U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona says she's taking time off from her congressional duties to seek treatment for alcohol dependence following a "serious" fall.
The Democrat said Wednesday that she's "finally seeking this help after struggling to do so in the past."
She says with physical therapy she can fully recover from her fall last week.
Kirkpatrick represents a swing district in Tucson and southeastern Arizona that Republicans are targeting in the 2020 election.
Kirkpatrick released the following statement Wednesday:
"I sincerely thank the many people who have reached out in support after my accident last week. The fall was serious, but with physical therapy I will fully recover. I do, however, have another challenge I must face, which was the underlying cause of my fall. Beginning next week, I will receive treatment that I have struggled to ask for, to treat my alcohol dependence.
I am finally seeking this help after struggling to do so in the past, and I am ready to admit that I, like countless other Americans, suffer from this disease. Hard work and determination — which have brought me success in life — have not been enough to win this battle. Other than being a wife, mother, and grandmother, the most important job in the world to me is representing my fellow Arizonans. I know I must get better in order to do my best in each of these roles.
With humility, I share this news with you. Throughout my time in public service, I have always said that you may not agree with me but you will know where I stand. I will continue to honor that commitment to transparency and communication. So while my immediate focus is on my rehabilitation and treatment, I am taking this important step forward with the full expectation and desire to return to work stronger and healthier and to continue serving my beloved Arizona.
I am grateful to the people of Arizona whom I am privileged to serve, my amazing staff who work tirelessly on your behalf, and my infinitely supportive and loving family.
During my absence, my congressional offices in Washington and Arizona will be fully operational, processing all constituent requests, meetings, activities and correspondence. My positions on all recorded votes will be submitted to the Congressional Record and made publicly available.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support." - Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick