POLITICS

Seamus O'Regan Returning To Work After Seeking Treatment For Alcohol Problem

01/18/2016 08:50 EST | Updated 01/18/2017 05:12 EST

OTTAWA — A Liberal MP who sought treatment for an alcohol problem last month said Monday he is "reporting back for duty" in Ottawa.

Seamus O'Regan said in a Facebook post that he has dealt with his "personal challenges" and will continue to do so.

"But, ultimately, my personal challenges are secondary to the needs of my constituents," he said.

The rookie politician, who represents St. John's South-Mount Pearl, said he checked into a Toronto treatment facility last month immediately after wrapping up his work on Parliament Hill.

seamus oregan

The Liberal MP says he feels "stronger, healthier, and more engaged." (The Canadian Press)

The former journalist and host of CTV's Canada AM said he made the decision after realizing that simply trying to drink less wasn't working.

"Over the last year or two, alcohol was becoming a part of my daily life. I regularly had several drinks at the end of most days. Sometimes more than several drinks," he wrote.

"I was still working effectively and competently, but I realized, over time, that being competent was not good enough. I was far from my best self. And the simple truth is that I owe my best self to my marriage, to my family, to my friends, and to my constituents."

O'Regan said he remained at the facility until a few days ago and has been sober for 40 days.

He said he feels "stronger, healthier, and more engaged" than he has in a long time, and plans to maintain his new lifestyle.

"I was far from my best self."

"I have had the benefit of many hours of counselling, meditation and acquiring the tools to remain alcohol-free," he said.

He also thanked all those who called or wrote to wish him well over the last few weeks.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his support when O'Regan announced that he was seeking help over the holiday break.

O'Regan's full statement:

Statement from MP Seamus O'Regan:Over the last year or two, alcohol was becoming a part of my daily life. I regularly...

Posted by Seamus O'Regan, Liberal Party of Canada on Monday, January 18, 2016

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