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Packing List For Inpatient Treatment (What to Bring)

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Deciding to enter recovery is a brave step towards a happier, healthier life free of substance use disorder. At these facilities, there are mental health professionals who can give you the highest quality of care within a safe environment and are ready to help you enter the world of recovery. You can now put your drug use and/or alcohol use behind you. 

packing rehab sober speak treatment center

Packing for inpatient treatment, residential treatment centers, or rehab can be daunting during this stressful time. Listing your items and categorizing them into necessary and optional items is good. Today, we will discuss the packing process for an inpatient facility. So leave those bare midriffs and high heels behind, and get out your sweats and t-shirts. Let’s get ready for rehab.

What to Bring

Going through the rehab process can be a challenging time, and packing for it can make you feel even more stressed out. That’s why it’s important to get a friend or family member who does not drink or do drugs to help you pack for your trip. Once you know which treatment center you are going to, ask for a list of what you are allowed to bring and what is not allowed. Don’t forget to inquire about laundry facilities. It’s always good to know if there’s a place to wash your clothes when you need it. That will help you know how much to pack. If there are laundry facilities, you will be able to wash and pack less.

Here are some general items that you may find on the list of things to bring to your treatment center. It’s advised to leave behind valuables such as expensive jewelry, nice clothing, and fancy shoes. You should also bring a suitcase or a large duffel bag with you if you have one.

Let’s begin by compiling a list of essential items.

Must Have

We believe the following items are must-haves: Check with your facility to verify what you need to bring.

packing for rehab treatment centers sober speak
  • Shirts: Bring both long sleeves and short sleeves. Pack a cardigan and sweatshirt. Leave behind low-cut tops and bare midriffs.
  • Pants: Pack easy-to-slip-on pants, both warm and cool. Make sure your pants fit correctly—nothing too tight or too big.
  • Nice outfit: Some centers have a family night or dance night.
  • Undergarments.
  • Activeware.
  • Pajamas
  • Robe
  • Slippers
  • Warm Socks
  • Cool Socks
  • Shoes: Slip-on shoes, tennis shoes, sandals
  • Swimsuit (If your center has a pool)


Everyday items to help you prepare for the day and wind down at night.

  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Hair Brush
  • Hair Clips
  • Disposable Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving Cream
  • Make-up
  • Make-up Remover
  • Female Hygiene Products
  • Incontinence Products

Personal Items

  • Leisure Materials: Spiral Notebooks, Word Games, Crossword Books, Favorite Books
  • Foam Earplugs (In case it’s loud at night)
  • Comfort Items: Favorite Blanket, Pillow, Picture Frames
  • Phone Numbers Of Friends and Family
  • Medical Devices: Hearing Aids, Sleeping Machines

What Not to Bring

  • Alcohol or any Drugs of Any Kind
  • Cell Phones or Any Electronics
  • Firearms or Ammunition
  • Lighters or Matches
  • Plastic Bags, Like Grocery Bags
  • Anything with Sharp Edges – No Razors, Knives, Blades
  • Inappropriate or Revealing Clothing
  • Video Games
  • Nail Polish Remover
  • Sharp Objects
  • Fireworks of any Kind
  • Any that Has Alcohol Ingredients
  • Aerosol Cans
  • Glass Bottles, Glass Containers, Glass Mirrors
  • Inappropriate Shirt Logos
  • Offensive Material
  • Revealing Clothing
  • Medications of any Kind


Please keep in mind that you should ask your treatment facility about the items you are allowed to bring with you. If you expect to stay in the hospital for an extended period, you may need to bring more stuff than what we have listed here.

It’s a good idea to inform your close friends and best friend about your decision to enter rehab, so they can write you letters. Receiving letters will be fun and will help you stay connected with the outside world.

This is a new chapter in your life, and we are delighted for you. We hope that SoberSpeak will continue to play a vital role in your recovery journey.

If you or someone you know is seeking addiction treatment centers, SoberSpeak can offer you a reliable resource. By calling 888-831-4586, you can connect with a free service that can assist you in finding the best possible solution.

About the author
Shannon M
Shannon M's extensive experience in addiction recovery spans several decades. Her journey started at a young age when she attended treatment aftercare sessions for a family member and joined Alateen meetings, a support group for young people affected by a loved one's addiction. In 1994, Shannon personally experienced the challenges of addiction and took the courageous step of joining Alcoholics Anonymous. This experience gave her a unique perspective on the addiction recovery process, which would prove invaluable in her future work. Shannon's passion for helping others navigate the complexities of addiction led her to pursue a degree in English with a minor in Substance Abuse Studies from Texas Tech University. She completed her degree in 1996, equipping her with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide compassionate and effective support to those struggling with addiction.