US Congressman to quit amid alcoholism

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Washington, May 29 (IANS) Virginia congressman Tom Garrett has said that he was an alcoholic and will not seek re-election in November.

“The recent attacks on my family are a series of half-truths and whole lies,” Politico quoted the Republican lawmaker as saying on Monday.

“But there’s one area where I haven’t been honest. The tragedy is that any person Republican, Democrat or independent who’s known me for period of time and has any integrity knows two things: I am a good man and I am an alcoholic.”

The 46-year-old Garrett was the subject of a Politico report on May 25 citing four former aides who said that the congressman and his wife, Flanna, had used official staff to run errands and take care of their dog.

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In his Monday statement, he called the allegations “a series of half-truths and whole lies”.

It is unclear whether Garrett will seek outpatient treatment for his alcoholism, or enter an in-patient facility.

Garrett is not be the first House member to seek treatment for excessive alcohol use while in office, reports Politico.

The late Democrat Representative Karen McCarthy fell down an escalator in the Rayburn House Office Building in 2003 and later received treatment for alcohol misuse.

In 2000, the late Illinois Republican Phil Crane entered a 30-day rehabilitation facility after admitting he struggled with alcohol use.

Former Rhode Island lawmaker Patrick Kennedy was treated for substance abuse, as well as other mental health issues.

–IANS

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