Christopher Kennedy Lawford, 63, who was born into celebrity and made his mark in advocacy after finding recovery in his 30s, died of a heart attack on Sept. 4.
Lawford, a nephew of John F. Kennedy and cousin of prominent recovery advocate Patrick Kennedy, became a sought-after presenter at national conferences beginning in the 2000s. He published the first of several books on recovery, Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption, in 2005.
“He was the absolute cornerstone to my sobriety, along with my wife,” Patrick Kennedy said this week. “He was the one who walked me through all the difficult days of the early period.”
Lawford's impactful Moments of Clarity: Voices From the Front Lines of Addiction and Recovery put a spotlight on the diverse “transformational moments” that individuals said started them on the road to recovery.
Among his past advocacy efforts in the field, Lawford spoke nationally on behalf of Caron Treatment Centers.
Addiction professionals annually convene at the National Conference on Addiction Disorders to share what’s working: Clinicians hear from thought leaders on delivering treatment, while executives of behavioral healthcare organizations learn how to run more effective, more efficient, and ethically minded businesses.