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Patrick Kennedy Returns to Treatment Facility

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I), the son of ailing Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) who has publicly battled drug addiction and manic depression for three years, is back in a medical treatment facility, the congressman disclosed today.

"I have always said that recovery is a life-long process and that I will do whatever it takes to preserve my health," Kennedy, who turns 42 next month, said in a statement. "In consultation with my doctor, I have decided to temporarily step away from my normal routine to ensure that I am being as vigilant as possible in my recovery."

Former congressman Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.), a longtime recovering alcoholic and close friend and mentor of Kennedy, said he knew of no particular incident or troubling signs that precipitated Kennedy's treatment. "He reached this decision totally in consultation with his doctors and made the right decision," Ramstand said in a telephone interview with the Sleuth late Friday afternoon. "Those of us in recovery, especially in the first couple of years, experience bumps in the road and need preventative maintenance."

Since his highly publicized drug-induced car crash in the middle of night in May 2006, Kennedy has made mental health care reform his chief legislative priority. He said in his statement that he hopes "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."

Kennedy has publicly stated he suffers from bipolar disorder, for which he takes prescription medication.

Ramstad regularly stays in close touch with Kennedy, whom he said is "like a brother, we are very close friends." The Minnesota Republican says he plans to visit Kennedy while he's in treatment, perhaps as soon as next week.

Kennedy checked himself into the Mayo Clinic after his 2006 incident. Aides and associates who asked to remain anonymous said he is not at the Mayo Clinic this time around, but they declined to name the facility. One Kennedy aide said the congressman has been there "all week."

There is no timetable for when he may be released. But a former Kennedy staffer told the Providence Journal newspaper, which was first to report the news of Kennedy's return to treatment, that the congressman plans to return to Capitol Hill in time for a possible debate on national health care, an issue dear to his heart, later this summer.

"I'm confident he will return to Congress stronger and healthier than ever," Ramstad told the Sleuth.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  June 12, 2009; 6:16 PM ET
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the "Mayo Clinton"? is that some kind of Freudian slip?

Posted by: IMGoph | June 12, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Do the Kennedys not have to show up up for work???
Is their job just something they do when it's convenient??
How nice! But hardly newsworthy!!

Posted by: thornegp1 | June 12, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

What a sweet article but lets be realistic. The kid is a looser and should not be in Congress. He should resign.

Posted by: ridagana | June 13, 2009 4:31 AM | Report abuse

Can we stipulate right now that Patrick Kennedy is NOT an acceptable choice for appointment to his father's Senate seat? That he shouldn't even be considered even in the days after his father's impending death, after all the goopy TV shows with pictures of 36-year-old Teddy and his melodramatically tragic brothers? Because this guy is clearly not Senate material. (Then again, neither is Teddy, the only US Senator ever to have met the police at the door of his house with his pants around his ankles.)

Posted by: eggy1 | June 13, 2009 6:55 AM | Report abuse

"Do the Kennedys not have to show up up for work???"

What they said. Anyone else would have been fired long ago.

Posted by: MVanMeter | June 13, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

As a long time recovered/recovering alcoholic(28yrs) my hats off to Mr. Kennedy. The drug and alcoholic addiction is a hard one to overcome without help which only the brave and determined seem to seek. Add Bipolor and it's even harder to recover without support, I know because I deal with it working with others and have it in my family, MILITARY INDUCED,post traumatic stress syn. Thornmegp 1 - Rodagama and Eggy1 below you don't have a clue, sad clueless comments. Our institutions and hospitals are filled with men and women, boys and girls who gave their health and productive lives for our country. The least we can do is give support and UNDERSTANDING. Otherwise - shut the ---- up.

Posted by: eaglehawkaroundsince1937 | June 13, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

That goes for you to M Vanmeter, clueless.

Posted by: eaglehawkaroundsince1937 | June 13, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

I hope all the nasty liberals who unmercifully trashed Rush Limbaugh over his drug problem are ready to bash this loser of a Kennedy and ridicule him as much as they can. He would be talk show fodder if the liberal talk show people can stop their sick jokes about adult men having sex with 14 year olds. Let's all pile on Kennedy now in the great liberal tradition and unleash the mocking and the nasty comments. If we wanted to be really funny like some of the liberals, we could make jokes about Teddy Kennedy and his brain cancer. Those liberals are sure funny, aren't they?

Posted by: tfitzgib | June 13, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

I think he need to get it together
Sell Your Services And Products For Free

Posted by: roverfind | June 13, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Yo, tfitzgib ...

Rush Limbaugh deserved the trashing because of his two-faced hypocrisy, advocating harsh law enforcement for illegal drug users while being one himself. Furthermore, by virtue of his power and money he was able to avoid any serious negative consequences, either from the law or his employer. You might say he got off the O.J. Simpson way - he bought it.

Regarding The tOdd Couple's claims that David Letterman is a stinky poopyhead - I'm sorry to put this in such juvenile terms, but it is appropriate given their actions - will someone please tell these people their fifteen minutes of fame are over? Please. This whole thing is just a willful misinterpretation being twisted into vile accusations that are not only offbase, but vicious - not surprising from Sarah Barracuda. Conan O'Brien told jokes about them that were just as pointed. But that wasn't at a time when Sarah needed a publicity distraction. Now she does.

They are the ones who keep pushing their children out into the public as campaign props. They are the ones who made this conversation be one about the rape of their 14 year old daughter instead of the intention of the joke as being about the consensual, if somewhat promiscuous sexuality of their 18 year old.

Now they're trying to get Letterman fired. IMHO CBS chould give him a contract extension and encourage him to "go for the kill" and finish off her political career. She is an idiot. And by taking on David Letterman she is proving just how big an idiot she is.

Posted by: kbman | June 14, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I am a strong advocate of having compassion for the mentally ill and making the most concerted effort to mitigate the Stigma that Patrick Kennedy has already mentioned. Since we became a nation, the Stigma of mental illness is so ingrained and accepted by a society that actually comments on medical matters all the time, most having no thread to a medical license.What I will not give Kennedy is this business about crocodile tears for his having a life long struggle with the illness. Most insurance companies allow patients today in the greatest country in the world with the most advanced R&D dedicated to "curing" (actually it is arresting or submerging)a mental illness two weeks in the clink to get virtually all better. If you are committed you will be on medicine for life as is the case with all genetically ingrained illnesses, so what. The ping pong returnees and relapsers that hit the bottle after release or drug it up or chase the skirts do have an avoidable life long struggle. Those that realize that they have to lead a life in moderation and excluding some incurables get over this illness fast as blazes in 2009. Britney Spears is bi-polar according to the doctors she was attended to upon commitment. I would like to be crazy like her and make $26,000,000 per year.

Posted by: freelanceman4 | June 15, 2009 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Good grief. You repug fools. Ted Kennedy is one of the best Senators Massachusetts ever had, and he is good for the whole USA. You are poor losers all around.

Posted by: paulagoldman20 | June 15, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The Kennedys are corrupt.

Posted by: bh150243 | June 15, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Is there no other human being in RI who is not a drunk? Can we now admit to the fact that when Kennedy went on his drunken rampage, that the DC police were barred from actually arresting him? Can we now admit that the Democrats were WRONG about this, and that "Patches" should have been immediately removed? He is a sick man - and his ability to come back, contrary to what mr. Ramstad says - the Nationals have a better chance at reachign .500 than Kennedy does of getting healthy. And that is the truth!

Posted by: jgdonahue | June 15, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

It is more than obvious that Kennedy can't take the pressure of his political position! He should resign and run for office again if and when he gets a handle on his problem! I'm sure there are a lot of Senators and Congressmen that should join him in rehab! Maybe things would not be as screwed up as they are if hangovers were not a normal occurrence and accepted by everyone in power!

Posted by: Klimax | June 16, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

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