State Sen. John Flanagan says he completed alcohol treatment

Flanagan was first elected to the New York State Senate in the fall of 2002.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan has revealed that he recently completed an alcohol treatment program.

Newsday reports the Republican state Senator from Long Island issued a statement Sunday after an inquiry by the newspaper.

In the statement, Flanagan said "alcohol was becoming a crutch to deal with pressure" he was under related to his responsibilities as majority leader. He said he entered the program last month shortly after the close of the 2017 legislative session.

The politician said he hoped his actions serve as a reminder to all who use alcohol to confront stress and urged those with addiction to seek help.

Flanagan was first elected to the New York State Senate in the fall of 2002.

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb applauded Flanagan for his statement.

"John Flanagan courageously came forward today to discuss a deeply personal issue," said Kolb. "His actions should inspire others to seek help and support with their own unique challenges. I wish him my heartfelt support and best wishes."

Flanagan's full statement can be seen below.

"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."
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