John Flanagan, the majority leader of the NY State Senate, admitted that he had been in treatment for alcohol addiction: "I took this step to ensure this dependency would not affect my ability to do my job or represent my constituents or the members of our Senate Republican Majority." He added, "No one is immune. Seek help and regain your personal pathway through life."

The Republican from Long Island went public after Newsday asked him about it.

Flanagan, who issued a statement Sunday after an inquiry by Newsday, said he recognized that “alcohol was becoming a crutch to deal with pressure I was under related to my responsibilities as Majority Leader of the New York State Senate.” The Republican entered a program last month, not long after the close of the 2017 regular legislative session. He told an ally he was back this week and in good spirits.

"This is a step I needed to take for myself and for my family, and it will allow me to continue to serve and to give back to my community and state," Flanagan said. "I would hope my actions serve as a reminder to all those who find that alcohol has become a means to confront personal or professional stress. It never has been and never will be."

In his statement, Flanagan (R-East Northport) said he proactively “took control of the situation and sought immediate help so I could overcome it and move forward.”

Flanagan is one of the "three men in a room," along with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Leader Carl Heastie, who essentially control Albany. Cuomo Tweeted, "Alcoholism is a disease. @LeaderFlanagan deserves our respect & support for seeking help & for talking about it as an example for others."

State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Democratic minority leader, also Tweeted her support:

Newsday reports, "Though the senator’s rehab might have caught some off guard, one source said that a relatively small group of people were not surprised. They were aware there was an issue, and were encouraged that Flanagan sought treatment, the source said. 'Those who are close knew,' the source said."