There has been a lot in the news lately about Toronto mayor Rob Ford and his exploits involving drug abuse, other outbursts, and shady situations more than questionable for a state official. Now Rob Ford states publicly that he suffers from the disease of addiction, that cannot be cured, and that is what produced those actions and outbursts in the past. However mayor Ford will not go as far as to disclose if he intends to resign given that he falls off the wagon and becomes actively belligerent again.
Interviews with Ford
After seven weeks at the GreeneStone rehabilitation facility in Muskoka, mayor Ford agreed to participate in interviews for a few local news stations to discuss the circumstances, and where he was with his plan of action and treatment. The public official remained vague on any details in both interviews. He blamed the controversies and scandals of the recent past, including his racist, homophobic and misogynistic slurs, on his struggle with alcohol and drug abuse. When reporters inquired further about the racist and homophobic remarks, Ford said he couldn’t imagine using the kind of terminology he was accused of, but he also claimed that having an addiction means “you say things, do things that aren’t you.”
Ford told Dwight Drummond, who reported for CBS News, that while he did drink at City Hall, he never used drugs in his office. The mayor also admitted that he was smoking crack in the video released back in May 2014. The mayor had taken a temporary leave of absence a short time after that story initially hit headlines. During the interview when Drummond listed a number of different drugs that Ford may have tried, from marijuana to heroin, Ford said “you name it.” But later on in another interview he denied ever having used heroin.
One Day at a Time
The infamous Ford played his hand close to the chest in both interviews in regards to the current legal problems he is facing, and kept very short about why he still has not met with police to assist in the investigation pertaining to both him and the associates the mayor now claims are out of his life. Ford told Drummond during their interview he “absolutely” understands why citizens want him to speak with the authorities but Dennis Morris, who is acting as his attorney at this time, has advised him not to.
Drummond went on to repeatedly asked if Ford will resign if he is found to be abusing drugs or alcohol in the future, but Toronto’s mayor suggested he isn’t thinking that far ahead.
“I know I didn’t drink yesterday. I know I haven’t drank today,” he said. “I’m taking it one day at a time.” So it seems that the Toronto mayor has some of the jargon down as far as a program of recovery is concerned.
Some believe that the Toronto mayor is using his addiction issues as an avenue to avoid questions about his administration or policies. During the interview when asked about whether he will attend Pride festivities next year, he used the issue of his struggle with drugs and alcohol to deflect having to answer directly. He was asked point blank if he will attend the event next year if he is re-elected in October. He stuck to his guns with, “One day at a time.”
Getting Honest about Addiction
Mayor Rob ford does admit that he has had quite a run with several different substances. It is understandable for any addict to see where this logic is helpful in the recovery process, because at least it shows his understanding of the nature of the disease of addiction. Any substance is a threat, not just the one you get caught using or in the most trouble for. When asked about which drugs he was using Rob Ford responded,
“Every drug that you can think of, probably. Marijuana. Mushrooms. Everything you can think of,” he said. Again, when asked directly if that included using heroin Ford said no.
Ford told reporters he isn’t cured of his addiction after just 60 days in treatment. That again for anyone who is familiar with recovery and addiction is a good sign in itself, because it shows that the mayor does not consider he would able to walk out of rehab and be able to drink and use successfully. Ford says he has no fear that the stress of being mayor triggers what he calls “uncontrollable cravings” and he suggests that “keeping busy” will help keep him on the straight and narrow. This is a little more troubling, but as long as ‘keeping busy’ includes some kind of program of action, there is a possibility for recovery.
“I was born with blond hair, I’m going to die with blond hair,” he said. “I was born an alcoholic, I’m going to die an alcoholic.” So in many ways it seems Rob Ford is educating himself in the characteristics and symptoms of addiction and alcoholism, but some are worried that for the time being he will be using his addiction as a crutch to hold up his office while not really addressing any issues honestly. For now it may just have to be progress, not perfection for this politician.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135