June 7, 2006
Making his first public appearance since his latest stint in addiction treatment, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I) said his struggle with the disease and co-occurring mental illness is ongoing, the Boston Globe reported June 5.
Kennedy, who checked into the Mayo Clinic after a late-night car crash in Washington in May that occurred under the influence of prescription drugs, told a Brown University audience in Providence, "On June 2, I concluded my treatment at the Mayo Clinic. I recognize that 'concluded' is not a word that I will ever be able to use when it comes to my aftercare. I have struggled with addiction and dependency for much of my life, and I remember a friend who successfully battled cancer once saying you can never say for sure that you're 100-percent cured from cancer until you die at age 95 of something else. This is true for addiction, as well."
Kennedy, 38, used the appearance at a behavioral-health conference to call for increased support for mental-health care and less stigmatization of people with mental illness. Kennedy has been in and out of treatment for addiction and mental-health problems since his teens, including two stints in the Mayo Clinic this year.
Kennedy said he had received a great deal of support since the latest incident. "Hundreds shared their personal experience with this disease," he said.
A group of Kennedy supporters that included the heads of the Rhode Island medical and psychiatric societies paid for a full-page ad in the Providence Journal expressing support for the congressman. "No elected official in the country has been more outspoken on behalf of reducing stigma, gaining parity for mental illness, increasing access to mental-health treatment, and furthering the science of the brain," the ad said.
However, the spokesman for the Rhode Island Republican Party said that Kennedy has shown that he can't do his job representing the state in Washington and should resign.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
June 7, 2006
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