UK & World News

  • 1 July 2014, 3:51

'Rehab Staff Saved My Life,' Says Toronto Mayor

Disgraced mayor Rob Ford has publicly acknowledged the extent of his drugs and alcohol problem for the first time.

In an emotional televised statement at Toronto's City Hall, Ford apologised to the people of the city and revealed the impact drug use had on his family and his health.

The mayor was speaking after completing two months of rehabilitation for substance abuse at an addiction facility in Ontario following revelations he had been caught on video smoking a crack pipe last year.

The video's existence led to months of denials before Ford admitted smoking crack in a "drunken stupor".

"For a long time, I resisted the idea of getting help, like a lot of people dealing with substance abuse, I was in complete denial," he said.

"I had convinced myself that I did not have a problem, but it soon became obvious that my alcohol and drug use was having a serious, serious impact on my family, and on my health and on my job as mayor.

"But folks, this is a long, long road to recovery. No matter what I do, no matter what I do, I will never be able to change the mistakes that I have made in the past.

"My commitment to living clean is now unwavering. To the people of this great city, I want to offer a public apology.

"I used poor judgement and I take full responsibility for my actions. At Greenstone, I accepted that in my position I am held to a higher standard."

"I accept full responsibility for what I have done."

The mayor of Canada's largest city added that staff at the rehab facility had saved his life.

His decision to seek treatment came months after he announced he was giving up drinking, only for a steady stream of reports of intoxicated behaviour to follow.

His brother Doug said the mayor would continue campaigning immediately, adding his brother loved the job and that he was fighting for his political life.

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