Complete Guide to Inpatient Rehab Packing List | We Level Up New Jersey

Make a thorough packing list for inpatient rehab to ensure a smooth transition. Check with the rehab facility for specific recommendations or restrictions. Tailor the packing list to individual needs and facility guidelines. Continue reading to learn more about rehab packing list do’s and don’ts.

What Can I Bring With Me to Inpatient Rehab?

When preparing for rehab, it’s crucial to understand the items that are allowed and prohibited according to your treatment center’s policies. Most centers offer a suggested rehab packing list and outline items that are not permitted. Generally, you can bring essential items, but rules about additional belongings may differ among centers. Upon arrival, the admissions process includes a bag inspection to ensure safety and compliance with guidelines. Some facilities may also document your belongings to ensure nothing is left behind upon completion of your stay.

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What Do Most Rehab Facilities Suggest You Bring?

Inpatient rehab centers differ in policies, with some being more strict than others. Ask the admissions team for a packing list as you prepare for rehab. For the most part, it’s recommended to bring the following:

Most Common Rehab Packing List

  • A list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of those you wish to have involved in your treatment (loved ones, friends, family members, healthcare professionals, 12-step sponsors, etc.).
  • Jewelry that you wear every day and consider to be a necessity, like your wedding ring or a watch. Otherwise, leave valuable items at home.
  • An alarm clock that does not have a radio. Some centers will supply these, so check with yours before buying one.
  • Your current prescription medication is in the original pharmacy bottle with the information label intact. Any liquid medications must be new and sealed. You should also bring a list of all your prescriptions and dosages.
  • A small amount of cash ($50 to $100 in smaller bills for store runs, vending machines, etc.).
  • Use your checkbook, credit card, or debit card to pay for treatment medications.
  • Your insurance cards and identification (driver’s license, passport, etc.).
  • A calling card (if your facility requires them for long-distance phone calls).
  • A notebook or journal.
  • Pictures of your loved ones to keep in your room or wallet.
  • Your rehab will likely provide reading materials for you. If you bring your books, they must be about recovery, self-help, or spiritually oriented if you want to bring your own. TIP: get paperback books as they’re easier to carry around than hardcovers.

Getting ready to spend the next few weeks in a rehab facility can be a bit frightening and exciting at the same time, but preparing ahead can make the transition a lot more manageable.

Basics of Rehab Clothing to Bring

Your essential clothing items should be modest, comfortable, and appropriate for the climate and weather where the rehab facility is located. Pack pieces of clothes that layer well so you can adapt quickly to areas that are too warm or cool, so you’ll be comfortable during outdoor activities.

How much clothing to bring also depends on how long you’ll stay in rehab. Remember that the space in your room may be limited, so don’t go overboard. Also, you’ll have access to a laundry room, so don’t worry about running out of clean underwear and other items.

It would help if you planned on packing the following from your wardrobe:

  • At least a few long-sleeved and short-sleeved T-shirts.
  • A few sweaters, pullovers, or jackets for layering. Even in the middle of summer, there may be areas of the building where the air conditioning makes you chilly.
  • Jeans, sweatshirts, chinos, and other comfortable casual pants.
  • Underwear and undergarments.
  • Socks.
  • Sleepwear, slippers, and a robe.
  • Comfortable footwear such as sneakers or walking shoes—you may be on your feet doing chores such as cleaning or tidying up or participating in physical activities.
  • Flip flops for the shower.
  • Shorts for a warm weather stay (check with the facility first to ensure they’re permitted.)
  • Fitness and outdoor clothing that stretches wicks away moisture and moves with you when you do, mainly if the facility offers adventure therapy and other physical activities.
  • You can wear one or two slightly more formal outfits for family night or other occasions where loved ones visit.
  • Sunglasses and a hat to shield yourself from the sun.

If you’re entering rehab in a cold climate during the winter, you’ll want to bring warm winter accessories such as a coat, gloves, water-resistant boots, and a hat in case you venture outside. Generally, it’s a good idea to avoid bringing clothing that’s too tight or revealing, or that displays alcohol or drug paraphernalia. Even if you’re not entering rehab for drug or alcohol abuse, the imagery can remind others of what they’re battling.

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Look for the We Level Up NJ rehab packing list in this article to simplify the process of entering the program. Generally, try to pack light and keep it to the necessities.
Look for the We Level Up NJ rehab packing list in this article to simplify the process of entering the program. Generally, try to pack light and keep it to the necessities.

Personal Hygiene and Beauty Products Rehab Packing List

It is vital to remember that most rehab centers will instruct you to bring alcohol-free products for obvious reasons. The amount needed will depend on the length of stay, but it is a general rule to pack enough of something for a 30-day stay. 

  • Deodorant and perfume/cologne.
  • Soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner.
  • Hairstyling products as needed.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Feminine hygiene products.
  • Sunscreen lotion.
  • Lotion, facewash, or similar products.
  • Makeup, such as lip balm, as required.

While packing your toiletries, be sure to check the labels for alcohol. If alcohol is in the main ingredients of the product, then leave it at home. Believe it or not, products like hairspray and hand sanitizer are high on the what-not-to-bring list.

These banned items contain denatured alcohol ethyl alcohol before it’s chemically modified. During alcohol detox, people have been known to drink spray gel, perfume, or even face wash when the cravings become too overwhelming.

Can You Smoke Cigarettes in Rehab?

If you smoke, most rehab facilities will allow you to bring cigarettes with you. While smoking rules will vary based on where the rehab center is located, complete smoking bans in rehab facilities are rare. If your treatment center allows cigarettes and you do bring them to rehab, make sure that the package you get is unopened and that you pack enough to last the duration of your stay.

Can You Have a Cell Phone in Rehab?

While some rehab facilities allow cell phones, others have banned them altogether. Others fall somewhere in the middle and will enable the use of cell phones for certain activities. Rehabs that allow cell phones emphasize the importance of contact with friends and family throughout rehab. On the other hand, facilities that don’t allow cell phone use do so to keep their clients focused on their recovery and free of distractions from outside influences.

If bringing your cell phone to rehab is crucial to you, rest assured that there are treatment centers that allow clients to use their phones. Also, ensure you clarify the cell phone policy with your treatment center before arriving on-site to avoid surprises.

Thinking of Bringing a Pet to Inpatient Rehab?

Pets provide unconditional love and support without judgment or expectations. For this reason and many more, it’s understandable that people find the presence of their pet comforting and want to bring a pet with them to rehab. Unfortunately, finding treatment centers that accept clients and their furry companions can be difficult. Most rehabs have no-pet policies for legitimate reasons, including licensing issues, potential liabilities, and sensitivities to other clients’ allergies.

Clarify the pet policy with your treatment center before arrival and make other housing arrangements for your pet before leaving for rehab that doesn’t allow animals. While your pet may not understand why you’re going for a few weeks, remember that you’re getting sober to build a better life for you and your animal companion.

Packing for rehab can be tricky when you’re unsure what to bring. While most treatment centers will provide clients with a rehab packing list of approved items, don’t be scared to ask questions and seek clarification on what you’re allowed to have with you in rehab.

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What You Should Not Bring to Rehab

All rehabs prohibit certain items and have strict rules. They do so to ensure your safety and create an excellent recovery environment. It varies by center, but the following items are almost always banned:

  • Drugs and alcohol.
  • Narcotics or prohibited prescriptions.
  • Weapons.
  • Razors, scissors, knives, or other sharp tools.
  • Pornography.
  • Food or drinks.
  • Toiletries and beauty products that contain alcohol (mouthwash, perfume, etc.).
  • Electronic cigarettes.
  • Unapproved or previously opened OTC medications.
  • Nail polish, polish remover, or synthetic nail-related products.
  • Video games and DVDs.
  • Sporting equipment.
  • Revealing clothing (tank tops, sleeveless shirts, midriff-bearing tops, etc.).
  • Aerosols.
  • Cleaning supplies (bleach, ammonia, etc.).
  • Electronics (televisions, gaming consoles, etc.).
  • Games and playing cards.
  • Candles and incense.
  • Clothing with profanity or references to drugs, alcohol, or violence.

You’ll also find that outside food and drinks are banned because many centers maintain a moderate sugar and caffeine environment. Three meals a day, snacks, and beverages will be provided to you. If you have special dietary needs, notify your rehab before you’re admitted.

We Level Up New Jersey Rehab Packing List Summary

Review the We Level Up rehab packing list to ensure you have all the necessary items for your stay.

Clothing Rehab Packing List

  • 2 Weeks’ Worth of Clothing.
  • Seasonal Clothing.
  • Outdoor Activities Attire.
  • Slippers, Sandals, Flip Flops, Sneakers.

What To Not Bring

  • Inappropriate Clothing.
  • Low-cut shirts.
  • Spaghetti strap shirts.
  • Tank tops.
  • Short skirts or shorts.
  • Clothing that exposes garments.

Toiletries Rehab Packing List

  • Unopened or untampered with products only.
  • Shampoo, Conditioner, Deodorant, Toothbrush, etc.
    Hairbrush, Blow Dryer, Flat Iron, Beard Trimmer, etc.

What To Not Bring

  • Products with alcohol in the first five ingredients.
  • Aerosol hairspray or hair dye.

Medications Rehab Packing List

  • Prescribed Medications.
  • Non-Narcotic Medications Only.

What To Not Bring

  • Narcotics and alcohol.
  • Over-the-counter medications and vitamins.

Electronics Rehab Packing List

  • You may bring an MP3 player.
  • Ipod.
  • E-Reader.

What To Not Bring

  • Internet-accessible and camera devices
    are not permitted.
  • Phones will be locked up after admission.

Valuables Rehab Packing List

  • Personal ID and Insurance Card.
  • Credit/Debit Card.
  • Small Amounts of Cash.

What To Not Bring

  • Jewelry.
  • Large amounts of cash.

Rehab Packing List: Others

  • Stamps and envelopes.
  • FMLA Paperwork.
  • Contact Information for Doctors.
  • List of written Emergency Contacts.
  • Books for Reading (keep to a minimum).

What Not to Bring: Others

  • Pets.
  • Gum.
  • Pornographic Materials
  • Guns, Knives, Chains, Razor Blades, etc.

A more promising future is waiting for you at We Level Up New Jersey. Deciding to come to treatment is step one. Packing correctly for rehab is step two. Use the We Level Up rehab packing list to guide what to pack and what items should be left behind. If you have questions or concerns, please get in touch with our admissions team for answers and more information.

Where To Find Rehab Packing List Information?

If you need help with what to bring or have questions, contact the admission team of the treatment center. Some centers also provide printable packing checklists. If you need help finding the information, call the admissions office for assistance; they can answer your questions and guide you through the admissions process.

If I Bring Something Prohibited to Rehab, Will I Get It Back Later?

Arriving at a rehab center with prohibited items in your possession might initially cause concern, but rest assured that most rehab facilities have procedures in place to address this situation. If you’ve unintentionally packed something against the center’s rules, they will work with you to resolve it efficiently.

In many cases, rehab centers allow the person who brought you to the facility to return the prohibited items home.

However, if you find yourself without someone to take the items home, some rehab centers may hold them for a limited time, usually 24 hours, until someone can pick them up. Communicating with the center’s staff is essential to understand their policies and procedures. This is especially crucial if you travel by plane and won’t have a companion upon admission. In scenarios where it’s not feasible for someone to pick up the prohibited items within the given time frame, some rehab centers may offer to store them for you until you complete your stay and are ready to leave. This arrangement ensures you can retrieve your belongings without undue stress during rehabilitation.

For those traveling by plane, contacting the rehab center before departing is advisable to confirm their policies regarding prohibited items. Some centers may have protocols for shipping these items back home, offering a convenient solution for individuals without immediate access to a friend or family member to retrieve the belongings.

If you need help understanding the rehab packing list information, call the admissions office for assistance; they can answer your questions and guide you through the admissions process.
If you need help understanding the rehab packing list information, call the admissions office for assistance; they can answer your questions and guide you through the admissions process.

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It's a good idea to call your rehab facility to learn what they recommend packing for your stay so that you'll know what not to bring. Most facilities are happy to provide all incoming clients with suggested items and rehab packing list.
It’s a good idea to call your rehab facility to learn what they recommend packing for your stay so that you’ll know what not to bring. Most facilities are happy to provide all incoming clients with suggested items and a rehab packing list.

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  2. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. A Guide to Substance Abuse Services for Primary Care Clinicians. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 1997. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 24.) Chapter 5—Specialized Substance Abuse Treatment Programs. Available from:
  3. Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy [Internet]. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2005. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 41.) 5 Stages of Treatment. Available from:
  4. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Opportunities in Drug Abuse Research. Pathways of Addiction: Opportunities in Drug Abuse Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1996. 8, Treatment. Available from:
  5. Find Help and Treatment – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  6. Substance Use Treatment For Veterans – Veterans Affairs (.gov)
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  8. Recovery Is Possible for Everyone: Understanding Treatment of Substance Use Disorders – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
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