“Addiction affects everybody,” former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy said this week during an interview on CNN’s “John King, USA.” Reminding the populace that everyone is human, he added, “Addiction doesn’t discriminate.”
The former Rhode Island congressman has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction — and in the public eye — since his youth, yet found his way to sobriety, he says. He left public office last year after eight terms in the U.S. House.
For Kennedy, he says during the CNN interview that recovery is still a day-to-day process but easier while living a less stressful life. He says his wife, Amy, growing family and that core connection have helped him look toward the future and stay sober. The couple married in 2011.
“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 better for today.”
Even though Kennedy is no longer a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he’s still working toward other goals, mainly as an advocate for addiction equity and mental health parity. According to Kennedy, addiction should not be treated as moral issue — it’s a medical issue.
Kennedy recently launched the “One Mind for Research” campaign, which strives to cure brain disorders and eliminate discrimination within 10 years. The campaign rallies scientists and lawmakers from across the country to collaborate on research in order to find cures for disorders like depression, neurological disorders and those addicted to substances. Kennedy, and those associated with the campaign, believe answers can be found in more brain research.