Laying the Groundwork: A To-Do List for People Heading to Recovery

Steps to prepare for rehab

If you’ve decided to check into a drug or alcohol recovery program, congratulations – you’ve made a conscious, albeit difficult, decision to get the help you need to turn your life around. It takes courage and faith that things can get better. It also takes some time to prepare for rehab. There are details and responsibilities in your life that won’t go away because you’re going into a recovery program. 

Making arrangements in advance will allow you to focus totally on recovery and prevent distractions that could hamper your efforts. You’ll be much happier once you’ve completed your program not having a laundry list of lingering responsibilities and problems waiting for your return. And it’ll be easier to maintain sobriety and draw on the lessons you’ve learned if your stress is at a low level. 

Cover the cost of your treatment

Learn all your options and arrange to cover the cost of your treatment. Find out if the treatment facility you’re entering has a financial counseling service and offers financing, which can make it much easier to handle the expense. Don’t forget to check your health insurance policy to see if your treatment is covered. If not, it may be necessary to look into alternative funding options, which are sometimes available through state social security and other sources. 

Education yourself.
How Medical Insurance Companies Attempt to Deny Addiction Treatment


Let them know you’re going to rehab

You may be reluctant to let people know you’re going into a substance abuse recovery program. However, you don’t want your friends and loved ones to wonder what happened to you and why you disappeared all of a sudden, so let them know before you check in. Sometimes, it’s better to tell someone before gossip starts and people begin to panic. 

Reach out to relatives if you need someone to keep an eye on things while you’re away (i.e. collecting the mail, feeding your cat, etc.). And check into dog sitting, dog walking or boarding services if you have a canine companion.  

Now that you are in Recovery – pay it forward

Your financial responsibilities, of course, won’t disappear while you’re in recovery, so arrange to have debt payments made while you’re away. In particular, don’t neglect utility or rent/mortgage payments, which can lead to some unwanted consequences, especially at this time in your life. If you know a car insurance payment will be due during your absence, take care of it in advance so your auto insurance (an absolute necessity) won’t be canceled. If you’re having financial difficulty, it may be necessary to call creditors and try to make special arrangements or ask for extensions on debt payments. It’s no one’s favorite task, but it’ll get one more problem off your plate.

Remember there is no contraband material allowed in treatment centers

Checking into a rehabilitation facility means there are certain things you cannot bring with you, particularly objects that could hamper your recovery and encourage a return to self-destructive behaviors. That means nothing that contains alcohol or drugs, no sharp objects, nothing of a pornographic nature, jewelry or inappropriate clothing. Remember, you’re making a clean break with a lifestyle that’s taken control of your life. Leaving it behind means leaving behind its physical manifestations. 

Packing for rehab

Bring only those items necessary for day-to-day living such as clothing, toiletries, prescription medications (which recovery staff will hold and monitor for you), books, personal photos and any cash you might need. Don’t bother packing anything else. Reducing physical burdens is part of turning the page on a new life. 

Recovery is a serious and intense process that requires all your energy and your full attention. Check off all to-do tasks ahead of time so you’re not distracted and able to focus on your health. 

10 thoughts on “Laying the Groundwork: A To-Do List for People Heading to Recovery

      1. The one i just finished is on 3 different approaches to finding sobriety. But the information you provide in this post is so amazingly helpful. Its stuff i wish i would have known before I went to rehab. Thank you for letting me use your blog to help myself and others! Your post are so helpful and insightful!

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Thank you for sharing, these are all sound principals to begin the challenging road to recovery. I think it’s great that you’ve portrayed how important it is to plan ahead for these very realistic dilemmas that every addict will likely wrestle with while in rehab.

    I know there is a link in your section about ‘letting others know…’ with some cursory info on how to address this, and I am always curious to read on this subject covered thoroughly. It’s a task on this to-do list I personally have struggled with- maybe a topic for a future post if not already discussed? At any rate, thank you, and well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Penelope Smith,
    This was a well outstanding informative post you have shared on this page about the recover of people from a alcohol drug into daily life routine but If you’ve tried rehab before without successfully conquering your drug or alcohol addiction, you might be interested in trying a viable alternative – holistic rehab. Holistic rehab teaches participants how to encompass all areas of their health. These programs focus on connecting mind with body and spirit to help clients stop using drugs or alcohol.

    Liked by 2 people

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