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Friday, May 05, 2006

Patrick Kennedy to enter rehab

Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) just announced at a press conference that he will be entering a rehab facility at the Mayo Clinic for a problem with "prescription pain medications."

According to AP:
The congressman sought treatment at a drug rehabilitation clinic before he went to Providence College. He has been open about mental health issues, including being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

He won praise from mental health professionals six years ago after speaking publicly about how had suffered from depression since his teenage years, took antidepressant medication and regularly saw a psychiatrist.

“I’m in recovery for depression, for alcoholism and substance abuse,” Kennedy said after a speech last February to a mental health care advocacy group. “We need people to say that without any sense of shame. The more people talk about it, the less sting it has for people.”

Kennedy said he has been suffering from addiction since he was a young man, and that he had previously checked himself into the Mayo Clinic over last year's Christmas holiday. What he didn't say is that his tendency for addiction is clearly inherited, on both sides. Mary Jo Kopechne might still be alive if Patrick's father had had the courage to admit to his alcoholism.

Best wishes to Patrick, obviously. Now the focus needs to be on the preferential treatment apparently given to him by someone with the Capitol Police.

Update: You can check out a PDF file of the police report from yesterday's car crash by clicking here. Also, clicking here will open a PDF file of Kennedy's car accident from two weeks ago. Of particular interest is page 6 of the second report: Kennedy's handwriting would seem to indicate a fairly high level of some kind of intoxication, though he was never charged as such.

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