Ford needs 90-120 days for real recovery: expert
Published Friday, May 2, 2014 9:57PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 2, 2014 9:59PM EDT
Toronto mayor Rob Ford is finally off to rehab after the release of a series of news stories this week alleged further poor behaviour.
The Mayor’s brother Coun. Doug Ford said the mayor will be attending a 30-day program. His lawyer said the duration of his absence from council is unknown.
Richard Taite is the CEO and Founder of Cliffside Malibu, where the rich and famous (including Lindsay Lohan) go to seek treatment for substance abuse. He told Kevin Newman Live that the mayor needs top notch treatment to recover.
“(Ford) is really not going to get any help unless he has real recovery and real recovery takes between 90 and 120 days for a man like him on his arc with his drug use.”
He says there’s no way 30 days is enough time for someone who is primary alcohol or primary crack user.
“That’s almost impossible. I’ve never seen it.” said Taite. “If he’s crack primary, it’s actually harder to deal with that because the drug calls you. It’s just calling you. He’s got to put in the time.”
Taite and other experts agree Ford needs to cut ties with anybody who could influence him back into his old habits, including his sister Kathy Ford, who has struggled with addiction.
According to Marshall Smith, manager of community relations for Cedars at Cobble Hill Treatment Centre, the Ford family exhibits traits of a family in crisis and need to work together for effective recovery.
“You have to treat the soil, not just the tree,” he said to Kevin Newman Live. Smith is a recovering addict, who has waged his own battle against addiction.
He says the media should leave Rob Ford alone now.
“This is the tipping point. It’s a difficult enough decision to seek treatment and accept care. It makes it very difficult in the glare of the media. It should be a rule in our country that when a public figure agrees to go to treatment they should put the cameras down.”
Taite pointed out that when it comes to public figures and celebrities going to rehab, politicians face a different reality.
“If you’re a sports or movie star and you’ve fallen by drugs and alcohol, everybody is pulling for you. Politics is a little different. Some are rooting for you and others are trying to shank you and use this horrible humiliating thing against you.”
Ford’s leave council raises another question: could he lose his job? City laws state that council members, including the mayor, could lose their seat if they’re “absent from the meetings of council for three successive months without being authorized to do so by a resolution of council." If Ford misses the once-a-month council meetings in May, June and July, his position could be considered vacant.
Taite says if Ford were his client, he would fly him back to council to attend the last meeting with a sober companion and return back to the facility shortly after to continue treatment.
He says Ford’s chance of recovery is going to depend on how seriously he takes his treatment.
“He could be substantially different. If he was at a place like Cliffside Malibu, after 120 days, I could see him walking up to a podium and addressing his constituency to saying something to this effect: ‘I made a mistake, this is what I’ve done, I’m remorseful, I apologize, I love the people of Toronto and I want to serve you and mean it.’