Dr. Oz warns Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's attitude could derail rehab stint

TV host thinks abandoning campaign, resigning would send wrong message

Television host Dr. Mehmet Oz has weighed in on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's battle with addiction, warning that a "grandiose" and "playful" attitude while in rehab will get him nowhere.

"Part of the process of rehab is to completely disconnect from experiences, from triggers, that took you to where you already were," Oz said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"So if being grandiose or joking around or being playful is going to put you back in a place where you maybe prone to the same types of mistakes again, then it's going to delay the healing process."

The host of "The Dr. Oz Show" was commenting on the mayor's statements to the Toronto Sun this week in which he called rehab "amazing" and compared it to football camp. Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon who often speaks about addiction and mental health on his show, said the mayor should not be making work-related calls while in treatment.

"I want to applaud the mayor for being in rehab. Some people get the message later than others, but if you get the message at all, you're still better off," he said.

"I pray that he will be thoughtful and be guided by people around him who are knowledgeable in this area, so that he'll get better as fast as possible."

There was speculation Friday that Coun. Doug Ford would provide "proof" his brother was in treatment, Oz said that as a public figure the mayor should show evidence he is in rehab while protecting the privacy of others in the facility.

The CBC reported Friday that it spoke to the doctor at a clinic that provides treatment programs for people with substance abuse who confirmed Ford is a patient at the facility. Ford's lawyer Dennis Morris told The Canadian Press the CBC report was likely the proof.

Asked if he thought Ford should step down or drop out of the campaign, Oz said that he didn't know all the details of the mayor's situation, but abandoning the race could send the wrong message to addicts.

"I would leave those decisions to him and his team, but I would think that an addict should not think that their life would be destroyed if they come out, acknowledge there's a problem and then move into treatment," he said.

"If someone like Rob Ford can go through therapy, change what he's been doing, and return to be a great mayor of Toronto, that would be a wonderful, and I think a great stimulant to a lot of people struggling."

Ford indicated last week that he would seek "immediate" help for alcohol abuse.

Oz was in Toronto this week to promote his show, which airs weekday afternoons on CTV, and his recently launched magazine "The Good Life." After five years on the air, he said the most important thing he's learned is that the key to personal change, whether it's beating obesity, addiction or any other hurdle -is self-esteem.

"The irony of the human condition, the reason I have a show, is that even though people know exactly what to do, they still don't do it, because we haven't communicated it the right way," he said. "Convincing you that you have an appropriate opportunity, but also should have the passion, to change your life ... is something that when you hear it and you get it, you actually have to do it."

The television host best known for his "cleanses" and healthy eating tips got his start in regular appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Oz said Winfrey, whose company Harpo Productions co-produces his show, continues to be his mentor and he joked that he went to "Oprah Winfrey University."

"The most important tip she ever told me is that people don't change based on what they know. They change based on how they feel," he said. "So if you can get people to connect emotionally with what you're talking about, instead of just drilling their brains with information, they'll change."

The 53-year-old recently became a grandfather, a "terribly spoiling" one, he said with a laugh , when his daughter Daphne Oz, host of "The Chew," gave birth to a baby girl. He said that helped him recognize the importance of self-esteem in personal growth.

"I realize how sacred and unique life is and I'm reminded of it when I look at her. Many of us forget that beauty of how people felt when we were born," Oz said.

"If you rekindle that passion for being the best you can be, you move from being the 30th percentile of being who you could be to the 90th percentile of who you could be, no matter what age you are."

RELATED: Doctor tells CBC Rob Ford is in rehab

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  1. Tangential posted on 05/10/2014 03:40 PM
    Some possibly related Rob Ford personal trivia for those who care.

    According to the web, Rob Ford was born 4:00 am May 28, 1969. Traditional Indian Astrology considers this to be the end of May 27, 1969 (because date traditionally begins with sunrise and not midnight hour.)

    At the web site when you enter the corrected date you get the psychic (personality) number 9 and the destiny number 3. Analysis of these numbers are provided at the site.

    You have to wonder how much dysfunctional parenting and/or brain trauma incidents while playing football in his teenage years may have tragically messed up Rob Ford to the point he became hopelessly dependent on hard drugs and liquor to be able to cope with life's stresses.
    1. Sonny posted on 05/10/2014 04:44 PM
      @Tangential So he's at Rehab! How do you explain the sexist, racist, homophobic & stupid things he says?
    2. Tangential posted on 05/10/2014 04:59 PM
      @Sonny The entourage he seems to hang with (Lisi and the others) all seem to be his buddies since high school days. Impaired brain function and a real fear of finding himself alone without his support group has meant he has totally absorbed the macho group values as his own.

      Unfortunately ,Rob can't seem to control his utterances when he finds himself in stressful public situations, or when seriously under the influence..
    3. Brief and to the Point posted on 05/10/2014 06:12 PM
      @Sonny Regarding: "How do you explain the sexist, racist, homophobic & stupid things he says?"

      Explanation: Ford is a stupid, sexist, racist homophobe.

      Too easy.
  2. Alex posted on 05/10/2014 05:05 PM
    Just think moms and dads, boys and girls.
    Only 20 days till the new and improved "I'm a new man" Rob Ford!

    And it won't be long he will be back in sisters basement with his buddies.
    What gang were the from again?
  3. Doug Ford posted on 05/11/2014 09:06 AM
    Today is Mother's Day and Rob asks that I wish his wife, "The Pollack" as I call her on this radio station a very happy day, and as the love of his life and the mother of his children he wishes he could be home to eat his true honey. He has nothing but respect and admiration for her and all women and has stated on numerous occasions that he loves her more than any woman in that "alleged" crack house.

    He also wishes our mum a great day, thanks her for sticking up for him even when she knew she was lying to the city.

    He asks that I mention that he's having a great time at the rehab in Muskoka...reminds him of football camp where men can be boys so he wakes up feeling himself every morning. More fun than the locker rooms at Don Bosco, he says. He also thanks Don Bosco for the team jacket where he keeps his stash, his wife found and smoked his dope back in March, but he says she deserves it on her special day.

    Rob will be back shortly, a few pounds lighter, has promised to stop saying stupid stuff in front of cameras, and, as Mayor of Toronto, will no longer say that he's the biggest racist in town. Perhaps this rehab hiatus is working.

    God Bless Toronto


    Thank You
  4. Alex posted on 05/11/2014 02:28 PM
    Rob Ford has now declared himself....."‘most racist guy around’ and offers sex with his wife up to guests.
    If the people of Toronto re-elect him Ford will once again put Toronto on the map as the worlds most racist city.

    Now he is becoming such a 'hot potato' that only shows like Jerry Springer or Maury Povich would touch him.
    1. Mark7 posted on 05/11/2014 04:52 PM
      @Alex Rob Ford is still Karl Burgin's wet dream, however Karl does not live in Toronto and can't vote for "the most racist guy around"...The Mayor of Toronto who is also homophobic, drives drunk (still), and assaults people for no reason. That he's an alcoholic and drug addict goes without saying, so I won't.

      Karl will be back at 9:30 AM on Monday to defend Rob and rationalize his actions...he just needs to steal his employer's computer and time when he should be working. Karl's mom won't let him post from home in Brampton. Are all brown people thieves? bet, say Karl Burgin.
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