Thursday 26 April 2018

I have had every drug there is, but I am dry today – Ford

Rob Ford at a post-rehab public appearance. Reuters
Rob Ford at a post-rehab public appearance. Reuters
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Rachael Alexander

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said last night that he's used "every drug you can probably think of" and blamed substance abuse for the racist and homophobic language he's used.

Mr Ford returned to work this week after a two-month stay in rehab for drugs and alcohol. The mayor of Canada's largest city said he's used cocaine, marijuana and hallucinogenic mushrooms, but not heroin. He acknowledged he smoked crack but denied he was a crack addict. He said he drank at City Hall, but never did drugs at work.

"You name it, I've abused it," he said.

Mr Ford refused to say whether he'd resign if he falls off the wagon again. Asked if that was good enough for the people of Toronto, he said it would be up to them to decide in the October 27 election.

"I'm taking it one day at a time. I did not drink yesterday, I haven't drunk today," Mr Ford said.

He made the remarks in interviews with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and CP24. He returned to City Hall earlier this week and gave a statement but refused to take questions.

The mayor announced in late April that he would seek help for alcohol addiction after a video surfaced that apparently showed him smoking crack cocaine. Reports last year of a similar video led to months of denials before Mr Ford made his statement about smoking crack in a "drunken stupor."

His reign as mayor has been marred by revelations about his drinking problems and illegal drug use. Toronto's City Council stripped him of most of his powers last year.

He has been repeatedly videotaped and photographed while intoxicated in public and he has made racist and homophobic remarks that were caught on tape. Mr Ford blamed his disease for the remarks. "I can't even imagine using that terminology," he said.

Mr Ford said he won't be resigning to deal with his substance abuse issues. "I love my job and keeping busy is the best thing for me," he said.

He said he's been abusing drugs and alcohol for years and said his job is not what drove him to abuse substances. "I was ruining my health. I was ruining my family and my job as mayor," he said.

Irish Independent

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