O’Regan says he’s 40 days alcohol-free

James
James McLeod
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St. John’s South-Mount Pearl MP Seamus O’Regan says he’s back to work and 40 days alcohol-free.
In a lengthy post on Facebook, O’Regan said he spent Christmas and New Year’s in a treatment centre in Ontario after realizing that alcohol was a problem in his life.

Seamus O'Regan, flanked by supporters, makes his acceptance speech in St. John’s following his win in the district of St. John's South in October.

“Over the last year or two, alcohol was becoming a part of my daily life. I regularly had several drinks at the end of most days. Sometimes more than several drinks,” O’Regan said on Facebook.

“I was still working effectively and competently, but I realized, over time, that being competent was not good enough. I was far from my best self. And the simple truth is that I owe my best self to my marriage, to my family, to my friends, and to my constituents. I realized that, for me, just trying to use alcohol less — or more responsibly — was not working.”

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O’Regan was elected as a Liberal MP in the Oct. 19 general election. Just after New Year’s he announced on Twitter that he’d entered a treatment program for alcohol.

On Facebook, he gave a bit more detail.

“I did my homework, and chose a facility that I thought was right for me. I entered treatment on the last day that Parliament sat in December,” O’Regan wrote. “I did my House duty that day. I completed my work as an MP and I left Parliament Hill. I stopped to buy an armful of books and — on my own — flew out of Ottawa to Toronto, where I presented myself at a nearby treatment facility.”

He said as of today he’s back to work as a representative for his constituents.

“The people of St John's South-Mount Pearl have given me their trust. That vote of trust was my wake-up call,” he said. “Newfoundland and Labrador faces huge fiscal and economic challenges. We need all hands on deck. As of today, I am reporting back for duty. I will be a clear and effective voice in Parliament for the people who sent me there.”

 

O’Regan’s full statement:

Statement from MP Seamus O'Regan:

Over the last year or two, alcohol was becoming a part of my daily life. I regularly had several drinks at the end of most days. Sometimes more than several drinks.

I was still working effectively and competently, but I realized, over time, that being competent was not good enough. I was far from my best self. And the simple truth is that I owe my best self to my marriage, to my family, to my friends, and to my constituents. I realized that, for me, just trying to use alcohol less - or more responsibly - was not working.

Talking with family and close friends about all of this in December, I made the decision to acknowledge that I had a problem, and that the solution lies with me. I also acknowledged that I needed some help.

I did my homework, and chose a facility that I thought was right for me. I entered treatment on the last day that Parliament sat in December. I did my house duty that day. I completed my work as an MP and I left Parliament Hill. I stopped to buy an armful of books and - on my own - flew out of Ottawa to Toronto, where I presented myself at a nearby treatment facility.

I was there for both Christmas and New Year's. In fact, I was there until just a few days ago.

I have spent the last 40 days alcohol-free. I have had the benefit of many hours of counseling, meditation and acquiring the tools to remain alcohol-free.

I feel stronger, healthier, and more engaged than I have in a long time.

I am ready to be the most effective and accessible Member of Parliament I can possibly be. I have spent a great deal of my life around the political process. I know how stressful it can be. I also know how fulfilling political life can be.

The people of St John's South-Mount Pearl have given me their trust. That vote of trust was my wake-up call.

Newfoundland and Labrador faces huge fiscal and economic challenges. We need all hands on deck.

As of today, I am reporting back for duty. I will be a clear and effective voice in Parliament for the people who sent me there.

I have dealt with my personal challenges and I shall continue to do so. But, ultimately, my personal challenges are secondary to the needs of my constituents.

That is my message today.

And, to all those who took the time to write and call with their well wishes while I was in treatment, thank you.

Organizations: St John's

Geographic location: Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Toronto Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • Glenn Stockley
    January 19, 2016 - 19:51

    tell the truth by....Justin read ya the riot act.....

  • Lou
    January 19, 2016 - 17:30

    60 days on the job and he took 40 of them for paid sick leave vacation; is this like a april fools joke or newfie prank or what unreal why would some one become MP when he got all this stuff going on un real ; waste taxpayers money; in real world private sector he would be fired out the door; instead free ride on my back ; a taxpayer ; terrible really

  • leo quilty
    January 19, 2016 - 14:50

    wallabanger mr oregan is being paid one hundred and seventy thousand dollars out of the public purse did he continue to recive his pay chque while he was drying out if so then this the taxpayers bussines because he was paid aprox eighteen or nine thousand dollars for the fourty days he spent there further more mr o regan knew he had a problem before he stood for office and decided he would wait untill he was safe in his position before takeing steps to rectify his problem and would do so on the public dime also if he dident have the guts to face his drinking problem then is he going to have the backbone to do the job he was elected to do

  • Michael B.
    January 18, 2016 - 12:05

    Why didn't he try Alcoholics Anonymous instead of the wellness clinic in Ontario?

    • chris
      January 18, 2016 - 13:46

      AA has only a 5% success rate. Dysfunctional people telling dysfunctional people what to do. Shouting out 90 meetings in 90 days nonsense--which is not even in the AA literature. There are people in AA who don't have enough sense to lace their own shoes ; however, they can tell you whether or not you should lace the left shoe first. AA is NOT anonymous. I know one honorable man who regularly attended meetings for almost 20 years before he gave it up . He remained sober till the day he died. He told me that he quit AA because he was tired of listening to BS. The AA headquarters in the US is a big money business. When Bill Wilson's wife died she was worth 3.6 million not counting the value of the mansion that her deceased husband " belched" from the distressed widow of a businessman who had died from drinking.

  • harry
    January 18, 2016 - 10:28

    shamus 40 days aint going to cut it if u dont follow up n get as many meetings in as possible then some congratulations ive been sober 30 yrs now throught the aa program good luck keep it simple one day at a time

  • Gerard
    January 18, 2016 - 08:52

    I wish you well in your recovery Mr. O' Regan. I also hope that you point out to your friend and our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, that your personal experience highlights the inadequacy of our mental health and addictions support for average citizens. Not everyone is blessed with the wealth to obtain private treatment as you have done.

    • Wallabanger
      January 19, 2016 - 11:47

      Folks - there are programs out there for people to use; whether they choose to use these programs is another thing.. We can't blame the government for everything, every individual should have an accountability of his/her actions and seek the help they need?? Why blame the government - people need to do things for themselves - if Seamus chose to go to ON for treatment that's his own prerogative, it's not anyone elses business - some people must have some boring lives, start worrying about yourselves and not worrying about what and where Seamus O'Regan does?