On the whole Ramstad said members of Congress were supportive of those in treatment.
"The vast majority of congressmen understood the issue… Some of my antagonists from the other side of the aisle, in the Minnesota state Senate and in Congress, became some of my best friends. Some were even recovering alcoholics and I would have had no idea," he said.
The stakes are high for addicts in Congress, but so are the opportunities for abuse. Alcohol is often served at political functions and imbibed in members' offices.
Both Ramstad and Kennedy said Radel's chances at success both medically and politically were aided by his coming clean and getting treatment.
Radel, R- Fla., appeared in court today and admitted to buying cocaine from an undercover federal agent. In a statement released Tuesday, the congressman said he had also abused alcohol and was in treatment.
"Your honor, I apologize for what I've done," Radel said today in a Washington courtroom. "I have hit the bottom... I realize I need help and have aggressively sought the help... I am so sorry to be here."
Radel is currently undergoing counseling in Washington, D.C., but said he will attend in-patient treatment near his home in Naples, Fla.