Patrick Kennedy Out of Rehab

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:22 PM EDT

( - It was one month ago that Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) announced he would enter rehab for an addiction to prescription painkillers following a run-in with police after crashing his car near Capitol Hill. Today, Kennedy is out of rehab and returns to work.

On Monday, Kennedy thanked supporters in Providence, R.I., after leaving the Mayo Clinic last week. "On June 2/super nd/nosupersub , I concluded my treatment at the Mayo Clinic. I recognize that 'concluded' is not a word that I'll ever be able to use when it comes to my aftercare," said Kennedy.

"I have struggled with addiction and dependency for much of my life, and I remember a friend who successfully battled cancer once saying that 'you can never say for sure that you're a hundred percent cured from cancer, until you die at 95 of something else,' and that is true for addiction as well," he added.

Kennedy said he has created a support network and "an aftercare plan" that he is "confident" will help him beat his addiction.

"But I know this is something that ultimately I must do myself for myself. I can tell you today that I feel confident about my health, positive about my future and really passionate to be back here at work along with all of you, trying to move the ball forward in de-stigmatizing this illness," Kennedy concluded.

Kennedy has said he "consumed no alcohol" before the crash but admitted to taking Phenergan, an anti-nausea medication for gastroenteritis, and the sleep medication Ambien, which supposedly makes some people do strange things without fully waking up, like eating while sleeping or wandering off.

Rep. Kennedy, the son of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), has said he did not remember getting out of bed the day of the crash, being pulled over by the police or being ticketed for three driving infractions.

"That's not how I want to live my life, and it's not how I want to represent the people of Rhode Island," Kennedy said at a press conference last month announcing his decision to seek treatment.

See Earlier Story:
Kennedy to Seek Treatment for 'Chronic Disease of Addiction' (May 5, 2006)

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