Sending care packages to a loved one in rehab requires a bit of thought and creativity. Most rehab centers have guidelines you’ll need to adhere to, so be sure to check those before you get shopping, too.

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind before we offer a few ideas for gifts for someone in rehab:

  • Follow all rehab center rules for gifts and packages.
  • Avoid anything related to addictive substances, even photos with beer or wine in the background.
  • Avoid sending parcels that could be triggers. Consider triggers of photos, memories, etc.
  • Ask the facility staff for recommendations. They might draw from specific conversations with your loved one or offer an example of gifts that are received well during rehab.
  • Depending on the sensitivity of your loved one, you might avoid sending any items that are too personal as all packages are searched by facility staff.

Now that you know what to avoid sending as gifts for people in rehab, let’s look at a few good gift ideas.

Keep it personal

Nothing is more fulfilling in receiving a package than one filled with items that communicate how much the sender knows, loves and appreciates the recovering addict. A package filled with warmth and genuine consideration fills the patient with love and boosts self-esteem. Both of these are necessary to catalyze momentum for a safe and promising recovery from substance abuse.

gifts for someone in rehab

Gifts for Rehab Patients

Exercise membership

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of recovery is staying sober after rehab. While patients learn tools and different ways to practice saying no to substances, the idea of a sober life is still daunting. What will they do when they get out of rehab? How will they enjoy the day? How will they stay sober without group therapy and scheduled activities?

Exercise classes make an awesome gift because they give the recovering patient promise of a sobriety tool waiting for them post-rehab. Try sending a month of yoga, a month of a jiu-jitsu, a month of pilates, a month of cross-fit. Anything that will make your loved one feel confident about pursuing sobriety after rehab.

Guided meditation MP3s

Is there a meditation podcast you are listening to at home? Since most rehab centers do not allow smartphones, look for a CD or MP3 version you can send.

Inspiring books

Recovering from a substance of use is a biological process, but it’s also an emotional one. If you have books that helped you find yourself or comforted you in hard times, send them to your loved ones as encouragement to keep growing.


Writing is one of the most therapeutic outlets for self-discovery. Consider a daily gratitude journal, a goals journal, a self-betterment journal or just a book with lined pages in which your loved one can detail their thoughts.

Healthy cookbook

Staying healthy will fuel sobriety and a stable outlook on life. Send a cookbook or cooking lessons to get your loved one excited on a new, healthy hobby.

Yoga membership and tools

Yoga has long been a way to heal the body and the mind. While nobody can be forced into a yoga studio to become a practitioner, anybody’s eyes can be opened to the practice and philosophy of yoga. Send a beginner’s guide to poses or some light reading on the chakras. After rehab, your loved one might be inspired to start going to class and continue the inner-healing work that began in group session and counseling.

Craft activities

Working with the hands does wonders for the heart and body, so why not send gift cards for craft activities that your loved one can enjoy after rehab? Consider painting, pottery or anything else that is available in your town.


For more advice on gifts for a recovering alcoholic or addict, reach out to our friendly staff at United Recovery Project.