Mayor Marion Barry today publicly acknowledged a "chemical dependency" on alcohol and two prescription drugs, but said he won't resign while fighting federal cocaine and perjury charges.
"I'm back. I feel good about myself," the mayor said in his first extended public appearance since he was arrested and left the city for substance abuse treatment in Florida and South Carolina.
Barry read a long statement that made no mention of cocaine. Nor did he say directly whether he intends to seek a fourth term as mayor. He said his campaign manager will make an announcement soon about this fall's campaign.
"My political organization is still intact, notwithstanding some defections," Barry said. Several top Barry campaign officials have switched their support in the mayoral race to Walter E. Fauntroy, the city's non-voting delegate on Capitol Hill.
Barry did not answer reporters' questions.
The mayor said his condition was diagnosed at a Florida treatment center as as dependency on alcohol, Valium and Xanax. Valium and Xanax are both commonly prescribed to treat anxiety.
He said he will attend treatment sessions once or twice a day, as well as therapy sessions with others who are addicted. He implored the news media to "respect my privacy and the privacy of other recovering people."
As for his trial, Barry said, "I'm going to turn the outcome of this over to God, my attorney" and the judge and jurors in the case. "The truth will come out in the trial."