May 30th, 2009
09:02 AM ET
14 years ago

Oklahoma congressman checks into Betty Ford Center

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. John Sullivan speaks to the Tulsa Press Club in this undated photo."]
(CNN) - U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, of Oklahoma, checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in California on Thursday night for treatment for alcohol addiction, according to a written statement from his office.

Sullivan, a Republican from Tulsa, said in the statement that he will be taking a leave of absence from Congress while he seeks treatment.

"I value my relationship with the citizens of Oklahoma's First Congressional District, whom I am privileged and honored to have served for the past eight years," Sullivan said in the statement, released Friday evening. "So, I wanted to be open and honest on this tough situation."

Sullivan is married with four children, according to the biography on his Web site.

"My family is going through a difficult time right now, and I ask that you respect their privacy and keep us in your thoughts and prayers," he said. "With God's help and strength, I will get through this most challenging time in my life."

The Betty Ford Center, named for the former first lady, opened in 1982. It specializes in treatment of dependency on alcohol and other drugs.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Hopeful Optimist

    Been there, done that. Best move he'll ever make. Probably 40-50% of all American adults would benefit from some kind of dependency therapy. Booze, drugs, food, sex, you name it. We are a nation of addicts - that is, except our right wing friends. They're neurotic.

    May 30, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Dee

    That's rough. I wish him all the best.

    May 30, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Carole

    This should show people like Rush, with a drug problem, that we are ALL human and it is a disease. I am no fan right now of Rethugs, but hope this man gets successful help.

    May 30, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. katiec

    I give him credit for doing this and not trying to hide his problem.

    May 30, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    it is sad but I hope he gets the help he needs
    we will probably see more republicans doing this as the party of NO continues down the path they have choosen

    May 30, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    I hope he is sucessful in his treatment. The Betty Ford Clinic is one of the best in the business. Alcoholism affects not only the drinker, but their family, friends, careers, just about everything.

    However it is treatable, and when treated, the drinker gets their life back. Alcoholism is an equal opportunity disease. No matter who you are, or what your career is if uncontrolled it will take over your life.

    I wish Rep Sullivan good luck in his battle in restoring his life and much sucess with the treatment.

    May 30, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Big Ed

    I wish him success with his battle. I applaud his honesty. It takes a big person to publicly admit he / she needs help and that he / she wants to seek it out. Best wishes to his family as they stand by him during his struggle.

    May 30, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. Dawn in Pa

    I have no empathy for someone who cannot control their drinking, but I do have empathy when they are big enough to say "Hey I am an Alcoholic and I will get help. I drink an alcoholic beverage maybe two to three times a year. I admit I cannot hold my liquor. I get sick on it.

    My best to you Congressmen Sullivan and to your Family.

    May 30, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. Ken

    Been through this! It's a long road but it is a GREAT journey of discovery! Fasten your seatbelt – sometimes the ride can be bumpy! Good luck in your quest- my best wishes are with you!

    May 30, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. Julia, KY

    Good luck, Congressman. You can make a better life for you and your family.

    May 30, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Simmy

    Thank you for your honesty, sir....It's refreshing to get that from someone in your party......I hope that you get the help that you need, so that you can continue to work for your constituents.....

    That is what happens when you have to contend with the likes of chatty cathy Limbaugh, pinocchio Cheneys, cannonball Hannity, mad max Tancredo, Lou (loony) Dobbs, Glenn (cry baby) Beck, warlock Gingrich, Michael (tin man rapper) Steele, and others determined to contravene the change that our country so desperately needs......Republicans are driving their members to the brink (drink)....

    May 30, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. DaBird

    The discussion is about a guy going into rehab, and some of you nutty liberals start name calling and make comments about Republicans and Rush. I am shocked you nuts didn't mention Ted Kennedy! Liberal hatred is so common.

    May 30, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |