February 24th, 2012
12:35 PM ET
2 years ago

Kennedy: Recovery is a 'day to day process'

(CNN) – Former Rhode Island Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy opened up about his lifelong battle with addiction on Friday, asserting that recovery is still a "day to day process." Kennedy is son of the late Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. He left public office last year after eight terms in the House.

In an interview set to air on CNN's "John King, USA," Kennedy told Congressional Correspondent Kate Bolduan that leaving public office was the right decision.

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"For me, I needed to reduce the number of stressors in my life in order to let recovery take hold," Kennedy said. "My Dad was able to balance a private and public life and I was less successful in trying to do that."

Kennedy emphasized the importance of family support when seeking help and attributed much of his sobriety to his growing family.

"There's nothing better than love and another human connection to help keep you thinking of the future and working everyday to make that future better by living for today," Kennedy said.

Last March, Kennedy announced his engagement to New Jersey school teacher Amy Petitgout.

Since leaving the political spotlight, Kennedy spends much of his time as an advocate for mental health parity and addiction equity, discouraging health insurance companies from discriminating against individuals suffering from a mental illness.

"Addiction affects everybody," he said. "We need to treat it as a medical issue not as a moral issue."

Kennedy recently launched the "One Mind for Research" campaign, which strives to cure brain disorders and eliminate discrimination within 10 years. "One Mind for Research" brings together scientists, philanthropists and policy makers from across the country to collaborate on research in order to find cures for disorders like Alzheimer's, addiction and depression.

"It's all the brain," Kennedy said, "but unfortunately, our efforts to study the brain are often fragmented."

When asked about whether he would ever run for public office again, Kennedy told Bolduan, "In the future, when I have a family and I have some long-term recovery, I might be able to look at other ways to serve that might be more public."

To see the full interview tune in tonight to CNN's "John King, USA" at 6 p.m. ET.

soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Truth;
    Laura Welch, 1963. Wilkepedia. Google it. Enjoy.
    I'll let you do the research about her pill-popping in the WH.

    February 24, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    It's Friday. CHILL OUT. All of you. Pray for the kid and one another.

    February 24, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Fla Pete

    You know ,TRUTH,you're sickening,just like your out of this world remarks.Maybe someone should examine you,I still think you're a disgruntled ex union employee who never amounted to a hill of beans.The Kennedys have done more for this country than all your sanctamonious clowns ,you call republicans together.Why don't you find a Fox bloggers site,you know the ones that like you are anal retentives and blog yourself to insanity...

    February 24, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Willie Floyd

    RUDY NYC-you always come to the rescue and keep us from freaking out due to some of these right wing nuts!!
    Thank you.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 24, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. Independent in NC

    @Truth and Nothing But the Truth: Why don't you change your name to Lies and Nothing But Lies. Why don't you stop stealing from the company you work for and posting on blogs all day instead of working.

    February 24, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. PJ/TX

    @Truth (Take 2)
    ************
    Laura Bush gave an accounting of this terrible tragedy in her book "Spoken from the Heart". You do read, don't you?

    February 24, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    FLA Pete.... The TRUTH about Edward Kennedy is what is sickening. The fact that he got away with murder is what is sickening. It is sad to see his bad traits have been pased down to his children. But the guy was a drunken murderer that should have spent years in jail for what he did. He should not have been in the Senate PERIOD.

    February 24, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Texas Doc

    Just sit back for a minute and try to imagine this country's history without the influence of the Kennedys. There is more integrity and courage in any of them than the whole lot of GOP since 1960. We are a better country because of them.

    February 24, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. louisebelind

    The Kennedy family has given much to this nation and we should support any of them in their struggles. But they still do not make them like they use to. Best of luck and blessing Patrick.

    February 24, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. MTATL67

    Because of the years of their service to this country and the sacrifices they have made for their country. The Kennedys remind me when it was a honor and privilege to serve your country unlike today and for that I will always wish the best for the entire Kennedy family. Good luck Patrick Kennedy.

    February 24, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
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