Patrick: No Way to Get Straight in Congress

Patrick Kennedy had to get out of congress.

Former Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy said he had to quit politics to sober up, saying in a new interview that getting high in high office is no problem when you are part of the nation’s power elite.

“The Kennedy family is known for persevering. . . . They’re active, they’re winners,” he said. “I felt like a loser. . . . I felt like . . . ‘I’m not living up. What a shame.’ You know, I’m a shame on my family by needing treatment, for getting mental health treatment.”

Kennedy said his life’s work now is to try to destigmatize mental illness and addiction and to find new ways to treat these problems and other diseases of the brain.