May 18, 2006

Something we expect...

I recently read this oh-so-very-sympathetic account in the NYT of someone who is addicted to painkillers...

Representative Kennedy, scion of America's most loved and hated Democratic clan, has been a passionate advocate for ending the stigma of mental illness; he told voters years ago of his treatment for depression and cocaine abuse. But when he slipped off to the Mayo Clinic last December to get help for addiction to prescription painkillers, he had trouble overcoming that stigma himself.

When he crashed his Mustang convertible into a Capitol barricade in the middle of the night earlier this month, Mr. Kennedy, of Rhode Island, was thrust into a clash between personal privacy and political beliefs. Hours before he told the world he was checking himself back into the Mayo Clinic, he wrestled with going public...

And yet---gee, my memory isn't what it was--wasn't there some other public figure who had an addiction to painkillers? Someone else, in the political and public realm? In the last year or two? Hmmm? And don't I recall that somehow he didn't get treated with quite the same tenderness as Mr Kennedy? Wasn't there even some element of criminal prosecution? For a First Offense?

And, horrid thought, don't I remember that there were some people who---how shall I put this...baldly I guess---who expanded like roosters and crowed over this other person's misfortune?

Maybe Mr K's situation is different because in this case it was something, umm, expected:

But his cousin Mr. Shriver, who said he had watched "countless members of my family" overcome addiction, was optimistic. "Once he gets this current challenge under control, watch out," Mr. Shriver said. "He'll just knock the socks off of everybody."

"countless members?"

Posted by John Weidner at May 18, 2006 1:49 PM
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