CANADA’s BLOTTO (TORONTO) MAYOR: A Full Blown Case Study Of Alcohol Addiction, Its Ravages. ‘Functioning’ Alcoholics, Enablers Too…Commentary By Adina Kutnicki
Posted on Nov. 14, 2013
Before we get to the heart of the matter, let it be known that this blog is no stranger to reporting on alcoholism/substance abuse. Not at all.
As such, whereas others may view the shocking footage (featured below) of Toronto’s blotto Mayor as a freakish side show, it is no such thing. Rather, it is the horrific reality of too many full blown alcoholics and their (primary and extended) families. Watching an addict’s descent into madness – of sorts – is unbearably painful.
And whereas some are also addicted to drugs, this is neither here nor there, at least in terms of the mental and physical damage/anguish accrued. Alcoholism, by itself, is a stand alone. It is a bonafide killer.
Know this: a considerable percentage of addicts hold down high profile jobs. They are, for lack of a better term, “functioning alcoholics”. What the hell does that mean? Simply put, as described within “Alcohol Addiction: Its Stranglehold On Anyone Unfortunate Enough To Succumb To Its ‘Lure’…Its Tentacle-Like Effects” –
“Lest anyone dares think this disease mainly grips the less educated, think again. Far from it.
The following should serve as a double wake up call, especially since its tale is told by a leading American cardiologist who was not too far from an early grave due to alcoholism – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1153524/Could-pill-cure-alcoholism-Doctor-drinking-early-grave-tells-fairy-tale-recovery.html.
Most significantly, how scary is it to realize that people in positions of life and death responsibility may often operate ( some literally ! ) under impaired conditions? So is this just someone else’s problem, or one of society at large?…”
On the other hand, many alcoholics live out their lives as skid row bums under horrific conditions. Consequentially, they may be highly visible as they clutter the streets, yet also become invisible casualties of this devastating addiction.
Indeed, the underbelly of substance abuse crosses all societal lines, ensnaring/enveloping many women/moms too in its (initial) tentacled embrace. To be sure, addiction cannot be handled without highly competent professional help, ala the mental health spectrum and the clinical end. It’s a delicately balanced professional high wire act.
Therefore, Dr. Drew rightfully prescribes – as a first step – an INTERVENTION! Tragically, oftentimes, their primary “enablers” (generally spouses, but if unmarried, sometimes parents and siblings) are as resistant to said lifeline as the addict. As to the whys and wherefores, they too are in desperate need of mental health professionals. Think of it this way: who in their right mind would subject themselves (and possibly the couple’s children too) to such full blown addiction? Rhetorical question.
“This poor gentleman has rather significant alcoholism,” said Pinsky, who is known on TV and radio as Dr. Drew.
Pinsky, who has not met Ford, said he is basing his professional opinions on media coverage and the mayor’s own statements about alcohol and drug use.
“He clearly is suffering right now and that suffering can be managed and treated. He can have a flourishing life again but he has to be willing to give up the alcohol,” Pinsky said in an interview with Maurie Sherman that aired Wednesday on The Roz & Mocha Show on KiSS 92.5.
“The crazy thing about alcoholism is it distorts your priorities so much that you’d rather die and lose your job and lose your family than contemplate stopping your relationship with this substance that you literally love.” [blog emphasis]
Pinsky said Ford appears to be a textbook alcoholic.
“He was drinking sufficiently to be in a stupor, which is not a normal relationship with alcohol,” Pinsky noted. “He’s drinking sufficiently to have consequences — work consequences, probably relationship consequences, probably medical consequences. You only need to have consequence in one of those spheres to meet criteria for alcoholism.” [bog emphasis]
After his surprise admission on Tuesday that he had smoked crack, Ford insisted he didn’t lie and reporters had simply not asked the right question.
“The obfuscation he’s maintaining is almost funny,” said Pinsky. “What addicts always do when they’re not lying, they’re obfuscating. Denial is a defining feature of this condition.
“To say ‘I was a stuporous drunk but I’m not an addict’ is a nonsensical phrase.”
Asked if it’s possible to smoke crack only once, Pinsky replied: “It’s pretty uncommon. It’s not a drug of recreation.”
But, he added, the citizens of Toronto should not focus on what substances Ford has used.
“It shouldn’t concern you. What should concern you is he’s doing enough to need an opportunity to go get help. Don’t worry about the specifics.”
Instead, Pinsky advised the people close to Ford to help him.
“I’m sure he’s in a lot of pain,” said Pinsky. “I’m sure when he starts to look at the wreckage that his condition has caused it’s going to hurt even more.” [blog emphasis]
Pinsky said the mayor’s family — including Ford’s trusted brother Doug — need to take action. [blog emphasis – in spades]
“Families know long before the identified addict or alcohol believes their family knows. By the time they come clean to their family, the family knew a long time ago that there’s an issue,” said Pinsky. “Let’s everybody go to Al-Anon and let’s get an intervention on this poor man and let’s get him put back together.”
To make matters even more incendiary and urgent, as to dragging this alcoholic into treatment, Ford is a clear and present danger…see this:
The court documents released on Wednesday outline at least three incidents where people close to the mayor believe he was driving while intoxicated. In one case, a young staffer felt scared while riding in the passenger seat with the mayor behind the wheel. In another case a young staffer asked to be let out of the vehicle and took a bus the rest of the way home after he saw the mayor drinking...sans a scintilla of a doubt, the Mayor is a public (drunk driving)menace!
As a result of their inability to look away any longer, the media is finally ! calling for his resignation: Ford has added crack cocaine to his menu of highs. It beggars the imagination to believe, after 3 plus years in office, his over the top/outrageous booze-fueled behavior just came into their view. Nonsense. Hogwash.
ADDING to the mix, a viewing of the following 2 clips – featuring Toronto’s blotto Mayor – tells us all we need to know about the runaway effects of alcoholism/substance abuse, as well as all the wreckage left in its wake – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-UrUajx0_c …..http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24858250
YET, the most salient questions of all still beg to be asked:
Why was he allowed to continue in his post for 3 plus years? Surely many surrounding him (within the Mayor’s office, the media, as they chase down stories, and even others not so close to him) knew of his addiction.
More specifically, where has his family been in all this, especially his wife? Is she, what is clinically termed, his chief “enabler”? Is she (and his brother, for similar reasons) unwilling to give up the perks of her lifestyle as “First Lady” of Toronto, sacrificing her sick husband in the process? It’s a fair question. Many such wives are addicted to their husband’s professional stature/success – their “star” power – and a “deal with the devil” is made. It has been known to happen.
Besides, the following expose’ lists a litany of charges against Ford, going back more than a decade before he was elected as Toronto’s Mayor back in 2010. Therefore, none of the individuals referenced above can claim ignorance and shock ! shock, as if they didn’t know about the extreme nature of his addiction. Hooey and phooey.
So, as the good doc stated above, it bears repeating:
“I’m sure when he starts to look at the wreckage that his condition has caused it’s going to hurt even more.”
Pinsky said the mayor’s family — including Ford’s trusted brother Doug — need to take action….
Now, according to this blogger’s maiden attempt to highlight the scourge of alcoholism, an op-ed was penned for The Jewish Press, Alcoholism:The Wreckage In Its Wake (Dec. 2011). Its most intrinsic feature targeted the “enabler”(s) in the addict’s midst. To this end, the following was written:
“The cycle of co-dependency must be broken in order to beat back this ever-increasing scourge within our communities. The wreckage left in its wake is not only found in the twisted metal on our roads and the bloodied bodies, whether maimed or killed. It is in the devastation left behind – the widows/widowers, the orphans, the siblings, the parents, plus all their shattered hopes and dreams. No one should be foolish enough to expect the addict to gauge when they have caused too much suffering to themselves or their loved ones. They are in no condition to do so. Therefore, it is morally incumbent upon their sober loved ones to lead the charge, finally breaking the chains of co-dependency. They must state convincingly, clearly and lovingly – ENOUGH! Either the alcohol or the family. It can no longer be both”.
In the main, a scream is heading in the direction of, first and foremost, Renata Ford, his wife. His Number One “supporter”. Then, a secondary alarm is landing at his brother’s door. Doug is reportedly his close confidante.
To an absolute certainty, both of these “significant” others (and the rest of his close knit family/friends/colleagues) not only played a crucial part in covering up his addiction, but must play the opposite role in his recovery. That is, if they seek his survival, over whatever need drove them to cover up his full blown addiction in the first place.
But at the end of this “death dance” it will be up to Ford himself to forge a substance abuse free life. Do or die.