Patrick J. Kennedy Speaks at Virtual Event during UNODC’s 65th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Washington, D.C., March 22, 2022 On Friday, March 18th, former Congressman and founder of The Kennedy Forum, Patrick J. Kennedy, participated in San Patrignano’s “People in Recovery and Stigma: Barriers and Strengths in Their Pathways,” a side event to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)’s 65th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

The program was supported by the Governments of Italy, the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission – Secretariat for Multidimensional Security of the Organization of American States, Aspire – Drug & Alcohol Service Doncaster, the Drug Free America Foundation, EURAD, the NHS Addictions Provider Alliance, Proslavi Oporavak, the University of Derby and the World Federation Against Drugs.

Kennedy joined Fabiana Dadone, Minister for Youth Policies of Italy with the Mandate for Drug Policies and Addictions, and Amb. Adam E. Namm, Executive Secretary, Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), OAS, in providing introductory remarks for a prestigious panel addressing lived experience, studies concerning stigma and social inclusion of people in recovery, and interventions that can support people in their path to recovery.

Panelists were Neil Firbank, Aspire, Doncaster, UK; Monica Barzanti, San Patrignano, Italy; Danny Hames, NHS Addictions Provider Alliance, UK; Jimena Kalawski, CICAD Executive Secretariat, OAS; David Best, Derby University, UK; and Mullka Nisic, Celebrate Recovery, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

To learn more about the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), visit


About Patrick J. Kennedy:

Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy (D-R.I.) is a lifelong mental health advocate and former member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. He is the founder of The Kennedy Forum, a convening think tank tackling mental health and addiction issues and co-founder of One Mind, a global leader in open science collaboration for brain research. In 2015, he co-authored A Common Struggle, a New York Times best seller, which details his personal journey and provides a roadmap for the future of mental health policy. Mr. Kennedy is pushing for full enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. He was the lead sponsor of this groundbreaking legislation, which requires health plans cover mental health, eating disorder, and addiction care health benefits the same way they cover physical health benefits. To learn about Mr. Kennedy’s efforts, please visit