What to Pack for Your Recovery

Written by Journey Pure Staff

The prospect of going to a residential treatment center for the first time can be stressful, and one thing that adds to the stress is not knowing what to pack for your stay at JourneyPure At The River.

Below is a list of things you’ll want with you in order to feel more comfortable and to get the most out of your time with us.


While treatment is scheduled to last 30 days, drawer and closet space for our clients might be more limited than they’re used to. Recovery, after all, requires few costume changes. Pack like you’re going away for two weeks and you should be good.

It’s important our clients remember that they shouldn’t be trying to impress anyone, and that the majority of their waking recovery time will be spent either in individual and group therapy (which means lots of listening, talking, and sitting) or involved in certain experiential therapies that we offer (equine therapy, adventure therapy). Either way, it’s essential that you dress for ultimate comfort: sweaters, sweatpants, tee shirts, jeans, that sort of stuff.

Also, be sure to pack a pair of boots or shoes that you can get dirty, for our outdoor activities. Flip-flops or shower shoes are also a good idea. Aside from bedtime, shoes must always be worn, so make sure you’ve got your most comfortable footwear.

Workout clothes might be nice, as you might be surprised how energetic you feel after a couple of weeks’ sobriety, and our experiential therapy treatments have been known to increase clients’ motivation. You also might want to throw in one relatively “dressy” outfit, for when loved ones visit.

The weather in middle Tennessee pretty much follows normal weather patterns—cold in the winter, (very) hot in the summer. The area tends to see higher-than-average rainfall, so rainproof gear, including an umbrella, isn’t a bad idea, especially if you foresee outdoor exercise or regular smoke breaks playing a part in your new life. By the way, bring cigarettes and a lighter, if applicable. Now is not the best time to quit smoking, on top of everything else.

Tight tops, tight pants, high heeled shoes, and clothing that promotes alcohol or drugs or any form of lawbreaking need to stay home.


Prescription drugs are of course allowed, so long as they don’t interfere with your recovery. Be sure you’ve got enough for your first 30 days and that it’s in the original pharmacy bottle with the information label intact. If you don’t have enough for the next 30 days, try to make arrangements with a friend or loved one to bring them to you at some point. To that end, a list of your prescribed medications, and their dosages, is recommended.

Non-prescription and illegal drugs are prohibited. Just don’t.


While you’re not coming to JourneyPure At The River to win any beauty contests, we recognize that it’s nice to at least feel comfortable with your appearance while you’re here. Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, deodorant, all the usual toiletries are allowed, so long as they’re not in glass or breakable containers. Razors are OK. Makeup is also allowed, though aerosol cans, powders, and perfumes are prohibited. No hand sanitizer or mouthwash with alcohol, either.


Tablets and smart phones are allowed during designated “tech times,” so pack them if you want, along with any chargers needed. TVs, beepers, MP3 players, radios, video games—they’re all prohibited, so leave them at home.

Books and magazines are encouraged, since you’ll soon find yourself with enough downtime to catch up on reading. A personal journal is also a good idea, as you may want to communicate—if only to yourself—any and all thoughts, feelings, and recollections during this fraught, fascinating time.

Personal Items

Don’t leave home without your photo ID and insurance cards. You’ll also want to bring a little cash for outings (no more than $50) and additional toiletries in case you need them.

With help from the overnight staff, the residential houses all wake up at the same time, so no alarm clock is needed.

Weapons of any kind—even supercool ones like nunchakus or that Gurkha knife your uncle brought back from ‘Nam—are prohibited.

Expensive pieces of jewelry, including watches, are best left at home. (Wedding rings are an exception, of course.)

Photos of loved ones are highly recommended, though, please, no glass frames.

No pets allowed, not even those little dogs that fit in a purse. With our stable of horses and a pet pig on the grounds (his name is Pootie, you’re going to love him) we’re full up when it comes to animals.

Treatment at JourneyPure at the River

If you or a loved one suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder or a chronic substance abuse problem, please contact us today. We offer medically-assisted detox services, individual and group counseling, and experiential therapies. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is ready for you to get healthy and stay healthy.