Hearing that your loved one has decided to enter an inpatient drug addiction treatment program can be music to your ears, but he or she will need your help and support on this journey. One way that you can help is to assist with obtaining and packing the personal items that will be needed during the program. Some family members even pack bags ahead of time in the hopes that the person struggling with addiction will finally agree to treatment. If you want to help with this task, here are some things to pack for your loved one.
Personal Hygiene Items
Pack a toiletry bag with soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste. The facility may require that these items be sealed and in their original packaging to prevent your loved one from bringing in prescription or illegal substances, so be sure to pack new items that have not yet been opened. A toothbrush, hairbrush, and comb are also handy items to put in the toiletry bag.
If your loved one takes prescription medications, such as insulin or asthma medication, ask the primary care physician to issue paper prescriptions for these items or to send over a copy of your loved one's medical charts to the rehabilitation facility. This documentation will confirm that the medications are needed for your loved one's health. You'll also need to have new prescriptions filled and delivered to the facility unopened. Ask the pharmacy to bag each bottle of medication separately along with a printout of the prescription information stapled to the bag. The bags should be brought to the rehab facility unopened to ensure that the medication inside is the same medication your loved one needs.
Giving money to a person struggling with addiction can be a sensitive issue for some family members, but a small amount of cash will likely be needed for use in vending machines or to purchase personal items from the store. Some facilities do allow patients to make trips to local stores under the supervision of staff as their progress in the program continues. Ask the rehab facility if money is allowed, and if so, who should receive the money. In some cases, the facility will hold the money and determine when patients can have access to it. This is because having access to cash can be a trigger for some people to attempt to purchase drugs.
Having pictures of friends and family can serve as a source of inspiration for those struggling with addiction. Pack pictures of all the people important to your loved one, including siblings, children, and parents. Be careful about sending pictures of friends, as sometimes those friends have also been part of the drug addiction cycle. In addition to photos, consider having each family member write a letter of support that can be used to lift your loved one's spirits on difficult days in treatment.
The inpatient facility can provide a full list of items that are required and items that are not allowed. When packing clothes, look for simple, comfortable apparel. This might include robes, sweats, T-shirts, and sweaters that can be used for layering and maintaining comfort.