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How to Prepare for Addiction Treatment

Medically Verified: 2/1/24

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Going to a drug and alcohol rehab center can be scary, but it can help to know you are prepared before you leave. Even though going to rehab is the most important thing you can do for yourself, there are several small things you may need to take care of to prepare for addiction treatment. If this is your first time going to rehab, it’s important that you make sure your family, pets, finances, work, and other obligations are taken care of before you arrive at the treatment facility for intake.

Telling Your Family, Friends, and Employer About Going to Rehab

If your family and friends are close to you, they may already know you are going to rehab. In this case, you’ll want to make sure any obligations you have towards them are taken care of. If you are a caregiver to children, pets, or elderly parents, you’ll want to make sure you have a friend or family member who can make sure your loved ones are cared for while you are in treatment.

Telling an employer that you are going to rehab, on the other hand, may be more difficult. However, anyone who truly appreciates and values you as an employee will want you to get help, get healthy, and stay healthy. The healthier and happier you are, the better you will perform at work. Fortunately, most jobs are protected giving employees up to 12 weeks of medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, so you should be able to keep your job during rehab.

Prepare for Addiction Treatment By Packing Only the Essentials

Even if you’re going to a long-term or 90-day treatment program, the only things you will really need are the essentials. You may have limited space to keep your personal belongings, so it’s important to pack light. In addition to a week’s worth of weather-appropriate clothing, some items you’ll want to bring to rehab include:

  • Your current prescription medications in their original bottles/package
  • Your ID and insurance information
  • A list of important and emergency contacts
  • Basic grooming and hygiene products (must be alcohol-free)
  • Credit card, debit card, and/or a small amount of case

Preparing for rehab doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. If there is anything else you’d like to bring, be sure to check with the treatment provider to see whether or not it is an item you should bring. Most supplies will be provided by the treatment center, requiring you to only bring yourself and your essentials.

Figure Out How To Stay Connected With Your Loved Ones

Depending on where you are going to rehab, your loved ones may or may not be able to come and visit you. If you are going to a facility that is too far away, you’ll want to plan for how you will keep in touch with your loved ones during treatment. Most addiction treatment centers will allow you to bring letter-writing supplies and stamps so you can write and mail letters. They will also have allotted time slots where you can call your friends and family, so be sure to make a list of names, phone numbers, and addresses that you can keep with you. If you want to write letters, be sure to purchase a journal, writing materials, envelopes, and stamps.

Take Time to Relax When Preparing for Rehab

Trying to prepare yourself for addiction treatment can be stressful. That is exactly why it is so important to take time for yourself to relax and do something you enjoy. If you’re feeling nervous or your withdrawals are setting in, try taking a warm bath and watching your favorite show. If your anxiety is getting the best of you, get outside and take a walk at your favorite park. This will help get your mind off your anxiety until the time is ready for you to go to rehab.

Spend Time With Your Loved Ones Before Leaving for Rehab

While it may feel as though there are a million things you should do to prepare yourself to go to an addiction treatment center, one of the best things you can do is spend time with your friends and family. After all, you may not be able to see them as often while in rehab, so it’s important to soak up that quality time while you can. Being surrounded by your friends and family will also help you stay reminded of why you are getting help in the first place – to get healthy and enjoy life with the people you love.

Start Preparing for Addiction Treatment Today

Before you can prepare for rehab, the first step is to admit you need help from an addiction treatment center. Getting help for drug and alcohol addiction is a major decision that can save your life. Don’t wait any longer – pick up the phone and call us today to get started on your journey to recovery.