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What We Can Learn from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Those following the news this week were unlikely to overlook an unfortunate development regarding the city of Toronto’s highest ranking official. Mayor Rob Ford admitted on camera that he smoked crack cocaine approximately one year ago during his tenure in office. His confession has sparked shock and outrage among the media and mass public, and many are calling for the Mayor to step down from his position.

While Mayor Ford’s confession has become an immense issue in politics and pop culture, it is especially relevant to the field of substance abuse recovery. Rob Ford is displaying many of the telltale signs of a person in need of professional drug rehabilitation treatment. And it is important that the public responds to his crisis in a compassionate, responsible way to send a positive message to young people and recovering addicts.

Mayor Ford’s admission to crack use is the first of many indications that he may have a problem with addiction. He has also shown repeated instances of excessive alcohol use and public intoxication. On of these instances even featured an alcohol-fueled rant where he openly demonstrated intentions to commit deadly violence on another person.

Despite previous attempts to deny such allegations, Mayor Ford has begun to admit he has drug and mental health issues. The Toronto Star reported this week that Ford suffers from depression and is “taking steps to fix [his] drinking problem.” Fox News also confirmed today that Ford is now considering entering drug rehab.

For Ford’s personal health and well-being, it is important that he seeks a rehab program suited to his specific needs. But it is also important that the media and general public address the issue in a responsible manner to send an appropriate message to those watching.

Sadly, this has not been the case. Late night comedians like Jay Leno and Dave Letterman have taken repeated jabs at Ford on national television, making light of his condition. On his show this week, Jimmy Kimmel joked that he’s “very jealous [he’s] not in Toronto, where the ongoing saga of Mayor Rob Ford is better than any good weather ever can be.”

Instead of joking or making light of the Mayor’s problems, we should be learning from them as a society. There should be no shame or embarrassment in the idea of a public figure seeking drug rehabilitation treatment to address the problems in his or her life. The media and mass public should be encouraging Ford to step down from office and seek treatment as a positive example to others suffering from addiction.

If you or someone you love suffers from crack cocaine addiction, call Prominence Treatment Center at 877-383-2284 for a free consultation today. Our qualified representatives are standing by 24 hours a day to address your needs.

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