What to Include in a Care Package for a Loved One in Rehab



  July 12, 2018    

Entering an inpatient or residential rehab facility can be a difficult step to take. Sending a care package to your friend or loved one is a thoughtful way you can brighten their day and show support. You may not always know how much they need or appreciate it.

Whether you are sending a letter or a gift, it is ultimately the thought that counts. Any sort of correspondence sent to a loved one entering or in treatment for addiction nonetheless serves as a reminder that you care.

However, if you are in need of some ideas to get you started on a creating a care package that will make their treatment experience a little brighter, be sure to check out the recommendations provided below.

General Reminder: It is important to note that most rehab facilities often have rules dictating what items, or ‘contraband’, may not be permitted to be in a patient’s possession. The specificity of these items can vary by facility. Before sending your care package, it may be best to call the treatment center and ask a staff member whether or the items you are sending will be appropriate.

You may also wish to be mindful of whether or not an item or message you are sending could be triggering or detrimental to their healing process. Staff may be able to offer some guidance on this matter as well.

Items to Include in a Care Package

Photographs

Some individuals may be entering a new environment away from family and friends for the first time in their lives. Having photos of family and friends, or depicting happy memories, can be a comfort as your loved one settles into the new treatment environment.

Inspiring Poems & Quotes

It can be difficult sometimes to relay messages of support and positivity to loved ones undergoing intensive treatment for an addiction; thoughts, prayers, and messages you may have intended to be motivating can be misconstrued.

However, if you know a poem, lyric, or quote that you know will be a welcome reminder for your loved one, it may be a special addition to your care package. While it is recommended you avoid any messages that may be negatively associated to times of struggle in their lives, it is again the thought that counts. Even an inside joke may be appreciated.

Comfortable Clothing

Rehab facilities are not exactly Paris Fashion Week, and one thing that becomes highly appreciated when going through addiction treatment in a new environment is comfortable clothing.

Depending on the symptoms that have occurred as a result of your loved one’s substance abuse, your loved one may even experience physical changes that could mean needing clothing that will better fit them as they progress in their healing process. Familiar clothing items can also remind a person of their individuality and help them feel more at home.

Personal Hygiene Items

Going into rehab can sometimes be a stressful time where individuals may be running around to get everything ready for their admission. Thus, they may forget to bring basic items for personal hygiene, such as shampoo, conditioner, body soap, lotion, and more. Not only is it unhygienic to be without these items, but receiving them can be a refreshing, fragrant comfort to have for both basic hygiene and self-care purposes.

Puzzles, Word Game Books, & Coloring Books

In-between individual and group therapy sessions, mealtimes, and other therapeutic activities, individuals may have free time for leisurely activities under supervision of our staff.

Items such as puzzles, word puzzles/searches, and coloring books tend to be popular as they are a stimulating, yet also pleasant way to help put or keep one’s mind at ease.

Writing in a journal is also encouraged for individuals receiving substance abuse care, as it can be an immensely insightful means of self-reflection during the recovery process. Thus, you may also consider adding in a colorful journal or sketchbook to your care package.

SOBA Recovery is very supportive of family and friends keeping in touch with their loved ones as they enter our programs, as it can be both helpful and healing to be reminded of their external support system.

While there may be times throughout the treatment process that communication or outreach may need to be limited, you can certainly contact treatment staff for questions regarding this and reschedule your communications with your loved one accordingly.

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