Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick announced on Wednesday that she will seek treatment for alcohol dependency after a fall last week in a Washington, D.C., subway that left her with significant injuries.
Kirkpatrick, a Democrat serving the Tucson-based 2nd District, reportedly fell while she was on her way to Congress to vote to limit President Donald Trump’s powers in Iran.
Abigail O’Brien, a Kirkpatrick spokeswoman, told the Arizona Republic that the lawmaker hasn’t been in Congress since last week’s fall, which left her with a fractured spine, cracked ribs and staples in her head.
Kirkpatrick, 69, is expected to get treatment for alcoholism once she leaves the hospital.
“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,” Kirkpatrick said in a statement. “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.”
Kirkpatrick is still planning to run for re-election later this year.
Her congressional offices in D.C. and Arizona will remain open and “full operational” while she is getting treatment. Kirkpatrick said staff will still be “processing all constituent requests, meetings, activities and correspondence.”
O’Brien, her spokeswoman, told the Republic that Kirkpatrick’s absence will likely last weeks, but the representative said in her statement that all of her positions on all recorded votes will be submitted to the Congress and made publicly available as well.
(Kirkpatrick’s office did not immediately respond for comment from PEOPLE.)
There was an outpouring of support for Kirkpatrick on Wednesday after she made her announcement, including from Meghan and Cindy McCain — the daughter and mother of late Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain. (Cindy herself dealt with a pain pill addiction years ago.)
Sending love, prayers and strength to Arizona @RepKirkpatrick and her entire family.— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) January 15, 2020
Sending lots of support and friendship to @RepKirkpatrick— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) January 15, 2020
I am keeping @RepKirkpatrick in my thoughts. There are many stressors in this business and at every reception and dinner alcohol is provided. It’s easy—too easy—to become addicted and I wish god speed to my colleague, my friend and my fellow Arizonan. God bless you Ann.— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 15, 2020
“Sending lots of support and friendship to @RepKirkpatrick,” Cindy tweeted.
Kirkpatrick’s political opponents also shared well-wishes, including Republican Paul Gosar, who defeated Kirkpatrick in a 2010 congressional race in Arizona.
“I am keeping @RepKirkpatrick in my thoughts,” he wrote on Twitter. “There are many stressors in this business and at every reception and dinner alcohol is provided. It’s easy — too easy — to become addicted and I wish god speed to my colleague, my friend and my fellow Arizonan. God bless you Ann.”
If you are struggling with alcohol dependence, you can reach out to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration national helpline: 1-800-662-HELP or findtreatment.samhsa.gov