What to Bring / Not to Bring

What to Bring / Not to Bring

Please take a moment to review the following list of items below before packing for your stay at Cumberland Heights.

What Should I Bring and NOT Bring to Treatment

We strongly encourage prior to packing for Cumberland Heights, you take a moment to review the following list of items that will and will not be allowed during your stay here. Tennessee weather includes all four seasons. This will play a part in determining a patient’s needs while here.

If any prohibited items are brought on campus, our security team will document and securely store away for the duration of the patients stay.

Generally $10-$20 /week in spending money is sufficient for your book shop purchases and any other incidentals. Wallets can be stored in the safe in Patient Finance but we are not able to accommodate purses.


We encourage patients to bring the following items:

  • Several days of comfortable, casual clothes, including athletic/athleisure wear and tennis shoes – 3 bag limit
  • A Sweater or jacket
  • Comfortable Sleepwear and slippers, flipflops
  • Rain gear or an umbrella (umbrellas also freely available on campus)
  • Personal toiletries (soap, shampoo, hair dryer, etc.) – We can make arrangements if a patient forgets anything
  • Approximately $20/week for purchasing books, snacks and other miscellaneous items. There is a fully-stocked bookstore on campus which includes snacks, toiletries, clothing, recovery books and more.
  • Coins for vending machines, etc. (we can make change)
  • Any prescription drugs you are taking
  • A single compartment drawstring backpack or tote bag to carry personal items. These can be purchased in the campus Book Shop if needed. Multi-pocket backpacks and purses must remain in patient rooms.

Laundry facilities are available on designated days for patient use during residential stay.
NOTE: Clothing should be modest and appropriate. No tank tops, spaghetti strap shirts, short shorts or muscle shirts are allowed. No exposed midriffs. Shorts or skirts must not be shorter than 3 inches above the knee.
PLEASE DO NOT BRING VALUABLES: If you bring them, we will suggest that you send them home. This includes expensive cologne, jewelry, credit cards, clothing, shoes or other items of value.


Please leave the following items at home (if brought they will be locked up by security for duration of stay):

  • Any and all electronic devices, such as iPhone, smart phone, cell phone, iPod, laptops, etc.
  • Clothing deemed provocative for the surroundings, such as tank tops, tight-fitting jeans and pants, revealing dress of any kind, “fishnet” jerseys, and anything with suggestive images to alcohol, drugs, or sex are strictly prohibited
  • Hairspray, lotions, oils or mouthwash (only alcohol-free), or any OTC medicine or herbs are not allowed
  • Aerosol products (other than shaving cream), cleaning supplies – including Lysol, hand sanitizer, and air freshener
  • Perfume, cologne, aftershave
  • Drug paraphernalia, controlled substances (Xanax, Klonopin, Librium, etc.) If these medications are not sent home with family, they will be destroyed
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medication (Motrin, Tylenol, Neosporin, Supplements, etc.)
  • Dryer Sheets are not allowed. Sealed high efficiency (HE) detergent pods are the only laundry detergent allowed
  • Food or beverage
  • Heating pads or electric blankets unless approved by physician
  • Hemp jewelry and other products containing hemp
  • Magic markers, sharpies, white out
  • Marital aids, condoms
  • Puzzles, games, arts and crafts
  • Reading materials except for Twelve Step, Religious, or Spiritual Materials
  • Weapons – This includes guns, knives, mace, fingernail files (except emery boards), straight razors, or any other potential weapons

PLEASE DO NOT BRING VALUABLES: If you bring them, we will suggest that you send them home. This includes expensive cologne, jewelry, credit cards, clothing, shoes or other items of value.


As we all know, the use of the telephone during a patient’s treatment experience can be a way of connection to loved ones or a distraction to the treatment process. At worst, frequent phone calls can be a factor in a patient’s premature departure from treatment. At Cumberland Heights, we want to support our patients’ healing connections to their families and loved ones while giving them the time to settle into the treatment process, seeing and feeling the hope that early recovery can bring. We’ve established the following practices to allow this to occur:

  • Patients turn over their cell phones during the admissions process. We are currently exploring ways to introduce the cell phone as a tool of recovery through specialized phone “apps” for that purpose. More on that later.
  • There are no phones in the detoxification unit. Patients are strongly encouraged to limit phone calls during their first week of treatment. If patients do not abide by the guidelines, this is addressed with empathy and continuing support for the need to allow themselves time to focus on settling into treatment and their recovery process.
  • Patients with urgent phone needs will be directed to their primary counselor or case manager to address these.
  • Family members of adults are contacted by primary counselors the next business day after the patient’s admission. Family members of adolescents are contacted within 24 hours of admission.
  • Family members are given primary counselor phone numbers as the main point of contact, as well as the numbers of program administrative assistants for general matters. In addition, methods by which to contact staff after hours in case of true emergencies are given.
  • Primary counselors encourage patients to make their first phone call to their families with their counselors present to provide support for both patient and family. This also encourages early family engagement in the patient’s treatment process. In addition, family counselors will contact the family members to schedule their participation in family services.
  • After the first week of treatment, patients may sign up for phone calls during designated times with a maximum limit of 10 minutes for the call. Phones are located in the patients’ living areas. Phones are not available during scheduled treatment activities.
  • We encourage our patients to get the telephone numbers of our alumni and the 12 Step members they encounter at community AA/NA meetings. We want them to get a temporary sponsor and encourage regular phone contact with that person.
  • Lastly, we will be encouraging the lost art of letter writing in both our patients and their families. Sometimes, this can be a gentle way to begin to express feelings. It also allows people time to reflect about what they want to say. The Cumberland Heights Book Shop will carry supplies for this purpose.

In a society in which we all tend to be electronically connected much of the time, beginning recovery requires a time apart, a time away. We believe that these practices can allow the patient and family the space needed to begin to heal so that reconnection can occur.

Questions About the Cumberland Heights Packing List?

If you have questions about specific items, please call our admissions staff at 800-646-9998. Our team members will help you with what to bring (and what not to bring) for your stay at Cumberland Heights.

Why is it so meaningful to give to Cumberland Heights?

Your gift to Cumberland Heights through our annual and capital initiates gives immediate support to patients and their families. To make a longer term impact a gift to the endowment fund will provide patient assistance funding for years to come.