'This could very well be his bottom,' addictions counsellor says of Ford
Published Thursday, May 1, 2014 10:51AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 1, 2014 11:55PM EDT
Toronto Mayor Rob says he is seeking professional help for his addictions and that he’s committed to getting better. But at least one addictions expert believes rehab is likely to be difficult for Ford.
Ford admitted Wednesday in a statement he has a problem with alcohol and has for some time.
“I have tried to deal with these issues by myself over the past year. I know that I need professional help and I am now 100 per cent committed to getting myself right,” the mayor said in the statement.
Addictions counsellor Felix Vikhman says while Ford says he’s “100% committed to getting myself right,” it’s unclear whether Ford really is prepared to open himself up and be honest.
“Mayor Ford has shown an incredible amount of stubbornness -- almost to the point of ridiculous and absurdity. His words and demeanour are so divided from reality,” he told CTV News Channel.
Vikhman says it’s often hard for someone like Ford, who’s been in positions of power for so long and are used to giving the orders, to listen to counsellors who have less power and prestige than he does.
“For him to humbly sit there and actually learn from them, it’s going to be brutal for him to do that. If he can do that – humble himself and take in -- he’s got a shot,” Vikhman said.
“When we see high-profile figures with high narcissistic traits, which is what we see with Rob Ford, they’re very, very difficult to work with in treatment.”
Vikhman says it’s difficult to say how long Ford would need to remain in rehab. The main factors that decide how long someone needs treatment are where they are in terms of their motivation to change, and how deep is the bottom they’ve hit.
“We can never know where a person’s bottom is. We tend to think of bottoms as ’I ended up living under a bridge, I’ve lost all my money, my wife has left me.’ Interestingly enough, those tend not to be people’s bottoms. People’s bottoms tend to be a moment of insight. Something small happens and there’s this realization of ‘Okay, I need to change’,” he says.
“This could very well be his bottom.”
Many in denial upon rehab arrival
Wendy Cope, a psychological associate with Bellwood Health Services, says many who enter rehab don’t believe at first that they belong there.
“It’s often really difficult for a person to accept the fact that they are in rehab,” she told CTV News Channel. "Some people get to rehab from the pressure of others so within them, there’s often still a lot of anger and resentment and blaming others."
Rehab programs can vary in length but no matter how long someone stays in an in-patient rehab program, it’s just the first step, Cope says. After they are discharged, they are typically encouraged to attend an after-care addiction group, as well as join a 12-step program of some kind.
If patients follow through, there is a good chance that they will get better. But Cope says there are no “cures” when it comes to addiction.
“It’s never a cure; it’s a progressive, chronic disease,” she said.