If you have a loved one in rehab, you may be wondering what you can send to them in a care package that will demonstrate your love and support. Sending a package to someone in rehab is very different than sending a package to a distant relative or a child away at summer camp.
Let’s start with some important rules to follow when sending any item to a loved one in rehab. These rules have been adapted and condensed from this helpful article.
Rehab Care Package Rules
- Check with the facility first. Contact the rehab facility to get their rules for all packages. Once you know the rules, make sure you follow them precisely.
- Get in contact with a staff member for recommendations. A staff member on site should be able to give you some solid recommendations. They may also inform you of specific items your loved one has requested.
- Do not send anything that may trigger thoughts of past substance abuse. Sending photographs can be helpful or hurtful depending on who is in the pictures and what is depicted. Never send anything associated with anyone using alcohol or drugs.
- Make the package personal. Put a lot of thought and consideration into choosing items that will demonstrate to your loved one that you care about them and that you are supportive of their recovery efforts.
- Remember your package will be searched by staff. All incoming packages will be carefully searched by staff members before anything is given to your loved one. For this reason, you do not want to send anything against the rules. Nor do you want to send anything too personal that could cause potential embarrassment.
So with the rules above in mind, what items can you send to your loved one in rehab?
Focus on the Senses
You can use the five senses as a guide to find helpful items that your loved one will appreciate. Here are some examples:
- Sight – portraits of beautiful landscapes, inspirational quotes in small frames, small decorative items
- Sound – soothing music or positive recorded messages from family members and friends (if they have a way to play them), simple musical instruments, funny (yet appropriate) cards that play music when opened
- Smell – room spray, lotion, body spray, soap, aftershave (make sure these items are allowed)
- Taste – snacks, treats, candy, gum, mints, etc. (choose items that follow the rules and will not melt during travel)
- Touch – soft personal items like pajamas, t-shirts, pillowcases, a robe, slippers, or a sweater
Another approach is to focus on simple pleasures that your loved one can enjoy in rehab. Here are some examples:
- Scented soap or shampoo – If your loved one has a favorite scent and scented products are allowed, you may want to consider sending them a scented bath product that will boost their mood on a daily basis.
- Books – If your loved one loves to read, send them some appropriate books. If they love comics, send some of those. Or if they love completing crossword or Sudoku puzzles, send a book containing several new puzzles.
- Socks – Send socks that match your loved one’s personality. Choose from colorful, crazy, classy, or super comfortable.
- Water bottle – Help them stay hydrated with a nice reusable water bottle.
- Workout clothes – Most rehab facilities incorporate some form of physical fitness into recovery. Consider a nice workout t-shirt or athletic socks.
In order to keep your gift personal, consider adding an item or two with an especially personal touch. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
- Letters – Ask other family members and friends to write encouraging letters. Gather them up and mail the bundle of letters in your package.
- Journal – Find a nice journal or notebook. You can even have the journal personalized by having their name embossed on the front. Consider adding some really nice pens as well.
- Treats – Send your loved one’s favorite treats, but pay close attention to dietary restrictions. If the rehab center doesn’t allow sugary snacks, you can focus on things like dried fruit, nuts, or whole grain snacks.
- Inspirational Quote Book – Compile uplifting quotes from your loved one’s favorite athletes, movies, songs, politicians, historians, and other famous people. Turn the quotes into a small book.
You can support your loved one in rehab by sending them the right care package. Remember to follow the rules and use some of the suggestions above to help you decide on the perfect items to include. Most importantly, remember that anything you send to your loved one in rehab should not detract from their recovery.
Renaissance Ranch Photo – From Renaissance Ranch
Other photos are from Fotolia
Guest Author Bio
HR is the founder and President of Renaissance Ranch and an Advanced Substance Use Disorder Counselor. He has worked in the substance abuse field for the last 12 years, as well as an additional 15 years of finance and business management experience. Through his personal experience in recovery, HR has developed a passion for helping people understand and overcome the disease of addiction.
Blog / Website: Renaissance Ranch