An Arizona combat veteran who suffers from heroin addiction and recently had a relapse announced Monday that he’s suspending his campaign to get the help that he needs.
“I know the way back,” Chris Taylor, a city councilman in Safford, Arizona, told HuffPost. “I just have to put one foot in front of the other and get the help I need.”
Paramedics found the 33-year-old unresponsive on Wednesday night. They quickly administered a dose of Narcan to reverse the effects of Taylor’s overdose. Taylor was taken to a local hospital and days later announced that he would be entering a “residential treatment program to address his opiate addiction, which he has been candid about since jumping into the race last May,” HuffPost reports.
“The experiences that I’ve had with opiate addiction and being able to overcome that and inspire and help others to find that recovery as well are a source of strength,” he said at the time.
HuffPost notes that Taylor, an Army vet, served two tours in Afghanistan and has taken a medical leave of absence from his current position on Safford’s city council while in treatment.
Authorities also found “items related to intravenous drug use” at a firehouse where Taylor worked as a volunteer firefighter. Taylor has resigned from this position and added that he will “fully cooperate” with cops regarding his drug use.
“I’m not going to hide from this,” Taylor said in his statement, according to HuffPost. “I’m not ashamed of what happened. I wish to sincerely apologize to the amazing people who have supported me. I don’t know what went wrong.”
“The only thing I can do is face this head on in complete humility,” he added. “I’m human and I have never pretended to be anything but.”
Taylor had been looking to win the Republican nomination in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District.