June 12th, 2009
09:10 AM ET
9 years ago

Patrick Kennedy temporarily leaving Hill for rehab

 Kennedy said he is again seeking treatment for addiction.

Kennedy said he is again seeking treatment for addiction.

(CNN) - Rep. Patrick Kennedy, the Rhode Island Democrat who in 2006 checked into a rehabilitation center for drug addiction following a car accident on Capitol Hill, is again seeking medical treatment.

In a statement issued by his office Friday, the son of Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy said, "I have always said that recovery is a life-long process and that I will do whatever it takes to preserve my health."

"In consultation with my doctors, I have decided to temporarily step away from my normal routine to ensure that I am being as vigilant as possible in my recovery," he said. "I hope that in some small way my decision to be proactive and public in my efforts to remain healthy can help remove the stigma that has served as a barrier for many Americans reluctant to get the help they need."

The Providence Journal reported Friday Kennedy has "entered an undisclosed medical facility for treatment."

After crashing his car into a Capitol Hill barricade in 2006, Kennedy admitted to an addiction to prescription medication and spent a month in a rehabilitation center in Minnesota.

- CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report

Filed under: Patrick Kennedy
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Once You Vote Black: Mute Newt

    This guy is discraceful. He is gifted with a lot in life but he rather drink it all away. What a shame.

    June 12, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  2. Back to Simple Life

    Do these politicians still get paid with our tax dollars when they go into these places and use their insurance paid with our tax dollars?

    If so, I know a way to cut expenses in DC. CUT THEM OFF.

    June 12, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  3. Randall in Torrance - Desert Storm Veteran - Welcome to the end of the era of dumb ass Republicans and Stoopid Retards like Cheney and Bush in power

    It takes a lot of guts to seek help especially for public officials. Good luck with your treatment Congressman Kennedy. Now, if we can just get a few Republicans to grow a set abd seek help (i.e., Limbaugh, the entire Fox News staff).

    June 12, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  4. John Sullivan

    Good Luck Congressman.

    June 12, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. Dennis

    Another Kennedy, another drug addict. I guess when you have that much money, normal life is just too boring.

    June 12, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  6. Dawn in Pa

    Wasn't it Patrick Kennedy that had Cancer and he had his leg amputated?

    I can hear all the Republicans stating about his entering rehab for addition to painkillers.

    If anyone who had been taking vicodin, percocet or even morphine and you get an addicted to it, you join the millions of American who are.

    My daughter has deteriorating disk in her back, she is in excruciating pain and on Morphine, when she is out of Morphine, she withdraws and to see that, it is never something you do not want need to see.

    I had Morphine when I had major surgery, I became violently will on the Morphine pump where I had a slice across my abdomen; my GYN would not consider any painkillers for me, just ibuprophen and six weeks off from work. Painful yes, but I could not get addicted to that.My daughter recently told me that I am highy sensitive to any narcotics, which is great because I will never take any painkillers, where Doctors should have the responsiblty to take you down off the meds.

    CNN this may not be to anyone interest, but the fact is that it is the truth. Please post this.

    June 12, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. katiec

    I give him credit for facing up to and admitting his problem. Drug addiction is not easy to overcome. The first big step is being honest
    about it.

    June 12, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  8. Bill

    Was this guy elected because he is the best representative forthe people of Rhode Island, or did they fall under the trance that "Oh, he's a Kennedy, son of "the lion of the Senate" he'll be good for us.

    Sorry Simba, time to go.

    June 12, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  9. Jimmy the Geek

    If Prince Patrick can't control himself from expensive, deadly drugs he should resign his House seat so he can focus on his drug rehabilitation. How can he effectively represent his district if he's a drug addict? Maybe it's time for Rhode Island to give someone else a chance to serve.

    June 12, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. Bravo

    As a woman with family members who have struggled with drug and alcohol abuse behind closed doors, I say bravo to Congressman Kennedy in his attempt to be open and honest with the public, thereby removing the social stigma of the disease. Alcoholism and addiction are diseases, much like cancer or ms, and once the American public understands this, my hope is that the shame and stigmatism go away.

    June 12, 2009 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  11. Elaine

    "temporarily step away".. what a crock! I love the gobbly gook press releases that the Kennedy machine has grown famous for.

    I guess RI will stop electing this selfish addict only when he drives off a bridge and a woman drowns as he swims away.

    The release (you know he did not write that) states that his recovery is his "priority". How about making your STATE and JOB your priority and "STEP AWAY" permanently?

    June 12, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  12. walter sutherland

    what a joke. As usual a Kennedy is trying to help others. The press will buy his story. How anyone would vote for him baffles me. must be somein R.I. who is better qualfied than this spoiled son of liberal privilege.

    June 12, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. Mark

    Why can't this guy be sent to AA , do community service and have him check a propation officer every week as other people do. He is a law maker and should set a good a example to the rest.

    June 12, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. sms29s

    I am a yellow dog democrat, but maybe it's time for him to step aside. His constituency should not have to pay the price for his "health."

    June 12, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. Sniffit

    Truth be told, it sounds like he's handling it in about the most responsible way he can. Plenty of people you wouldn't suspect suffer from addiction and other maladaptive behaviors and medical problems. Rather than bash him...which is pretty much what I'm expecting to see from the GOPers here...society should encourage this kind of choice and the manner in which he's publicly doing it. Doing otherwise encourages handling it secretively or not handling it and just trying to hide it.

    June 12, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. Carlos

    Like father like son.

    June 12, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Good move Rep. Patrick Kennedy best of care doing your rehabilitation. Prescription medication is easy to get hook on.

    June 12, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. Sari

    Cool! So according to the Kennedy Mantra, once released he should (and only he should -after all he is a Kennedy and your not!!) be the one to fill Uncle Teddy's seat for the next 50+ years!! Wake up America, forget this self indulged family and vote for yourself or your own child or neighbor or friend!

    June 12, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  19. Mary

    Unbelievable!! Anyone that doesn't think there are two sets of rules (one for them, one for the rest of us) is living in denial.

    June 12, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. Jon

    Poor guy. I give him a great deal of credit in dealing with his demons, whatever they are. God knows, the cards were dealt against him considering his parents. I wish him the best of luck and salute his bravery in coming forward rather than taking the usual famous person route of "going on a long vacation" or some other subterfuge.

    June 12, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  21. TomJay

    Patrick Kennedy is a Kennedy. So why is this news?

    June 12, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Why??

    I pay he gets the help he needs. I can only imagine how difficult it is to seek treatment when you are from a high profile family. Treatment Works!

    June 12, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  23. fella from Chicago

    When will the love affair with the Kennedy's ever end in the Northeast? Dad was involved with a young woman's life being lost years ago while he apparently was under the influence and the son appears to have problems with drugs as well. Yet they keep getting elected term after term. Was Joe Kennedy that influential that decades after his imprint is still present? Don't bring up John and Bobby, they've been gone for decades now and the remainder of the family needs to be judged on their own merits.

    June 12, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  24. Tate

    What a classy family, running the North East right into the ground. Why would anybody ever listen to what a kennedy has to say or do, unless you do the exact opposite.

    June 12, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  25. Joe Terrogano

    Rehab only works if you make a firm commitment not to use again and work a recovery program. Barring that, recovery is not possible.

    June 12, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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