|Patrick J. Kennedy|
Kennedy is a former U.S. Representative for Rhode Island, co-founder of One Mind and founder of the Kennedy Forum. He has authored two best-selling books: Coming Clean and A Common Struggle.
Kennedy, part of one of the country's best-known political families, is considered the nation's leading voice on mental illness, addiction and other brain diseases.
In his presentation today and in his books, Kennedy spoke candidly about his own history with addiction and of that of other members of his family. He also talked about the open awareness of the problems and the silence all maintained throughout their struggles.
Kennedy also praised The Center on Recovery for its long history - 70 years now - of serving the needs of the addicted community.
The luncheon was held at the Hilton Americas Hotel and attended by hundreds of dedicated supporters of the great work of The Center. I was there as the guest of a good friend, Marc Melcher, a past chairman of The Council Board.
I appreciated the opportunity to be there, to hear Kennedy and to help celebrate the milestone 70th anniversary of The Council on Recovery.
Back in 1946, the Houston Committee for Education on Alcoholism (HCEA) was formed. The creation came after a speech by Marty Mann, the executive director of the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism. Early HCEA members included James Anderson, E.A Craft, Nina Cullinan, Oveta Culp Hobby, Dr. Hartman Kilgore, William A. Kirkland, Judge Cleo Miller, Dr. James Molloy and Bishop Clinton Quin.
In 1952, after compiling and examining a history of HCEA, an organizing committee decides to form and incorporate a new organization -- the Houston Committee on Alcoholism.
By 1982, the organization was known as the Houston Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and has six employees. And, then, in 1996, HCADA is doing business as the Houston Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (The Houston Council).
On January 1, 2013, The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston forms a historical merger with Austin Recovery, Inc. The partnership between the two organizations brought an enhanced continuum of recovery services to both communities, while fulfilling the organizations’ common mission of offering affordable alcohol and drug abuse treatment at the highest standards.
Last year, Austin Recovery and The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston rebrand under a new name – The Council on Recovery. The Council on Recovery serves both Houston and Austin, providing a unified name, mission and brand to both communities. With both inpatient and outpatient services, The Council on Recovery is the only center providing a full spectrum of prevention, education and recovery resources to the Houston and Austin communities.
Kudos to Mel Taylor, The Council's long-time president and CEO, and his dedicated staff and volunteers. Together, they continue to change the lives of so many suffering from addiction and, in so doing, re-unite so many families torn apart by it.