There are no two ways about it, addiction is sinister business. It can come in many forms, but it is always destructive. True recovery from any addiction is a difficult road fraught with anger, denial, emotional pain, frustration and extremely unpleasant self-examination.
But when that road must be traveled by someone who is in the public eye, the degree of difficulty is raised exponentially.
Such is the case with former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer. Her addiction to methamphetamine last year was at the heart of a scandal that ultimately led to her arrest on felony and misdemeanor drug charges, cost her a seat on the board of supervisors and caused her political powerhouse husband, California
Recovery experts tell us that most addictions are so powerful that an addict usually must hit "rock bottom" and admit he or she has a problem before recovery can begin. We are cautiously optimistic that this episode may have been Nadia Lockyer's "rock-bottom" moment. At least we hope that is so.
We are encouraged by the news that she has completed a 180-day residential drug treatment program she had entered after her arrest and that she and her husband are going to try to reconcile their marriage.
Tom Dresslar, Bill Lockyer's spokesman, was quoted last week as saying, "He (Bill Lockyer) and Nadia have agreed
For her part, Nadia Lockyer released a statement through the attorney representing her on the criminal charges. In it she thanked her husband and family for their unwavering support.
"Addicts cannot achieve a safe and healthy life unless we take responsibility for our actions and conquer our addiction first," she said.
She also expressed hope that other addicts can find some inspiration from her very public story.
Those sound like the words of an addict who has begun to travel on recovery road. But anyone who has been there knows that the road is long, the threat of relapse is real and the footing can get extraordinarily slippery at times.
Before Lockyer finally tendered her resignation from the Alameda County board, we were among the first and loudest voices calling for her to do so. We argued that her frequent absences from key votes cheated her constituents and that someone who had such difficulty with her own life had no business representing others in government.
We stand by that judgment today, but we also feel compelled to acknowledge what she has accomplished since then. Finishing a 180-day residential program is no mean feat. Completion of such programs usually requires serious emotional heavy lifting and brutal honesty.
We admire her not only for taking the steps that were clearly needed, but for acknowledging them in public. We wish her the best.