Patrick Kennedy Compares Substance Abuse to Cancer
Patrick Kennedy thinks that his chemical dependency is like having cancer:
Kennedy said Wednesday that he hopes his decision to seek treatment was another “sign to people that this is a chronic illness not unlike a cancer that goes into remission but then becomes malignant again.”
He said, “This is a chronic illness that needs lifelong attention. You can’t ever be cured of it. It needs to be monitored on a day-to-day basis for your whole life.”
I believe that once someone goes down the road of chemical dependency, it’s a lifelong struggle to keep from relapsing. I’m not naive to the illness that is substance abuse–I’ve seen it’s affects and know the difficulty it can cause. But it’s not like cancer. You don’t choose to take a drink from the breast cancer bottle or pop the leukemia pill.
Thanks to his recovery network of physicians, therapists and fellow alcoholics and addicts, Kennedy said, “I was able to stay on top of it without it taking me down the road that it took me down before — where I ended up on the front pages of the newspapers and tabloids and TV stations. It didn’t have to take me down that far this time because I had people there to intervene earlier.”
Kennedy indicated that he took home a number of important insights from his stay at the treatment center. He said one was that the stresses surrounding his father’s battle with malignant cancer were a potential threat to his sobriety.
Kennedy also said his round of treatment renewed his belief that his “mission” of service in Congress is compatible with his recovery from addiction. Kennedy said he intends to run for reelection in 2010.
Yeah, that’s pretty convenient, but that’s been true of this whole song and dance over the last few years. His convenient conflation of mental illness with substance abuse with this new “it’s just like cancer” comparison–when his own father is dying of cancer, to boot–only confirms what many suspect. In Patrick’s world, the last one he’ll ever blame is the man in the mirror. But heck, with supporters and voters constantly reaffirming the “I’m a victim” mirage he’s set up, why would he?