New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan issued a statement on Sunday, saying that he had recently been treated for an alcohol problem.
The statement came from Flanagan after an inquiry from Newsday. The newspaper said that the GOP Senate leader entered a program last month, not long after the close of the 2017 legislative session.
This is the statement Flanagan issued on Sunday:
"Recently, I recognized that alcohol was becoming a crutch to deal with pressure I was under related to my responsibilities as Majority Leader of the New York State Senate. Therefore, I proactively took control of the situation and sought immediate help so I could overcome it and move forward.
I took this step to ensure this dependency would not affect my ability to do my job or represent my constituents or the members of our Senate Republican Majority.
This is a step I needed to take for myself and for my family, and it will allow me to continue to serve and to give back to my community and state. Being a public servant and following in the footsteps of my father has been the greatest honor of my life, and I know that I have much more to accomplish and much more still to do.
I would hope my actions serve as a reminder to all those who find that alcohol has become a means to confront personal or professional stress. It never has been and never will be. If you find yourself becoming dependent you not only have a responsibility to your family and colleagues to recognize it, but to proactively engage the programs that are in place that will help you. No one is immune. Seek help and regain your personal pathway through life.