Reading time: 3 min

On several occasions, we have discussed the benefits of reading in recovery; there are a good many books that can help people strengthen their program. The summer is often most opportune for people to cozy up with a book; which is another topic we have covered at length. One such author that we have written about is Christopher Kennedy Lawford, and for people in recovery, his books are worth a read.


Last week, the author of addiction recovery books like Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption and Moments of Clarity: Voices from the Front Lines of Addiction and Recovery, passed away from a heart attack, CNN reports. Aside from being a recovery advocate, Lawford was also known for being the son of Rat Pack member Peter Lawford and President John F. Kennedy’s sister Patricia Kennedy.

Lawford’s death was confirmed by Patrick J. Kennedy, another advocate for mental health, addiction recovery, and health care parity. You may remember Patrick for his work as a chief sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). The federal law is meant to prevent group health plans, and health insurance issuers that provide mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits from imposing less favorable benefit limitations on those benefits than on medical/surgical benefits.


A Family for Recovery

The Kennedys are well known for their work in politics, but perhaps their most significant contributions to society deal with addiction and recovery. Patrick Kennedy is in recovery, his father Ted is believed to have had a problem with substance use and trauma, and his cousin Christopher Kennedy Lawford was in recovery up until the time of his death.

In Symptoms of Withdrawal, Lawford writes he began drinking at 12. Later, he would go on to abuse cocaine and heroin before going on to acquire more than 30 years sober starting in the 1980s. Christopher’s mission in life was to help reduce the stigma and shame of addiction and other forms of mental illness. Lawford is survived by his three children: David Christopher, Savannah Rose, and Matthew Valentine.

“To the world, he was an author, actor & activist, but to the recovery community he was a pioneer — living proof that long-term recovery was possible,” Patrick J. Kennedy, a former congressman from Rhode Island, tweeted. “Chris had lived in long-term recovery since the mid 80’s and helped countless others along the way. In my own struggle to achieve sobriety, he always encouraged me to stay the course, providing love and guidance when I needed it most.”

If you are interested in reading one of Lawson’s titles, please click here.


Suicide Prevention Month

Last week we wrote about September being National Recovery Month; but, this is also National Suicide Prevention Month. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention invites everyone to help raise awareness about suicide and encourage others to get assistance for mental illness. For more information, please click here and learn how you can help fight suicide and inspire recovery. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

At Hope By The Sea, we can help you or a loved one break the cycle of addiction, learn how to manage the symptoms of the disease, and acquire the skills for leading a productive and healthy life in recovery. Please contact us to learn more about our program; the miracle of recovery can be yours too.