Kennedy cousins reveal alcoholism 'galloped' in family
Two of the Kennedy cousins spoke out about their battles with addiction, saying that alcoholism didn't run, but "galloped" in their family, adding that their family's history with substance abuse contributed significantly to their own health problems.
Christopher Kennedy Lawford, who began drinking and using drugs at the age of 12, is now 26-years sober and has written a book about battling addictions, but the fight is much more fresh for his cousin, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, reports the Daily Mail.
Patrick, who is the son of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, will be two years sober next month.
The cousins were speaking about their personal health issues while promoting the book that Christopher wrote about various expert advice on treating addiction.
Christopher is the son of Patricia Kennedy, whose brothers included former President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert and Edward Kennedy, said his addiction came from his genetics. He said that in addition to genetics, the general culture of the time and his family dynamics also contributed to his substance abuse.
Christopher said he had to face huge trauma as a kid, as both his uncles were assassinated, and he comes from a divorce.
He said that after having to try to beat the disease a number of times, he became suicidal and just wanted to give up. He admitted that he was going to kill myself but said he didn't really want to do that.
Christopher and Patrick are far from the only Kennedys who have a history of drug problems. Patrick's father Ted was known to be a heavy drinker and was involved in a fatal car accident. His mother Joan, who later divorced Ted, has openly admitted she is an alcoholic.
Among other family members, three of Bobby Kennedy's 11 children have all had public issues with drugs.
Patrick and Christopher say that their family's struggles with curbing addiction- even though they are wealthy enough to afford treatment- shows that the disease cannot be won or lost because of money.