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Patrick Kennedy Enters Rehab

Aired May 5, 2006 - 21:00   ET


REP. PATRICK KENNEDY (D), RHODE ISLAND: I know that I need help. This afternoon I'm traveling to Minnesota to seek treatment at the Mayo Clinic to ensure that I can continue on my road to recovery.


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, as Representative Patrick Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy's son, enters rehab after his Capitol Hill car crash early Thursday, we'll hear from his cousin, Christopher Kennedy Lawford, author of a best-selling addiction memoir; actress Mariette Hartley, a recovering alcoholic who has also battled depression; Tom Farley, his brother comic actor Chris Farley died at age 33 of a drug overdose; and famed attorney Robert Shapiro and his wife Linell their lives shattered last fall when their son Brent died of a drug overdose at age 24.

They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. Believe it or not we had tonight's panel on substance abuse scheduled well before Patrick Kennedy announced today that he's entering rehab. Some of our guests were even booked before his car crash Wednesday night. Timing can be a strange thing sometimes.

With Patrick Kennedy topping the news tonight it makes sense to start off with his cousin, Christopher Kennedy Lawford, the son of movie star Peter Lawford, nephew of President John F. Kennedy, and author of "Symptoms of Withdrawal," an incredible account of his two decades of abusing just about every drug there is including heroin.

By the way, also joining us later will be Joseph Califano, former secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

How did you hear about all this Chris?

CHRISTOPHER KENNEDY LAWFORD, PATRICK KENNEDY'S COUSIN: I actually heard about it on TV but I'm glad you said that this panel was scheduled before because I agreed to come on the show before I found out about Patrick.

And, I think, first of all I applaud Patrick for dealing with this in the way he's dealt with it and getting help. But I think, you know, it's funny because it was suggested to me by a couple of people that I not come on the show today and I think that that's symptomatic of what we're trying to overcome, what the Shapiros are trying to overcome in this country in terms of the stigma that's associated with this illness.

This is an illness, a disease, addiction and the way people look at it is really what is at the core of what we're trying to do here in terms of overcoming people's attitudes about this and looking at it that way.

KING: Are you close with Patrick?

LAWFORD: Yes, I've been very close with him. He's a good friend and a good Congressman. I came here to talk about his parity bill which, you know, Patrick has used his experience in his life to influence and do good, just like, you know, I use my experience to write my book and hopefully help people.

He's gone into public life and he's done things in the medical-- in Congress to benefit people that suffer from depression that suffer from addiction. He's, you know, (INAUDIBLE) have introduced a bill, the parity bill, which you know is a significant public policy thing and it's been influenced by his life.

KING: Have you talked to family members today?

LAWFORD: I haven't talked to anybody in my family today, no.

KING: Will you try to reach Patrick?

LAWFORD: I called him and I offered my support and help in any way that he could use it. I'm not sure I'll hear from him for a while though.

KING: Do you know what his addiction is? It wasn't clear in his press conference.

LAWFORD: I don't know. I really don't know.

KING: You don't know whether it's alcohol or...

LAWFORD: I have no idea. You know I take him at his word. I believe he said that he has some form of chemical dependency. You know the interesting thing about addiction is I've heard it said that addicts and alcoholics are all running away from something. We just use different colored sneakers.

And I think, you know, in a sense it really doesn't matter whether it's alcohol or heroin. My experience was I took anything and everything to get out of here. The issue is the underlying, you know, core disease which is an issue, which is a medical issue and an issue of perception and attitude.

KING: Have you had things happen like driving a car and not knowing where you are or being confused?

LAWFORD: I was never a person that suffered from blackouts. Many, many people do. It's relatively common. KING: Is that what (INAUDIBLE)?

LAWFORD: I have no idea. If somebody doesn't remember what they did, you know, that...

MARIETTE HARTLEY, ACTRESS: He didn't remember leaving, leaving home.

LAWFORD: The term for that is blackout. I have no idea if that's exactly what happened or what happened. I know as much as you do, Larry, probably less. But I will tell you that that's a pretty regular response to this kind of thing not remembering.

KING: Do you think there's such a thing as runs in the family? Joan Kennedy, we know was an alcoholic.

LAWFORD: I think there's a genetic...

KING: Ted has had...

LAWFORD: I think there's a genetic component to this. It's been proven in studies that people from families that have a propensity to this might develop it themselves or have a greater preponderance to develop it. I have no idea if that's at work here.

I wouldn't, you know, I think -- the thing about addiction and alcoholism is people have to diagnose it themselves. It's not something that somebody can say, "Oh, you're an alcoholic" or "You're a drug addict. You need help." You have to do it yourself.

I did it when I was 21 years old and it took me nine years to get sober. And I think one of the things that we're trying to do here is understand that people who suffer from this need treatment. They deserve treatment. There's a treatment crisis in this country.

People in the middle class especially cannot afford it. And, especially with young people that they ought to have the opportunity to stay connected because it takes a while. This is not something -- this is a chronic disease. It's not something that's cured overnight.

You don't go to rehab for 28 days and magically get cured. Some people do. Many people don't. The deal is society has to look at ourselves and we have to see what the cost is.

KING: But there is still -- people asked you not to come on tonight. There's still a "don't do this" right?

LAWFORD: Well there's...

KING: Stay away from it.

LAWFORD: Right, there's an attitude of this is a difficult issue for people to understand and I think what, you know, Bob and his family have done and other people, Mariette, you know, the people like that are coming out here and talking about this in this way, and Mrs. Ford did it, you know, a while ago in a profound way, this issue needs to be addressed forcefully.

It needs to be addressed by people that have experience with it and all of us do. And we need to take it out of the closet and look at it for what it is. It's not -- these people are not bad people. They are sick people. They are suffering from an illness. It's not their fault.

KING: What do you think will be the feelings toward Patrick like his constituents? How do you think that people will feel?

LAWFORD: I think the people of Rhode Island will absolutely support him. I think people in New England appreciate honesty and they appreciate people that make mistakes and get help and do something about whatever their problem is and they appreciate him as a Congressman.

I mean, you know, the electorate of this country, you know, for all the talk they look at, you know, what's Patrick doing on the Hill? And Patrick is a very effective Congressman. And, as I said before, he has used his experience to influence his life, his public life, and he's done a good job for the people of Rhode Island.

KING: You married into the family, Chris. Do you think there is a Kennedy curse? That family is so racked...

LAWFORD: Well actually I didn't marry into the family. My mother is a Kennedy.

KING: Your mother, that's right, you did not marry into...

LAWFORD: Yes, so I...

KING: Forgive me your mother is a -- you are a Kennedy.

LAWFORD: If there is a Kennedy curse, Larry...

HARTLEY: You got it.

LAWFORD: ...I better watch out.

KING: Peter, your father, married into it and you look so much like your father it's scary.


HARTLEY: Yes, it's so scary.

LAWFORD: But I think that's a great way for people to sell newspapers. I think that, you know, the Kennedy curse is just -- we have a big family and we've had a lot of triumph and a lot of tragedy and like any big family. And it's just people sell newspapers on that.

HARTLEY: May I just say one quick thing? I'm thrilled that you're on, everybody is on because I've been battling with this, you know, kind of silence for years. When my father committed suicide my mother swore me to secrecy and I really didn't break the silence until I wrote my book called "Breaking the Silence," 35 years later.

The one thing that I've discovered in my sobriety and my recovery is that underneath all of these external ways of dealing with things is not necessarily just to anesthetize. It's also to try to balance ourselves.

And when I began looking at my biochemical disorder underneath the way I was trying to deal with it, I realized that there was something profound going on in my family. I mean I think there's bipolar disorder, manic depression, depression and alcoholism all the way through my family.

KING: We'll take a break. When we come back we'll spend some moments with the Shapiros and discuss what they've done since Brent's untimely passing. I'll show you some PSAs they're doing that are incredible.

And then our whole panel will assemble and get into a major discussion on this. We'll be right back.


KENNEDY: But in all candor, the incident on Wednesday evening concerns me greatly. I simply do not remember getting out of bed, being pulled over by the police or being cited for three driving infractions. That's not how I want to live my life and it's not how I want to represent the people of Rhode Island.

The reoccurrence of an addiction problem can be triggered by things that happen in everyday life, such as taking the common treatment for a stomach flu. That's not an excuse for what happened Wednesday evening but it is a reality of fighting a chronic condition for which I'm taking full responsibility.



KING: Welcome back.

Joining us now are Robert and Linell Shapiro. Their 24-year-old son Brent died on October 10th of a drug overdose. They have established a foundation in his memory, the Brent Shapiro Foundation for Drug Awareness.

Robert first talked about it on this show and Linell was supposed to be on that night he was on when he guested on October 21st just eleven days after his son's death. Linell was ill that night but she is here tonight.

First, before we get into the foundation how are you coping Linell?

LINELL SHAPIRO: It's difficult. You go through so many phases and it was just something so unexpected and hard to believe. Somehow in the beginning you just cope with it. KING: Did you know he was addicted?

L. SHAPIRO: Yes, we had been dealing with it for quite some time basically I think around high school. He was doing marijuana and then later it got more into cocaine and prescription pills.

KING: Do you ever get used to it Bob?

BOB SHAPIRO: No, no it's a constant problem and it becomes a family problem. First, well maybe everybody is doing it. Well, he's a kid. They all experiment with marijuana. What's the big deal? Really don't be too concerned about it.

And then there's disputes between ourselves and then with our other son and it begins to escalate until it gets to the point where everybody knows it's a real problem.

KING: Have any guilt when he died?

R. SHAPIRO: No. No. Tremendous sorrow but we supported him throughout this and I think in a very, very appropriate way. We did it in a loving way but in a firm way. He went to rehab on two different occasions. He was always a wonderful student, got straight As. As you know he was on the dean's list at USC, ready to graduate.

And he would relapse and then what we would learn is relapse is part of recovery so you go back and you go back again and you get conditioned to this which is unfortunate because it's a progressive disease.

KING: Tell me about the foundation.

R. SHAPIRO: The foundation is doing really three or four things. First we have the Pace Program where we talk about prevention, awareness, communication, and education.

We had our first major event on Monday, which you were kind enough to attend that we had 25 governors throughout America endorse Sober Day USA, a national day of drug awareness where we wanted to show in Hollywood at the Standard Hotel, which is where the kids hang out, with a hip DJ and 350 people that you can have a party, that you can have a great time, that you can have Hollywood celebrities, young people all mixing and not have any alcohol or drugs.

KING: Tell me the story of these PSAs. We're going to see the PSAs through the show. We're going to show one now. But give me the gist of this.

R. SHAPIRO: The public service announcements are common people, not celebrities, not name recognition people, who are sharing their stories with the public.

KING: It's a fundraising tool?

R. SHAPIRO: No, it's not a fundraising tool. It's an educational tool. It's part of the awareness and education component and the theme is that's my story. What's your story?

KING: All right, let's look at one of them, one of the PSAs for the Brent Shapiro Foundation for Drug Awareness. Watch.


R. SHAPIRO: He had a couple of drinks and took a half a ecstasy. His fiance told me that Brent was turning blue that he wasn't breathing and made a decision nobody should ever have to make. We buried him two days later.

L. SHAPIRO: And by the time he got to Cedars-Sinai Hospital he was already in a coma and then they told me I had to leave because they had to shut down the machines and take him away.


KING: Why did you do that Linell?

L. SHAPIRO: Why did I do it? Because I thought it was very important. I think this is unusual because these spots are very raw, powerful, and emotional and I think it's hard to do it and it's hard to watch it but I think it's so important.

KING: Our guests are Robert and Linell Shapiro. And we'll be back with the whole panel with Mariette Hartley, Tom Farley, Joe Califano, Christopher Kennedy Lawford. We'll be including your calls later as well. Don't go away.


L. SHAPIRO: And then I traced his forehead, his nose and came down to his mouth that had a tube in it and he had tubes in him and needles and machines that were going and I just kept telling him how much I loved him and I didn't want to leave. I couldn't leave the room. I just wanted to hold him and I didn't want to ever leave it.




L. SHAPIRO: And everybody needs to know that you have to call an ambulance always because otherwise you can be dead. And then that's something you have to live with for your whole life. And, an ambulance wasn't called and if it had been called, he would have gone into emergency and he would have been alive today and everything would have been fine.

R. SHAPIRO: They kept him alive on machines for the next day. The doctors called us in and told us that he was not going to recover.


KING: Now, Tom Farley is in Madison, Wisconsin. He's the brother of the late actor Chris Farley. Joe Califano is in New York, president of the National Center for Addiction and Drug Abuse at Columbia University.

Mariette, I know you're into depression.

HARTLEY: Right now as a matter of fact, can't you tell?

KING: You're into dealing with it. OK. Is suicide a common after effect of drug addiction?

HARTLEY: Oh, I think drug addiction often has a great deal to do with suicide and alcoholism. Often that's the trigger. People feel free enough to do something. Certainly it was the case with my father but also he had a gun in his room.

And I am so anti gun and I know people disagree with me that way but when you've watched your father die that way and you've cleaned up afterwards at the age of 23, it's not something that you feel should be in a house.

KING: Was he an alcoholic?

HARTLEY: Yes, both my parents were alcohol dependent. You know I don't like the word alcoholic because really as -- I keep wanting to say Patrick -- as Chris said I can't call you an alcoholic unless you call yourself an alcoholic.

I certainly was alcohol dependent and a blackout drinker from the time I was 14. I was so grateful that I hit a bottom at the age I hit a bottom because I have been sober a very, very long time. But, it's a tough call. You know you can't say it unless a person says it.

KING: Tom Farley, you're president of the Chris Farley Foundation, hard to believe that Chris has been gone now since 1997.


KING: And he was only 33. How bad was he into drugs?

FARLEY: Well, you know, it's how bad? I mean he abused alcohol more than anything. He liked to smoke pot and so it's a question of what you -- kids always ask me "What's the worst drug Chris took"? And I'd say "Well it's really a question of what he abused more than anything." But he ran the gamut. I mean he was a kid that couldn't say no to anything.

KING: What does your foundation do?

FARLEY: Well, we like to take a positive kind of outlook on things. We take advantage of Chris' name and we've got an unmatched ability to open eyes and ears so we use that advantage and we talk to kids about substance abuse and the dangers of drugs and alcohol using humor, you know, when appropriate and when we can because kids, you know, it's really the best dialogue, humor is, when you're talking to young adults. So, we do a lot of improv type prevention themed improv and really get them involved in learning what, you know, what drugs and alcohol can really do.

KING: Yes. Joe Califano is in New York. He's an old friend, president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia. What happened to your nose?

JOE CALIFANO, NATIONAL CENTER ON ADDICTION AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Larry, I had a little basal cell carcinoma that was taken out. I'm fine.

KING: Everything is OK?

CALIFANO: Everything's OK.

KING: Are you losing the fight against drug addiction?

CALIFANO: No, I don't think so, Larry. I think that first of all there's a dramatic difference between what happened in the late '70s and early '80s and today only about half the people using drugs.

But a couple of very important things have come out, you've already brought out. One this problem is all about children. If you can get a kid through age 21 without smoking, without using illegal drugs and without abusing alcohol and most all of them are going to drink that child is virtually certain to be home free. That's a critical fact.

And, secondly, marijuana is a dangerous drug. This is not some benign drug. We've issued two reports now on marijuana. It's more powerful than it was. We know it affects short term memory. We know it affects the ability to concentrate. And we're now seeing brain imaging which is showing that it does serious damage to the developing brain. So that's the next thing.

And the last point I'd make is prescription drug abuse has exploded in this country. I must say I join with Chris. I applaud what Patrick did today. I mean we just released a study a couple of months ago.

The population in this country increased by 14 percent from 1993 to 2002; prescription drug abuse increased by 94 percent and prescription drug abuse among teenagers more than tripled, so we have a major problem in this country.

KING: Chris, why are we doing this to ourselves?

LAWFORD: Well, you know...

KING: That's what we're doing right?

LAWFORD: Joe said it. I mean there are two million children in this country that are addicted to alcohol or drugs and ten percent of those will seek treatment.

I do work with the Caron (ph) Foundation which is a treatment center and they have an adolescent program. And what they've told me is that, you know, they have a program called Road Recovery, which is a bunch of recovering musicians who get kids and teach them music and keep them attached.

The key to all of this is the kids that get into trouble that they stay connected to some form of treatment, after care treatment, whatever it is. This can take a long time.

Joe said it. Kids that remain drug or alcohol free until they're 21 have a much better shot at it. We have those numbers. But also kids that do get into trouble that have a propensity for this if they can get to treatment and they can get to it soon and they can stay connected, they can often beat this thing.

KING: Are you optimistic Bob?

R. SHAPIRO: I think in the long run yes. I think for the current generation...

KING: Short run, no?

R. SHAPIRO: No. This is an epidemic and it's a national epidemic, maybe a world epidemic. We have a slogan at the Brent Shapiro Foundation, "Be aware, it's everywhere." It's not rich. It's not poor. It's not black, brown or white. It's not north, south. It's not Democrat or Republican.

It's everywhere, Larry, and it doesn't matter whether this disease is genetic, whether it comes as a result of partying too much or somebody is suffering from pain and they're over prescribed medication and they become hooked. It's all the same. It's a disease and it's not a shameful disease.

When I was growing up, we had something called the Big C. Nobody would talk about it.

LAWFORD: Cancer.

KING: Yes.

R. SHAPIRO: If you mentioned it, you might get it.

KING: That's right.

R. SHAPIRO: Nobody talked about it. Now it's the little C. It's the same thing with drug disease and alcoholism. This is a disease plain, simple. It doesn't matter where it comes from, how you get it. Once you have it, it's a progressive disease.

LAWFORD: A much bigger disease.

R. SHAPIRO: It gets worse over time. It's the second largest killer in America today right behind heart disease, which you have a wonderful foundation for and which you suffer from. So, we must start paying attention.

HARTLEY: And suicide is way up there.

KING: Suicide is where? HARTLEY: Yes, suicide is higher than homicide.

KING: Suicide is higher than homicide?


KING: We will take a break and come back. We'll include your phone calls. I'll reintroduce the entire panel. Don't go away.


JOHNNY CASH: In the '60s, amphetamines and barbiturates.

KING: Amphetamines to stay up?

CASH: Uh huh.

KING: Barbiturates to bring you down?

CASH: Yes.

KING: After you were up.

CASH: Right.

KING: And what was it like performing when you were on drugs?

CASH: Well, for a while it was OK. For a while it was OK. For a while, Larry, when I took my first ones I said "This what God meant for me to have in this world. This was invented for me," you know. I honestly thought it was a blessing, a gift from God these pills were.

But then I thought, then I finally found out I was deceiving myself that this was one of those things that have a false face that it's the devil in disguise that has come to me.



KING: In view of the extraordinary announcement by Congressman Patrick Kennedy today, with on LARRY KING LIVE -- this was our scheduled panel -- it just happened to hit this big story -- Christopher Kennedy Lawford, the cousin of Patrick, son of movie star Peter Lawford, and author of the best-selling memoir "Symptoms of Withdrawal." He's been sober for two decades, after abusing just about every drug in existence.

Robert Shapiro -- his 24-year-old son, Brent, died on October 10 of a drug overdose. Brent's family has established a foundation in his memory, the Brent Shapiro Foundation For Drug Awareness. Linell Shapiro, Brent's mother and Bob's wife, also with us. Also here is Mariette Hartley, the actress and best-selling author. She's been starring in a one-woman autobiographical show, "If You Get to Bethlehem, You Have Gone Too Far," has recurring role on "Law & Order: SUV," also a recovering alcoholic, and is national spokesman for the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention.

In Madison, Wisconsin, Tom Farley, the brother of comic actor Chris Farley, who died of the effects of substance abuse in 1997 at age 33. He's president of the Chris Farley Foundation, dedicated to the prevention of substance abuse. And, in New York, Joe Califano, president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, the former secretary of health, education and welfare.

We will some questions as we go along, but let's go to some calls, too.

Greenville, South Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry.


CALLER: And I'm sorry to hear about the -- the loss, Mr. Shapiro.

R. SHAPIRO: Thank you.

CALLER: I am a director of a large non-profit recovery house in -- in South Carolina called The Turning Point. And we have had tremendous success dealing with addicts and alcoholics, had over 1,700 people go through in 11 years. And we house 125 now.

My question to the panel is, how do you feel, what are your thoughts about 12-step programs? We have had incredible success. And I would just like to hear from you guys.

KING: All right.

Start with Tom Farley.

FARLEY: Well, you know, I there's so many great ways, and it's all individual.

But the 12-step programs work. You just -- you just -- the people that are affected by this just have to find some way to continually, continually work at it. It's a lifelong struggle. And that -- that provides tools by which you get through the day. You know, and that is what it is. It's a day-by-day thing. So...


KING: That's AA, isn't it, Mariette?


FARLEY: ... great, great job.

KING: AA is 12-step.

HARTLEY: Well, there is a AA and there's also Al-Anon, which can help families of people that have struggled with alcohol.


KING: But they're both 12-step programs?

HARTLEY: Both 12-step programs,

I frankly don't think there's any other way. I mean, once you go in rehab, one has to, as Chris said, profoundly, one has to reconnect. We have to find a community.

And we have to find -- we're talking about shame and stigma. How do you think these people feel once they have hit their bottom? What is their life? What have they done with their life? The reality starts to hit. And we have to be surrounded by people who get that, who understand that, who have been there, and who are now sober and living and happy and joyous and free. And there are people like that. So, don't be afraid to join a great group.

KING: Robert?

R. SHAPIRO: You know, from what I have been able to learn, AA is a terrific program.

But, unfortunately, as good as it is -- and it probably is, as the caller said, the best program that we have -- there's only an 11 percent success rate of people who really go into that program.

KING: You went to Betty Ford right, Chris?

LAWFORD: No, I did not. But I will tell you this.

KING: Your father went to Betty Ford.

LAWFORD: Yes. The -- with regard to all of this, there's enormous resource now.

Joe brought up the '70s and '80s. The difference now is that there -- there -- I don't -- I'm not sure there are less drug addicts and alcoholics, but I will tell you this. There is a greater awareness and there's greater access to these things that can help people. There's a variety of things that can help people.

And the key to all of this is to stay connected. The outcomes are not there until somebody gets a year. Once somebody gets a year of continuous sobriety, the outcomes are significantly higher.

KING: Linell, do you worry about your other son?

L. SHAPIRO: Actually, I don't, because he doesn't have...

KING: You don't.

L. SHAPIRO: No. He doesn't have the disease. He's never had a problem in that area. And he and Brent were so close, that this has been devastating, of course. KING: But don't a lot of children hide it well?

L. SHAPIRO: Yes, very well.

But, once you kind of get educated, you can see signs, you know...

KING: You know.

L. SHAPIRO: ... out late, sleeping all day, very edgy, easily agitated.

HARTLEY: Is he getting help?

L. SHAPIRO: No. My younger son is fine.


R. SHAPIRO: You know, Larry, you bring up something I think is really important that Linell started to address. And that is, for parents, if you think there's a problem, you're right.

L. SHAPIRO: There is.

LAWFORD: Yes. There probably is.

L. SHAPIRO: Yes. It's true.

LAWFORD: And parents can do a lot. I mean, parents -- there's an ad -- I don't know who does it -- I think the Partnership For a Drug Free America -- about the parent being the anti-drug. It really is true.

I mean, there is only so much that we can do, but parents can make a huge difference in their kids' lives.


KING: Joe Califano -- yes, Joe. Did you -- you want to add something?

CALIFANO: I think it's very important, a little hope here.

One, the greatest influence on kids are parents. And we know from our research over 10 years now that the more often parents have dinner with their kids, the less likely the kids are to smoke, drink, and use drugs, number one.

Number two, I think it's important to mention that religion is a very important factor here. Kids for whom spirituality, religion, is a significant and important thing, and they get that from their parents, are much less likely to become involved with these substances.

And one other thing -- schools are another important factor. And our schools are riddled with drugs. And part of that is parents. Parents -- if there's asbestos in the ceiling of a school, the parents raise hell. They won't let the kids go to school until there's no dust left in there.

But kids -- they send their kids to schools day after day where drugs are used, kept or told.

KING: Yes.

CALIFANO: We have to get parents mobilized to clean these schools up, and we will have a tremendous impact on these kids.

KING: We will be right back with our panel, more of your phone calls. Don't go away.


KING: does anyone know why they start? Why you would take cocaine? Does anyone know. Richard Dreyfuss said you don't know why.

DENNIS QUAID, ACTOR: Well, you got to put it in context. Back in the late '60s, early '70s. And that was back during the time where, you know, drugs were going to expand our minds and everybody was experimenting and everything.

We were really getting high, and we didn't know it. And cocaine at that time was considered harmless. You know, there was -- I remember magazine articles in "People" magazine of doctors saying, you know, it is not addicting. It is just -- you know, it's -- alcohol is worse than it. And so we -- I think we all fell into that.



KING: Let's take another call.

By the way, when you were on this show last time, Chris, Patrick called you before you came -- went on, right?

LAWFORD: Yes, he did. He actually called me on, and he said, if you get a chance, mention the parity bill.


LAWFORD: Which I was glad to do.


R. SHAPIRO: I spent a whole morning with him three weeks ago when I testified before Congress on some of the things we're talking about.

KING: Very involved in this, right?

R. SHAPIRO: Totally involved. We had the head of the National Institute of Drug Abuse there, with her entire staff, had a tremendous meeting. And...

LAWFORD: He cares deeply about this issue and has done a lot of good work on it.

KING: Rochester, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Yes. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: My call is for the Shapiros.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

I was wondering, both of my children are ADD. And I was wondering -- you had mentioned earlier that Brent had gone off of his medication, and when he turned to drugs, if that could have been a way to self-medicate.

KING: Linell.

L. SHAPIRO: Actually, both of our children, Brent, and his younger brother, Grant, had ADD, much more severely when they were young.

But Brent hadn't been on medication for that for many years. And, with him, it -- it was the disease that he started and he couldn't stop. One thing led to another. And it's -- the disease takes you over.

KING: ADD simply means you can't focus well?

LAWFORD: Attention deficit disorder.

L. SHAPIRO: Mmm-hmm.

KING: But, I mean...


KING: It simply means I'm not paying attention to what you're saying?


L. SHAPIRO: And it's a chemical disorder.

R. SHAPIRO: When Brent was diagnosed with ADD at the age of 5 by one of the top people probably in the country at UCLA, Dr. Dennis Cantwell, one of the things he told us is, these kids have a propensity to become drug addicts and drug dependent.

KING: Really?


CALIFANO: Larry, there's...

KING: Yes?

CALIFANO: ... there's -- we -- there's a report on our Web site on eating disorders, on attention deficit and learning disabilities.

These kids are at much higher risk of substance abuse than other kids. And it's important for parents to know that. It's important to identify the learning disabilities and the problems early, so that you can help those kids.

KING: Tom, did Chris have a problem early?

FARLEY: Yes. He had a lot of problems early.

But, as far as this is concerned, you know, we -- we grew up in a culture here in Wisconsin that really embraces its -- its history in the beer industry. It embraces -- you know, it was the '70s. It was a university campus. So, we had drugs and alcohol around us constantly.

And you don't really know that your behaviors that are so similar to everyone else's are going to be a problem. And it wasn't until much later that Chris' problems just -- it seems like it turned automatically. It became a big problem in such a short time. And -- and, from that point on, it was a long, long struggle and process.

KING: We will be breaking and come back with our guests and more phone calls.

Let's check in New York with Anderson Cooper, the host of "A.C. 360." He will be with us at the top of the hour.

What's up, Anderson?

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": A lot of dramatic developments in Washington today.

We go in depth tonight on Congressman Kennedy's car crash and his decision to check back into rehab in Minnesota. He leaves behind a mystery and a controversy over the accident itself and how Capitol Police conducted themselves. And his admission today that he has been struggling with addiction raises a whole host of questions as well about what he was taking and his prognosis.

We will be talking to addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky and "360" M.D. Sanjay Gupta and take a closer look inside both the investigation and Patrick Kennedy's troubled past -- all that, and the sudden resignation of CIA Director Porter Goss. What's the story behind that? We will look into it on "360," coming up next -- Larry.

Thanks, Anderson. That's at the top of the hour, 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific.

Right back with our panel after this.


KING: Why did you ever go to drugs?

MELANIE GRIFFITH, ACTRESS: I think that it is genetic. You're sensitive, and if you don't have a real strong family base, someone to turn to all the time, that you turn to something that makes you feel good. And so when I -- in the '70s, you know, it was alcohol and cocaine, and the '80s. And then I went into rehab and got rid of that. And then I tore my knee skiing, and I was turned on to painkillers.




R. SHAPIRO: The Brent Shapiro Foundation For Drug Awareness was founded upon the death of my son Brent in October of 2005.

L. SHAPIRO: I don't want other mothers to have to go through the pain that I have gone through. And, hopefully, I can help you, so you don't have to live through this kind of an experience, which is so devastating.


KING: How do people get more information on the Brent Shapiro Foundation?

R. SHAPIRO: We have a Web site for kids, for parents, for doctors, to educate everyone about the warnings, about what to do.

I have talked to so many doctors. And they say: You know, parents come to me with these problems. I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do.


R. SHAPIRO: Dot-org.

KING: And, Tom Farley, how do they check in for the Chris Farley Foundation?

FARLEY: And we have got a lot of insights about Chris and some of the programs that we do, as I said, using humor and improv, and giving kids tools to take this great information that they gain and -- and actually apply it to their lives.

KING: Anaheim, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hello.

My question is for Christopher. Beating the odds of addiction takes hope. How did you do it?

LAWFORD: How did I do it?

KING: Yes. How did you do it?

LAWFORD: You know, I was lucky.

I -- you know, I -- I stayed alive, pretty much, is what it -- what it came down to. I knew, at 21, I had a problem. And it took me nine years to get sober. I tried everything. I tried everything.

And the only thing that I did right -- I used to see this therapist, and I kept saying to him -- one day, when I got sober, I went back, and I said, what was all that money that I paid you for, because I never got sober? I said, I appreciate putting your kid through college. But -- and he goes: You know what? Maybe you stayed alive.

And, sometimes, that's all we can hope for, until we get a moment of grace in our life or something changes. There's something that changed on February 17, 1986, for me. I can't explain it. I can't give it away. If I could, I would.

KING: You mean you woke up and...

LAWFORD: I -- I woke up, and it was over. It was just over.


HARTLEY: ... stopped working.

LAWFORD: There was level of surrender that happened to me that allowed some kind of grace. Joe touched on it with -- with religion and spirituality. There's an absolute spiritual component to this. I don't understand it, but I have seen it over and over and over again.

KING: Do you feel lucky?

LAWFORD: I feel enormously lucky.

And I think, you know, the people that have -- that have not been lucky, their lives are not wasted. My cousin David died of this. His life is not a waste, because...

KING: How old was David?

LAWFORD: He was -- boy, he died in '85, so, he was almost 30.

But his death impacted me profoundly, getting me sober. And my sobriety has touched a bunch of people's lives.

The Shapiros' son, Brent, his life is going to touch many, many people's lives. This is what we have to get this out of the closet and people have to embrace this...


LAWFORD: ... as something that is not something to be embarrassed about or to shun. It is not. It's a disease, plain and simple.

KING: And it is a disease, no doubt...

R. SHAPIRO: There is no question whatsoever.

LAWFORD: It has been diagnosed.

R. SHAPIRO: It is a recognizable disease.

KING: So, we don't know why Mr. A takes a marijuana and has one and throws it and doesn't get interested, and Mr. B takes one and wants another?

R. SHAPIRO: That's correct.

KING: Don't know why.


LAWFORD: One in 10 is what they estimate.

CALIFANO: You know, Larry, I think it's important to recognize that, with respect to that, smoking marijuana is Russian roulette for these kids.

And I do think what -- what Chris said is very important. I mean, people do have a spiritual renewal in the course of -- of -- of getting cured. But one optimistic point, I think it's important to note, overwhelming proportion of kids do not smoke pot. Most kids don't smoke cigarettes. And -- and most kids don't abuse prescription drugs.


CALIFANO: Most kids will drink. There's no question about that. But we have -- and -- and alcohol is far and away the most dangerous drug for our children.

KING: We have got other -- we have got to get a break.


CALIFANO: There's nothing close to that.


KING: Mariette, quickly, go ahead.

HARTLEY: Yes. Just one quick thing.

If, unfortunately, someone has lost someone, like you have, there are organizations that can help the survivors through. And I'm a part of that. And I do an eight-week group. You can also log on to and find a group like this in your neighborhood, because it's a very special kind of grief.

KING: Back with more moments right after this. Don't go away.


MATTHEW PERRY, ACTOR: I decided I needed to prioritize my life, and I decided that I needed to risk all the bad publicity, I needed to leave the movie, I needed to leave the TV show, and I needed to go get help, because I was worried about -- you know, it got to the point where I was wondering if I was going to survive.

I got into a serious problem with painkillers, a painkiller called Vicodin. And that was mostly just to -- just to not drink as much as I was. I was getting too hung over, so I tried other things that would try to balance me out.




NAOMI CAMPBELL, MODEL: I never did drugs when working.

KING: Never?


KING: So, if you were able to control it then, what let you lose it at night?


KING: We don't know, do we?

CAMPBELL: You think that you're invincible, or you think -- I don't know. I'm not quite sure what it is in the mind. The mind is such a powerful thing. It's very cunning and very baffling. And it's like -- I have no idea. If I knew that, I think I wouldn't be an addict.


KING: Chris, what is the Caron Foundation? How do we get in touch -- what do they do?

LAWFORD: They're a treatment center in Pennsylvania. It's --

L. SHAPIRO: It's terrific.

LAWFORD: They do great work. And they do great work with adolescents. They have a great adolescent treatment program there. They're -- they're one of the nationally recognized treatment centers in America.

KING: Are you optimistic or pessimistic, Mariette?

HARTLEY: Oh, gosh. I just try to keep my own nose clean and my side of the street clean, and...

KING: Day to day?

HARTLEY: Oh, yes, day to day, and sometimes hour to hour.

But I -- my -- my feeling is that my example is so important, especially for my kids, that my sobriety is my greatest gift to them.

KING: Tom, you optimistic or pessimistic?

FARLEY: No, I'm very -- I'm always optimistic.

Yes, I think there's some great messages and great role models out there. And the kids are -- are -- are going to survive, if they can just get through to the right messages. There's -- there's so much clutter out there. And they have got so many things that will trip them up. If we can just get out of their way and let them live, they will be all right.

KING: Yes.


R. SHAPIRO: We have got a lot work to do. We have got to educate the population. We have got to educate the parents. We have got to educate the teachers. We have got to start communication between parents and teachers, between parents and parents, between kids and kids.

If there's a problem, let people know about it, and let's try to help them.

KING: Linell?

L. SHAPIRO: I'm very optimistic. I know there are friends of Brent's that have already been helped.

KING: You're all brave to be with us. We thank you all for...


KING: I'm out of time.


KING: I'm out of time.

CALIFANO: OK. All righty.



KING: Sorry.

Before we go, admitting to an addiction and seeking help for it, as Congressman Patrick Kennedy has done, is an act of great personal courage. And we wish him well, as he enters rehab.

And our good thoughts go out to all those who are fighting the terrible problems of substance abuse and addiction that we have discussed tonight.

Tomorrow night on "LARRY KING LIVE," a weekend highlight with Patti Davis, the daughter of the late president and the very alive Nancy Reagan. And Rich Cohen has written a fascinating book on the history of Sweet'N Low.

We now turn our attention to New York. Anderson Cooper is standing by to host "A.C. 360."

Anderson, I guess you're following up on the Patrick Kennedy story.

COOPER: Absolutely, a day of really stunning developments out of Washington, Larry.


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