What Should I Pack to go to Residential Treatment?



The days leading up to your entering substance abuse treatment can be stressful to say the least. You have accepted help for your addiction and are waiting to begin your journey in recovery, but many people feel a great deal of trepidation due to the uncertainty surrounding the treatment process and how it all works. One common question we hear as clients prepare to enter our residential facilities concerns what they should bring with them in terms of clothing, toiletries, and other sundry items for their time at our facility. Let’s review some things you should definitely bring with you as well as some things to avoid packing for your stay in residential treatment.


In terms of clothing, most treatment centers have on-site laundry facilities available to you during your stay, so you need only bring around a week’s worth of outfits. Depending on the location of your treatment center, you may want to pack for both warm and cold weather. If you have opted to enroll in treatment at Evolutions, the climate here in South Florida means you should pack for warm weather, with perhaps a sweatshirt and one pair of long pants in case of a cold snap. Residential treatment usually runs for at least thirty days, so checking the weather forecast for the location of your treatment center will give you a sense of the temperatures in that area, but you should not rely too much on weather forecasts. Better to pack for a variety of weather conditions and be prepared than be caught in the rain with no umbrella, so to speak!


When it comes to toiletries and personal care items, it is best to pack lightly rather than overdo it, especially given the restrictions many treatment centers have regarding toiletry items. While it is common knowledge that many mouthwash products contain alcohol and are therefore prohibited at residential treatment centers, you may be surprised to learn that many hair and body care products also contain alcohol, and as a result are also prohibited. As you are packing your toiletry back, you should review the ingredients list of each product you wish to take with you to ensure it will not be confiscated upon your arrival. Bear in mind many treatment centers have basic toiletry supplies available to their clients, and you will have one day a week to shop for groceries and other essentials, so there is no need to pack enough to last you the entire duration of your stay.


The days leading up to your attending a residential treatment program should be a time of hope and relief, as you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and have successfully taken the first step towards recovery. However, for most addicts and alcoholics it is unfortunately a time of heightened stress and anxiety, as we are all naturally inclined to fear change, and our disease preys on our mind in an attempt to preserve its grip on our lives. Hopefully now that you have a bit more information about what exactly you should pack for your stay in residential treatment, there is one less worry causing you anxiety during this transitory phase in your life. Above all else, remember that you’ve already taken the hardest step and admitted you have a problem. Just follow through on your commitment to attend treatment, and don’t sweat the small stuff! If you find you’ve forgotten to pack something essential, you can always get a replacement to get you through. If you have any questions about things you should bring or should leave home for your time at Evolutions, our Admissions Counselors are standing by around the clock to provide guidance and answer. Call us at any time at 833-818-3031 and let us unburden you of some of the stress as you prepare to begin your journey in recovery!



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