The death of Charles Kennedy should remove some of the stigma around alcohol addiction, one of the late politician's former rivals for Liberal Democrat leader has said.
Jackie Ballard, who is now chief executive of Alcohol Concern, said Mr Kennedy's life and achievements should not be masked by his drink problem.
Let's not define Charles Kennedy by his alcoholism. That would be awful because he did so much with his life and he was so much more than that.
But if we can use it as a way to start conversations about alcohol so that other people can get help and treatment before they get to the point of being addicted, then that would be a positive thing.
Ms Ballard said Mr Kennedy's death at 55 showed how the disease can affect anyone.
Addiction to alcohol has no respect of status, income or anything else in life and too often people's impression of an alcoholic is somebody who is a street drinker or homeless.
There are 1.4 million people in this country who are dependent on alcohol and they are all around us. They are in our families, they are in our work places and tragically Charles was one of many.
Satirical panel show Have I Got News For You has paid a warm tribute to the late former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy.
MPs have paid tribute in the House of Commons to former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy, who was found dead at his home earlier this week.
The broadcaster and journalist said he had a 'shared enemy' with the former Lib Dem leader as they bonded over their battle with alcohol.