NY Sen. Majority leader gets help for alcohol dependency

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In a surprise announcement on Sunday, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan issued a statement revealing that he had received treatment for his alcohol addiction.

“Don’t deny your problems, deal with them and that’s what John Flanagan is doing,” Assemblyman John McDonald (D-Cohoes) said.

Assemblyman McDonald wasn’t the only one to applaud Flanagan when he admitted Sunday that he had sought treatment for his alcohol addiction. He says it stemmed from the pressures and responsibilities of his job.

“That was a bold step and to break the stigma about this is the hardest thing and I commend him for it,” Senator George Amedore Jr. (R-Montgomery and Greene Counties) said.

“It took a lot of courage and John should be commended for coming out with that message,” Assemblyman McDonald said.

Many senators and assembly members took to Twitter to show their support for Senator Flanagan.

“You have to lead by example and he’s leading by example in this issue as he has in his life,” Sen. Amedore said.

Flanagan indicated in his statement that he will be remaining in his position and took this step for his family and to better serve his community. So far, it’s not bothering any of the legislators.

“I never have a problem with people who recognize that they have an issue and want to do something about it,” Assemblyman McDonald said.

“We’re going to have to watch and see if it overtakes his ability to do his job but I don’t think so. I have not seen signs of any type of issues,” Sen. Amedore said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted out his support for Senator Flanagan Sunday night saying:

“Alcoholism is a disease. Majority Leader Flanagan deserves our respect and support for seeking help and talking about it as an example for others.”

Other senators and assembly members have also tweeted their support.

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