MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Former Tallahassee mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum is entering rehabilitation for alcohol abuse following an incident in a Miami Beach hotel possibly involving crystal meth.
A statement released by Gillum Sunday night reads, “After conversation with my family and deep reflection, I have made the decision to seek help, guidance and enter a rehabilitation facility at this time. This has been a wake-up call for me. Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse. I witnessed my father suffer from alcoholism and I know the damaging effects it can have when untreated. I also know that alcoholism is often a symptom of deeper struggles. I am committed to doing the personal work to heal fully and show up in the world as a more complete person. I now need to firmly focus on myself and my family. I will be stepping down from all public facing roles for the foreseeable future. I want to apologize to my family, friends and the people of Florida who have supported me and put their faith in me over the years. I ask that you respect my and my family’s privacy during this time. Thank you.”
Gillum was named in a police report Friday saying he was “inebriated” and initially unresponsive in a hotel room where authorities found baggies of suspected crystal methamphetamine.
Gillum is not charged with any crime.
The Miami Beach police report says Gillum was allowed to leave the hotel for home after he was checked out medically.
Gillum said in a statement that he was in Miami Beach for a wedding and did not use illegal drugs.
“While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I have never used methamphetamines,” Gillum said. “I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused for our movement.”
According to the Miami Beach police incident report, fire rescue crews were called to the Miami Beach hotel around 1 a.m. Friday regarding a suspected drug overdose. Police say Gillum and two other men were in the hotel room.
“Mr. Gillum was unable to communicate due to his inebriated state,” the police report says.
Police say one of the men, Aldo Mejias, came into the hotel room and found Gillum and Travis Dyson, 30, apparently under the influence of an “unknown substance.” Officials began chest compressions on Dyson and he was taken to a local hospital, where authorities say he is in stable condition.
Gillum, the report states, was in the bathroom vomiting.
Authorities let him leave when he had stable medical signs, the report says.
The baggies of suspected meth were impounded and turned over to the Miami Beach Police evidence room for “destruction.”
Gillum was the first black nominee in a major political party to run for governor in Florida. He lost narrowly to Republican Ron DeSantis in the 2018 election.
Since then, Gillum has mounted an effort to register Democratic voters in Florida and frequently appears on cable news channels as a political commentator.