Can You Bring Books To Rehab?

Most inpatient rehab centers let you bring books. However, some centers only allow certain types of books, such as self-help books and books about recovery. Other centers allow all books except those containing offensive content, including pornography and positive portrayals of substance misuse.

When recovering from drug addiction, many people develop or rekindle an interest in reading. Indeed, a good book can relax you, distract you from the stress of recovery, and expand your mind.

If you enjoy reading, you might wonder if you can bring your books to your inpatient addiction treatment center. Here’s what you should know.

Can You Bring Books To Rehab?

In general, yes. However, most drug rehab facilities only allow certain types of books. Before packing, contact a specialist at your treatment facility and ask about their book policy.

Some facilities allow most reading materials except those that include offensive content, such as pornography or positive portrayals of substance misuse.

Other facilities only let you bring books focused on recovery, self-help, or spirituality. That’s because other books may distract you from your treatment plan.

When Books Are Prohibited

In addition, although rare, some facilities forbid bringing any books. However, they may provide their own reading materials for you to enjoy, especially books associated with recovery and mental health.

Paperbacks Or Hardcovers?

Often, facilities that do allow books recommend that you bring paperbacks instead of hardcovers. That’s because paperbacks are lighter and easier to carry around different areas of the facility.

For instance, some facilities have recreation rooms where you can read alongside other people in your treatment program.

Other facilities have peaceful outdoor spaces where you can enjoy the soothing effects of nature while you read. Studies show that spending time in nature eases stress. Since reading also eases stress, it’s a great idea to combine both activities.

The less stress you feel, the easier your recovery process.

Can You Bring E-Books To Rehab?

Many inpatient rehab centers allow physical books but not e-readers. Other centers encourage you to bring e-readers instead of physical books so you can save space when packing. However, in most cases, you will not be allowed to connect your e-reader to WiFi.

This rule prevents patients from using the internet unsupervised. Most centers heavily regulate internet use to protect you from triggers that may increase your risk of relapse. Relapse triggers often found on the internet include:

  • advertisements for alcohol or other drugs
  • advertisements for bars or clubs
  • social media posts or news articles about drug use
  • social media posts from people you used to do drugs with

Some people may also get triggered by any content they find stressful or upsetting. That’s why many facilities ban not only e-readers but also other electronic devices, including cell phones and laptops.

During rehab, you will learn coping skills to help you manage these triggers once you finish treatment and start using the internet again.

When Can You Read Books In Rehab?

Some rehab centers won’t let you read your books during the first week or two of treatment. That’s because these early days often involve medical detox.

Not During Detox

During detox, doctors keep you comfortable and safe as you get drugs out of your system. They may also prescribe medications to ease your withdrawal symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, nausea, and sweating.

The detox process requires a significant amount of energy and focus. To help you concentrate, some programs don’t let you access your books or other forms of entertainment until detox ends. However, they may give you reading materials about detox or recovery in general.

Designated Times

Even after you complete detox, you may only be allowed to read your books at certain times. That’s because most treatment programs involve daily schedules to give patients a sense of structure.

Typically, this schedule will include therapy, support groups, and other types of treatment. Between treatment sessions, you will have free time for reading and other healthy activities, such as journaling, meditating, and exercising.

These activities can help you stay calm and focused on your treatment plan. That’s why many doctors recommend you make them part of your daily routine.

What Else Should You Bring To Rehab?

As with books, each rehab program has its own rules regarding what you should bring. Most facilities recommend you pack the following items:

  • your driver’s license or other valid form of identification
  • your insurance card
  • a credit or debit card and a small amount of cash for vending machines
  • clothes you can layer depending on the weather
  • basic toiletries, including soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste
  • photos of family members and friends
  • envelopes and stamps so you can send letters to your loved ones
  • journals or notebooks
  • an alarm clock

In addition, you can usually bring prescription or over-the-counter medications, as long as they are approved by the rehab facility and sealed in their original containers.

Prohibited Items

You should also find out which items are prohibited. Most inpatient treatment programs ban the following items:

  • alcohol and illicit drugs
  • cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vaping devices
  • hygiene products that contain alcohol (such as certain mouthwashes, body washes, and aftershaves)
  • nail polish remover (as it usually contains alcohol)
  • clothes with offensive content, such as profanity or drug references
  • weapons
  • valuables, such as jewelry
  • candles or incense
  • aerosol products, including hairspray and bug spray
  • DVDs
  • video games
  • food and drink

Some facilities also ban MP3 players, cameras, and all sharp objects, including razors and nail clippers. Contact your rehab facility for more specific guidelines.

To learn more about rehab, please reach out to Northeast Addictions Treatment Center. Our compassionate healthcare providers offer personalized, evidence-based treatment options to help you or your loved one thrive.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

Published on

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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