How Can I Prepare for Rehab?

Calendar icon Last Updated: 06/20/2024

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The better you’re prepared for rehab, the better your experience and recovery are likely to be. After choosing an addiction treatment center, you must make for being away from home, work, and other important responsibilities so you can focus strictly on your recovery the moment you arrive at rehab. This involves making arrangements for children and pets and making sure all your personal and professional affairs are in order so you can resume your daily life more seamlessly and with less stress following treatment.

Tie Up Loose Ends

Many people, especially those with comorbid mental disorders or a lack of social support at home, need residential or inpatient care. Remember, this will mean that you won’t be able to leave the facility to take care of daily tasks until you are finished with your treatment program. Therefore, it best to take care of all the loose ends you will not be able to control once you are in treatment.

  • Make sure a friend or someone you trust will be able to pay your bills for you while you are away. You can also set up automatic bill pay so that you will not have to worry that your rent and other important expenses are taken care of during this time.
  • Your pets may need to be taken to a kennel or a friend’s house or, if you have more self-sufficient animals, someone can be arranged to look in on them while you are gone.
  • Many businesses have specific courses of action for just this type of issue so employees can seek treatment. Many employee assistance programs can even help you make sure your job will be protected while you are gone.
  • Make arrangements for childcare, so your kids are well taken care of while you’re at rehab. Ask for help from family members and your closest friends, or consider enrolling your kids in special programs like summer camps if this is a feasible option for your family.

Call the Facility

Call your rehab center to learn everything you need to know about your stay so you can make the necessary preparations. Many rehab centers will provide you with important information such as the length of the program and your stay, and whether you can bring certain personal effects.

Questions you may want to ask your rehab center:

  • What items am I allowed / not allowed to bring to the facility?
  • What type of clothing should I bring?
  • What will my daily environment be like?
  • What amenities will I have access to?
  • Will I have a roommate?

Ask your inpatient rehab center if you can tour the facility before beginning treatment. This can help you better prepare for what to expect and make you feel more comfortable about your decision to get help. Feeling comfortable about your living environment while at rehab can help you experience a more fulfilling recovery and put to rest any doubts you may have about treatment.

Know What to Bring––and What Not to Bring

It is important to call the rehab facility before you begin treatment to find out what is allowed and not allowed at the center itself. You wouldn’t want to bring anything that could get you kicked out of the program or that could be confiscated. Remember, anything related to drugs or alcohol (often including mouthwash, cleaning products, etc.) will be banned from a rehab facility. Call the center itself to find out what else is prohibited. In most cases, it is important to bring

  • Casual clothing, sneakers, and shower shoes
  • Money, credit/debit cards, or checks to pay for your expenses
  • An alarm clock
  • Pictures of your family and friends
  • A journal

Rid Your Personal Space of Substances

After you leave rehab, you’ll no longer have any use for alcohol, drugs, and paraphernalia. Before going to rehab, rid your home, car, and office of any existing substances and paraphernalia so you can come home and experience a fresh start without triggers or temptations that could interfere with recovery and cause a relapse. This includes unopened bottles of alcohol, old prescription bottles, lighters, and any other items that facilitate alcohol and drug use. If you’re unable to do this on your own, delegate this task to a trusted friend or family member who can remove these items from your personal space.

Talk to Others

People who have already been to rehab can offer great insight into what the experience is like so you know more about what to expect once you get there. If you don’t know anyone who has had a successful, rewarding experience with rehab, consider attending open support group meetings where you can meet others in recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are just some mutual support groups that are open to anyone who has a problem with alcohol or drug use or who thinks they may have a problem with substance abuse.

Your other options include using the Internet to chat with people in online support groups and forums who have been to rehab, and speaking with doctors, therapists, and addiction treatment professionals who can tell you more about life at an inpatient or residential rehab. Talking to other people about rehab may help ease anxiety and make you feel more excited and confident about your recovery.

Seek Treatment Today

Find rehab programs where you can safely begin your journey of recovery under the care of medical professionals. Look up addiction resources in your state now.