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Once a patient has been through a rehab program, the real work of building a drug-free life begins. Left to their own devices, patients may gravitate back to familiar places and situations -- and wind up using again. Before departing rehab, they should have an aftercare program in place, including continuing therapy (often in a group setting with other recovering addicts) and referral to self-help groups.
Aftercare should also include treatment for any psychological conditions such as depression or anxiety that may have emerged as factors in the person's addictive patterns.
Those who continue on a methadone maintenance program may choose to be weaned off the drug later under medical supervision.