• Tyler Zuccarelli

How To Prepare For Rehab And What Should You Bring?

What can I bring to rehab? What can't I bring? What can I expect from rehab?


These questions are all commonly asked once you've decided to go get treatment. We will be addressing these concerns and much more in this blog post.


What is Rehab?


First, let's start by defining the term "Rehab.” In this case, we can define rehab- short for rehabilitation, as the process of someone getting treatment for drug or alcohol abuse. Rehab is the first step towards a life without addiction. There are several different types of rehab, but we will discuss two of the most common.


how to get in rehab
Source: LA Valley Recovery

Inpatient and outpatient treatment are the most common types of rehab.


Inpatient programs are when you stay at a facility that provides you with living accommodations. Inpatient treatment programs are also referred to as residential treatment programs.


Outpatient treatment programs are non-residential and are when the patient spends a specified amount of time during the day or evening in treatment and then is allowed to return home afterward.


Learn more about residential treatment programs here.


For the rest of this post, we will discuss the best practices to prepare yourself for inpatient treatment.


What Do You Need To Know Before Going to Rehab?


Preparing for inpatient treatment is a critical first step for starting your recovery off on the right foot.


However, before heading to rehab, you must know the rehab center's policies. These policies vary from rehab to rehab, so check with them before you admit yourself.


Rehab centers have policies you can refer to for more information on what you should expect, what you should bring, and what you should not. These are commonly listed as FAQs on their websites, or you can ask them over the phone.



What Are The Steps You Need To Take To Prepare For Rehab?

Once you have committed to entering rehab, it is time to consider the steps necessary to be fully prepared for your treatment.


Before admitting ourselves, many of us worry about our obligations, such as work, friends, family, financial and legal needs, and other personal things. Worrying and feeling overwhelmed once we commit to recovery is normal, but it will be okay.


How to prepare for rehab will differ for person-to-person, but there are common steps we can take to prepare ourselves for our stay.


We will discuss some steps below to help ensure your peace of mind when entering rehab for your treatment.


checking into rehab
Source: LA Valley Recovery


Work and Family


If you are employed and are entering an inpatient treatment program, you may hesitate to talk to your employer about this. Any employer that values their employee's well-being will support you in your recovery. You have the right to get help if you need it.


Check out our recent blog post, "Can I Get Fired For Going To Rehab?" for more in-depth information on this.


If you have children, make sure you ask family or friends to help take care of them while you care for yourself. You can look for temporary care services elsewhere if no one is available.


Your friends and family will understand and support your decision to get treatment. Nevertheless, telling everyone about your decision to seek help is not necessary. Whomever you choose to share this personal information with is entirely up to you. It is a personal decision that will impact the trajectory of the rest of your life. Therefore, it is advised that patients share this information with discretion.



Financial and Legal Needs


Before entering treatment, ensure you take care of any outstanding finances, such as bills. Set up an automatic payment method if possible, or entrust someone close to you to make the payments for you.


If necessary, let your attorney know about your treatment and that you will be out of town for some time.


What To Bring To Rehab?

  • A written list of names, phone numbers, and other contact information of important people that may need to be contacted during your treatment stay

  • Parents, Spouses, Siblings, and or Doctors

  • Basic Identification

  • Drives License

  • Insurance cards

  • Seven days of clothes

  • An alarm clock

  • Prescription Medications. Make sure you have the medication in the pharmacy-provided bottle. No loose pills. Medication such as over-the-counter pain relievers and sleep aids may be provided if needed by medical professionals.

  • Some Money in smaller bills ($50-$100)

  • Personal Hygiene items (shampoo, soap, deodorant, and the likes)

  • Cigarettes/E-cigarettes

  • Journal / Notebook

  • A book (many rehab facilities provide a lot of reading material on a wide range of topics relating to addiction and self-help, so make sure your text is on these topics.)

  • Photographs of a loved one

What To Not To Bring To Rehab?

  • Drugs or alcohol of ANY kind, excluding prescription medications.

  • Computers / Tablets / Other (smartwatches, portable gaming devices, etc.)

  • Food or beverages

  • Sharp Objects or Weapons (guns, knives, needles, etc.)

  • Any Profanity on clothing or in printed form


going to rehab in la
Source: LA Valley Recovery

What To Expect At Rehab?


You can expect to be a bit nervous and curious about how your daily life will work once you start a treatment program. However, you will likely find yourself and others going through the same things, so it is nice to know that you are not alone.


The staff will begin by evaluating you and taking basic information, such as; asking you about your mental or physical health, drug(s) of choice, family history, and other addiction-related details.


You can also expect to undergo detox and experience severe to minor withdrawal symptoms. These two processes differ depending on what substance you were using, how much you were using, and your last time of use.



We offer a state-of-the-art, evidence-based medical drug and alcohol detoxification program at LA Valley Recovery. We provide round-the-clock care in a safe and secure environment surrounded by professional staff. For more on our detox program and other treatment services, check out our treatment services page here.


The duration of your stay at any rehab center will be one of the most challenging yet most important things you will ever have to do in your life. You will obtain the knowledge and skillset necessary to stay sober. However, it is up to the individual to do the work needed once their stay is over. Picking a high-quality rehab center such as LA Valley Recovery will improve your chances of being successful in recovery.


If you are thinking about getting help for drug or alcohol addiction—or know someone who needs help—contact us today by phone or fill out our contact form on our website here.