As an Addiction Therapist, I Think Rob Ford Needs Help

11/04/2013 05:35 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

When the news finally broke about the alleged crack video being in the hands of the Toronto Police, the addiction therapist in me saw it as a blessing in disguise for Mr. Ford. I recall thinking "maybe now he will stop this charade, get the help he needs and get his life back on track."

Needless to say, I am very disappointed in his assertion on Talk AM Radio 640 that "I am not an alcoholic. I am not a drug addict."

That very well could be true. I don't know Mr. Ford personally. But what I do know is that his behaviour of late is very indicative of an alcoholic or a drug addict.

People who don't have issues with alcohol simply do not show up inebriated at public functions, especially when they're in a position of authority. People who don't have problems with drugs don't spend countless hours associating with accused drug dealers, and are certainly never videotaped smoking crack cocaine in a known crack-house. They typically aren't followed by police at all hours of the night either.

What may be happening with Mr. Ford is the old mind trick of "I'm not as bad as him (or her) so I don't have a problem." And considering the circles that Mr. Ford associates with, I can assure you that there are many people in his life that are far worse off than him. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't have a problem.

There is a great deal of disparity when it comes to defining addiction. But the general theme if you look at all the different definitions is that it is a behaviour that is continued, despite negative consequences. He has yet to acknowledge his crack cocaine use but has stated that he intends to 'curb' his drinking in the future. Therefore, he is essentially saying that he intends on continuing to drink even though there are negative consequences.

By definition, an addict.

One thing I know from working with crack cocaine addicts is that it is much more difficult to say no to the cocaine once you have had a few drinks. Many of them get clean for years, and then decide to have a few drinks and the next thing they know, all their money is gone and they are back in the belly of the beast.

I don't know what the best course of action for Mr. Ford is. I do know that talking to an addiction professional wouldn't be a bad first step.

If he's serious about wanting to remain in office, I think it is irresponsible of him to pretend as though everything is fine. It's not fine, and I base that only on what has come out publicly. I can't even imagine what we don't know about.

By telling everyone that he doesn't have a problem, he is making it easier for countless others to minimize their drug and alcohol use.

"If Ford didn't have to go to rehab, why should I?"

If he really is the man of the people as he claims, then he should realize that he is setting a poor example for those battling the very serious issue of drug and alcohol addiction.

He may have a problem, he may not. But one thing he can't deny is that his drug and alcohol use is causing some negative consequences. It's time to stop fighting and just admit that perhaps, this is one problem that you can't fix on your own.

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