Patrick Kennedy Ends Political Career to Concentrate on Rehab

By Dirk Hanson 05/11/11

Ted Kennedy's son will forego political life to focus on "long-term, steady recovery."

Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy, 44, who admits he has been to rehab at least 6 times for alcohol addiction, says he has chosen not to run for Congress again in order to concentrate on his recovery program.

"Frankly, living in the public eye and political life was not conducive to the long-term, steady recovery that has to be my absolute number-one concern,” he said in an interview with CNN medical reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  In Congress, Kennedy had been a strong advocate for mental health care reform. The son of former Senator Ted Kennedy, Patrick was the youngest member of the Kennedy family to hold public office, when he was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives at age 21.

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Dirk Hanson, MA, is a freelance science writer and the author of The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction. He is also the author of The New Alchemists: Silicon Valley and the Microelectronics Revolution. He has worked as a business and science reporter for numerous magazines and trade publications including Wired, Scientific American, The Dana Foundation and more. He currently edits the Addiction Inbox blog. Email: [email protected]