Recently-elected Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan announced that he has entered a “wellness centre” and that he will adopt an “alcohol-free lifestyle” through his Twitter account Sunday.
The former host of Canada AM won the riding of St. John’s South—Mount Pearl on October 19, handily defeating NDP incumbent Ryan Cleary.
In his four-part Twitter announcement, O’Regan said , “I’ve decided after consultation with family that I can be most effective as a Member of Parliament by adopting an alcohol-free lifestyle.”
“To that end, over the holiday break, I have entered a wellness program.”
The 44-year-old Newfoundland and Labrador politician added that he will return to active duty prior to the next sitting of Parliament, which will be on Jan. 25.
Addiction counsellor Drew Walton says when someone checks into a wellness centre it means there is a problem. “Most of the time when people are going to a wellness, rehab, or treatment centre, which the terms are all traditionally interchangeable, there is a problem going on, nobody goes because things are going swimmingly … addiction, huge stigma, people are afraid, look at Rob Ford came out, a lot of criticism, so this individual coming forward and saying I am leading an alcohol free lifestyle really kind of softens it for people so they can really start having a conversation.”
O’Regan’s announcement has garnered a lot of support on his facebook and twitter pages, including a couple of tweets from his partner Steve Doussis who tweeted “So proud of my husband … I love this man so much”.
O’Regan has ask for privacy at this time, but reassures his constituents he plans on returning to his duties at MP later in the month when parliament resumes on January 25th.
With files from Angie Seth
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