Southwest Florida Congressman stands by claim his substance abuse never affected congressional duties

Trey Radel tells Fox 4 is hasn't interfered with his ability to serve Southwest Floridians

CREATED Jan. 9, 2014

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 WASHINGTON D.C. - Embattled Southwest Florida congressman Trey Radel is standing by his claim that his substance abuse never affected what he's done in Congress.

"My use of alcohol was nothing that ever interfered with congressional duties." the Republican told Fox 4 anchor Patrick Nolan in an interview at his office in Washington D.C. 

Nolan asked Radel how that was possible given that most addiction experts and people in recovery agree addiction affects every aspect of a person's life.

"Because, typically when you're dealing with addiction, it's affects everything, even when you're not high or drunk," suggested Nolan.

"I didn't say that," said Radel.

"I said it didn't interfere with congressional duties, added Radel.

"But that's part of your life," suggested Nolan.

" You're saying alcoholism didn't affect your whole life?" 

"I'm telling you it affected my whole life in the sense that I completely lost focus of what's important in life," said Radel.

Radel has made a point of saying his main problem is with alcohol, despite his conviction for cocaine possession.

"My issue is alcoholism, that's what I went into a 30 day treatment for voluntarily," said Radel.
"I've built a support system to help me with that."
Radel represents District 19 in Congress.
The district includes all of Lee county and coastal Collier county.