What to Pack for Rehab in New Jersey

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Most drug and alcohol treatment centers in New Jersey have pretty strict rules regarding what you can and cannot bring. The safest way to know what to pack for rehab is to check with the treatment center first and ask for a checklist of items to bring and items that are prohibited. You’ll want to look over this list thoroughly to save yourself time and trouble during the admissions process.

As soon as you arrive for intake at the treatment center, a staff member will inspect your suitcase and personal belongings to make sure you didn’t accidentally bring any prohibited items. By being prepared and knowing what to pack before you go to rehab, you’ll make the intake process as simple as possible.

Things You Shouldn’t Bring to Rehab

The rules set in place by addiction treatment centers are there for your own safety. Prohibiting patients from packing certain personal items also helps create a drug- and alcohol-free environment for everyone at the facility.

While each rehab center will have its own rules, here is a list of items that are almost always banned at New Jersey addiction treatment centers:

  • Drugs and/or alcohol
  • Narcotic prescriptions
  • Weapons
  • Food and drinks
  • Toiletries that contain alcohol (mouthwash, hairspray, perfume, etc.)
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover
  • Inappropriate clothing (speak with your admissions counselor about your rehab center’s clothing rules)
  • Any type of aerosol or cleaning supplies
  • Candles
  • Pornography
  • Movies, games, or other electronics
  • Sporting equipment
  • Unapproved books and reading materials

If there is an item that you’d like to pack but you’re not sure if it is allowed, simply contact the rehab center and ask them about the item before you arrive.

banned items at New Jersey addiction treatment centers

What Happens If You Accidentally Pack a Prohibited Item?

Everyone makes mistakes and if you’ve packed a prohibited item there is no need to panic. Most drug and alcohol rehab centers will simply send the item home with whoever dropped you off at the treatment center. If your loved one has already left, the facility may hold onto the item for 24-48 hours until a friend or family member can come to pick it up. Other addiction treatment centers will store your item in a secure location until you have finished treatment.

If you have packed something illegal, such as an illegal drug, or have tried to sneak alcohol into the treatment center, they may confiscate the items and discard them appropriately.

Packing for Rehab: Remember the Essentials

While every New Jersey addiction treatment center is different, there are a few universal items that almost everyone will want to pack for rehab. These include:

  • Any prescription medications that you are taking. These should be kept in their original bottle with the pharmacy label in-tact.
  • A list of any prescriptions you are taking.
  • A small amount of cash as well as debit and/or credit card
  • Your ID and insurance information
  • A notebook, journal, writing utensils, and stamps for writing letters
  • A list of names, phone numbers, and addresses so you can stay in touch with family and friends.
  • Personal hygiene items such as deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving cream, lotion, sunscreen, makeup, hairbrush, and feminine hygiene products

Packing The Right Clothing for Rehab

Most drug and alcohol treatment centers will have a strict dress code that you are required to abide by. Due to the dress code and the limited space you may have to store your items, it’s important to only pack the clothes that you need and will actually be able to wear.

One important thing to consider when figuring out what clothing items you should pack for rehab is the weather. If it’s the middle of summer, you probably won’t need a winter coat. If it’s the fall, on the other hand, you may want to bring layers to adjust to New Jersey’s changing seasons.

Be sure to bring:

  • Shoes for everyday wear, lounging, and activities/sports
  • Socks
  • Weather-appropriate shirts
  • Pants/shorts
  • Sweatpants and/or pajamas
  • A bathing suit
  • One or two dressy or nice outfits for special occasions
  • Gym clothing

You will be able to do laundry while at rehab on a weekly basis, so there is no need to bring more than 7-10 days worth of clothes. You’ll also want to focus on comfort and function rather than fashion because most of your time will be spent in therapy sessions and support groups.

The Right Clothing for Rehab

What Happens If You Forget An Item That You Need?

While packing for rehab you may be stressed out about leaving your home, scared of going through withdrawals, and nervous about going to treatment. As a result, it’s completely understandable if you forget to pack something. Depending on what it is you’ve forgotten, it may be handled differently.

If you’ve forgotten something basic, such as shampoo or toothpaste, the treatment center will likely have extras on-hand to provide to you. If not, they will make accommodations to be sure you have the sanitary items you need. On the other hand, if you’ve forgotten something like your notebook or credit card, you may have to wait for a loved one to drop it off or mail it to the treatment facility.

Regardless of the situation, you won’t be forced to go without something that you absolutely need. New Jersey addiction treatment centers will make sure you are fully taken care of.

Find Help Today

Whether you need help figuring out what to pack for rehab or you need to find a rehab center for yourself or a loved one, we’re here to help. Call today to speak to a dedicated treatment provider about getting started with substance abuse treatment in New Jersey.

Medically Reviewed: January 8, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


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

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

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

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