The following pieces of advice are things I wish I had known prior to entering into my residential treatment program. 

  1. Deliberate Packing

It is important to steer clear of putting anything in your luggage that is sharp or otherwise forbidden by rehab staff. Of course, exceptions will be made for items that are required for your healthcare needs. Contraband is going to be spotted and seized immediately and not returned until the time of your release. It is also possible that while the items are being held, they will be lost or damaged. Thus, it is best to simply leave such things at home rather than bring them to a residential treatment center.

 Make A Deposit At The Facility Commissary

Most residential treatment facilities have on-site stores for which it is possible to deposit funds for the purchase of key items including toiletries, stress relievers and possibly even snacks. Upon my own arrival, a few of the things I brought along where seized by staffers, and I lacked a funds deposit at the store. It was therefore necessary for me to contact my parents and request that they send money. However, the entire process took multiple days to complete. As a result, I was unable to brush my teeth for a long while. The takeaway is to make certain there are funds at the ready once you arrive.

  1. Obtain A Prepaid Calling Card

Generally speaking, rehabilitation facilities forbid patients from holding onto their personal phones during their says. This is because most phones provide Internet accessibility, something that can expose patients to dangerous materials that can prompt setbacks. Keeping patients away from their phones lowers the risk of relapses and exposure to obstacles to their recovery.

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Of course, there is still a need and a desire to remain connected to friends and family during this difficult time. The smartest way to make this happen is to write down a list of telephone numbers and bring along a prepaid calling card with sufficient funds loaded onto it. I found these items to be the most critical to my success, because it afforded me much-needed links to the world beyond the facility. Time spend in treatment often feels quite restrictive, so having a portal to those outside can make all the difference.

  1. Focus On Relaxation

There is no denying that treatment is going to be a truly draining time of life, but the key is to concentrate on relaxation as much as possible. Upon my initial arrival, I felt truly panicked. The whole process seemed unreal to me, and this is common for those who have never been to rehab before. Focus on yourself for once, because now is the time to acknowledge that your addiction has the potential to ruin your life. Give recovery your all and try to relax and let go.

Time spent in a treatment program is not going to go on indefinitely. I have gone to a residential facility on two occasions, and I am happy to report that life is much better for it. The thing to keep in mind during your time there is that you have made it to exactly the right place. Give in to the fact that your life is about to improve, your family is glad you are there, and that you can do the work required to turn things around. Upon release, you will realize that all of the difficulty and sacrifice was well worth it.

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