therapy. Many rehab clinics offer a free laundry service, so you’ll be able to wash your clothes during your stay – don’t bring a month’s worth of clothing!

Cosmetics & Toiletries

Many rehab clinics will offer basic toiletries like toothpaste, soap and shower gel, but it is always advisable to bring these products with you. Be sure to pack enough for the duration of your stay. Most rehab clinics will not allow toiletries containing alcohol (such as mouthwash). If you want to take these kinds of toiletries, make sure they are alcohol-free. Women should also bring packs of feminine hygiene items with them for the duration of their stay.

Electronics, Magazines & Books

As part of your treatment in rehab, you will undergo intensive therapy sessions. Between these sessions, you will have down time to spend how you’d like. To prevent boredom and to keep your mind active, you should bring plenty of reading material such as an engaging novel or your favourite magazines. Self-help books for addiction are usually encouraged by most rehab clinics, and some may even have such material readily available. Some rehab clinics may also let you bring acoustic instruments if you are musically inclined. Many rehabs allow patients to bring in their electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones, but not all do. You should check whether these items are permitted at your chosen rehab facility and consider whether you are happy with such policies before signing up. You may also want to take a journal, as writing your thoughts and feelings can help you deal with emotions you have during your stay.


If you are currently on medication that has been prescribed by your GP, make sure you bring enough of it to last the full amount of time that you are in rehab. Bring a prescription note from your doctor, as some rehab clinics will ask further questions regarding medications and the taking of them.


Prepare To Take Time Away From Work and Family

If you are going to enter rehab, you will need to speak to your employer about your forthcoming treatment. Do this in plenty of time so that they can arrange cover for your role while you are away. You may have to take time off as holiday, leave on SSP or unpaid leave – this should be discussed with your employer.

If you are a carer and take care of a disabled or elderly relative, you will need to make sure that care is in place for them while you are away having treatment. If you have children or pets, you will also need to arrange child and pet care while you are gone. In organising this aspect of your daily life before you enter rehab, your mind will be put at ease and you won’t be worrying about your home life and distractions while you are receiving treatment.


Ensure That Your Bills and Mortgage Are Covered

You may want to get in touch with your utilities companies and mortgage lender before checking in to rehab to tell them that you will be away for a month. You can then arrange for automatic payments to be set up through direct debits, or for someone else to make them in your absence. If you have any debts, try to get these paid off before entering rehab. When you exit rehab, you want a clean slate and a life that is free from stress. You do not want to be worrying about financial difficulties. Pay off any credit cards or loans so that you can have a clear mind upon leaving rehab.

If you have any further questions about how to prepare for rehab, speak to us today at Rehab Clinics Group and we can help you to get ready for this all-important recovery journey.

Laura Smart - Author - Last updated: November 21, 2022

Laura is a qualified counsellor and behavioural therapist specialising in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), REBT (Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy), ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy), ICT (Inner Child Therapy), MI (Motivational Interviewing), Hypnosis and Mindfulness practice. She has experience working with individuals suffering from conditions such as problem behaviours, internet and social media addictions, depression, anxiety, anger management and trauma.