State Sen. John Flanagan says he completed alcohol treatment
State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan announced Sunday that he recently underwent alcohol treatment.
The Republican from East Northport says in a statement that he was "using alcohol as a crutch" to deal with work pressures. He says he "proactively took control of the situation" and sought immediate help.
"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," Flanagan’s statement says. He also encourages others in similar situations to get help.
Flanagan’s admission has been met with words of support and encouragement from many fellow Long Islanders. Lynn Rubinson, of Massapequa, says it's refreshing that a politician went public with a personal problem.
"Sometimes when you're honest, you can deal with it," Rubinson says.
Fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are also rallying around Flanagan with messages of support, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, both Democrats.
"It's never affected his job, I can tell you that," says fellow state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore). "A lot of us feel if he needed to get this help, he should. He's going to send a strong message to others who may be suffering from addiction that they should get help, too."