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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 21:12 GMT 22:12 UK
Kennedy seeks rehab after crash
US Representative Patrick Kennedy
Patrick Kennedy admitted suffering from addiction and depression
US congressman Patrick Kennedy - nephew of the late John F Kennedy - says he is to seek treatment for an addiction to prescription drugs after a car crash.

The 38-year-old Rhode Island Democrat says he cannot remember crashing into a security barrier near the US Capitol building early on Thursday morning.

He said he would be returning to the same clinic in Minnesota where he received treatment at Christmas.

Mr Kennedy, son of Senator Edward Kennedy, insisted he would not resign.

"I need to stay in the fight," he told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference.

The crash in the early hours of Thursday made headlines across the US.

Alcohol claims

Mr Kennedy said in a statement he had been fighting addiction and depression since he was a "young man" and had "aggressively and periodically" sought treatment for it.

After a spell at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota over the Christmas period, he said he returned to Congress feeling "reinvigorated and healthy".

"Of course in every recovery, each day has its ups and downs, but I have been strong, focused and productive since my return," he went on.

But he said the events of Thursday morning "concerns me greatly". He earlier said he had taken medication to help him sleep after a late night vote in the House of Representatives.

"I simply do not remember getting out of bed, being pulled over by the police, or being cited for three driving infractions," he told the news conference.

"That's not how I want to live my life. And that's not how I want to represent the people of Rhode Island."

Police have charged him with failure to keep in a proper lane, unreasonable speed and failure to give full time and attention to the operation of a vehicle.

Questions are being asked in Washington as to why he was not given an alcohol test at the time, the BBC's James Coomarasamy in Washington reports.


SEE ALSO:
What made the Kennedys tick?
19 Nov 03 |  Americas


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