Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) will not resign from Congress following his stint in rehab, he said on Thursday, the Huffington Post reported. The disgraced politician, who pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine last month, spoke at a press conference shortly after he left a rehab facility in Naples, Fla. and explained he has every intention of returning to Capitol Hill.
"I love what I do, and I'm going to return to what I do," Radel said. "No one will take away my passion when it comes to serving southwest Florida."
Though the congressman, 37, admitted to using cocaine a “handful of times,” he said he mainly struggles with alcohol. But, he explained: "Alcohol does not work for me. It was selfishly fun, but it became a problem when it led to poor choices, and more than that, missed opportunities."
"I let you down, I let our country down," Radel said. "And again for that, I am sorry.” He referred to his recovery as “ongoing” and “underway.”
After being caught with an illegal substance, the congressman now feels that others on Capitol Hill should be tested. Politico reporter Jake Sherman quoted Radel as saying, “I think members and congress can and should be tested” for drugs.
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Mental health and addiction expert Jamison Monroe Jr., CEO of Newport Academy, told International Business Times in November that though politicians might be more inclined to use illegal substances or suffer addictions for various reasons including stress and inflated egos, he stressed that it's possible for them to get sober.
“There is life after addiction,” Monroe said. “Recovery is possible.”
The congressmen plead guilty to a misdemeanor cocaine possession charge on Nov. 20. He had been caught purchasing the substance from an undercover cop in Washington, D.C., and was then sentenced to one year of probation.
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