Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory addressed the media for the first time since returning from a 21-day inpatient rehab for possible alcoholism and untreated PTSD.

Guillory's administration sent out a press release on July 25 announcing that the Mayor-President had voluntarily checked himself into rehab over the course of that previous weekend to seek help after noticing a dependency on alcohol after work. The message stated that Guillory noticed the effect it was having on his personal relationships and also planned on using the rehab stint to look into his untreated PTSD.

According to reports, the Mayor-President returned to work in Lafayette late last Thursday into Friday morning, and for the first time since his rehab announcement, Guillory addressed the media on Monday morning.

The Mayor-President opened his press conference by sharing statistics on alcoholism and how residents can easily be affected—both directly and indirectly—due to drinking being engrained in our local culture.

Guillory went on to thank his family, friends, and the thousands of people who reached out in the wake of his announcement to seek help in the 21-day inpatient rehab program. "Humbling" is the word he used to describe the prayers that were said for his family.

The Mayor-President also thanked his office for adjusting to accommodate his rehab situation and providing updates and information while he was forced to handle his job remotely due to his treatment—a big point of contingency for those who criticized Guillory for not being fully present in his role as Mayor-President nor fully committed to the 21-day program.

The mayor also thanked his wife, Jamie Guillory, who has "been in the trenches" with him for the last 17 years.

Guillory shared that he was the type of person who has always "faced his problems head-on," "moved past them," and has always "come back stronger."

Guillory did say that he read "attacks" in the media upon his return from rehab; and while he didn't mention any specific criticism, he offered somewhat of a one-size-fits-all response that the old way of doing things in Lafayette was inefficient and "nothing will change" when it comes to his aggressive approach to the issues and decisions his office makes as they pertain to the city of Lafayette and the parish at large.

The Mayor-President invited anyone who disagrees with his leadership style to work with him, adding that he was ready to move forward with love and passion and feels "more energized than ever"

Guillory then opened up the floor for questions and was immediately asked about the community's concerns on how he was able to fully give himself to the 21-day program while simultaneously being fully available in his leadership role.

It’s different. You know, in the past… a lot of times, people kinda cover this stuff up, ya know… do it in the dark of night. Make some excuse as to why you’re not at council briefings and things like that. You know, we’ve always been transparent, and when you open up the hood, it’s.. you know, sometimes it’s a little messy under there. But, I am human.

Every treatment is different. Every person is different. I just trust the experts and I’m thankful for them. It’s a balance. Let’s give other people a chance to ask questions though.

The Mayor-President was also asked why he didn't just let the council appoint an interim replacement for 2-3 after the abrupt decision to check into rehab for treatment.

Look, the people elected me, elected my policies, elected my thoughts and ideas. And the administration is there to carry out those thoughts and ideas. 21 days is not a long time and I feel like folks deserve those initiatives to go forward and thankfully, we have great leaders in place; some of those guys and ladies are in this room right now and carry out those initiatives.

When asked to clarify the official timeline for his rehab stint, Guillory revealed that he actually left on the Thursday before the official press release of his announcement on Monday, July, 25. Although he returned last Thursday, he felt "it was most appropriate" to hold the official press conference for his return on Monday (Aug. 12).

Well, it’s Thursday… I left on a Thursday. So, 21 days later. So, seven, seven, and seven. And we felt it was the most appropriate to do it today.

In regards to a story from The Current that broke during Guillory's rehab stint, the mayor-president was asked if the equipment company he started last year has done any business with any companies doing business with LCG. The mayor swiftly answered "no."

A reporter followed up by asking Guillory if he thought there could be a potential conflict of interest between a Mayor-President with a supply company when it comes to finding contractors to do the jobs funded by money from LCG.

Anybody that knows me—that’s a fair question—my wife and I started a company. She’s the majority owner, but it’s a community property state. I’m very proud of her efforts. I’m very proud of her leadership; I’ve always said there’s only one person I’d never run against, and that’s her—and for the right reasons. But… I think she’s on my side. I think I hope so. She’s here, so… thank you.

Look, anybody that knows me, from when I started my office, to… whatever I do. These guys are all familiar with it. Everything must be lawful and ethical. Everything must be lawful and ethical. So, you know… maybe if I wasn’t as ethical or whatnot, then maybe we’d be millionaires, but… you know, I still mow my own grass.

In a lighter moment during his press conference, the Mayor revealed that he recently lost his lawn man to college before being asked how he believed the 21 days in rehab has changed him.

I feel like I have a mission. And part of the sobriety effort is to help other folks in this situation—and that’s why I appreciate you guys being here, it’s important that we talk about this. It’s important that we address the issues. There are a lot of people out there that are watching this—they don’t know what to do. You know, so I feel like while I learned some tools—and this is just the beginning.

The Mayor-President also acknowledged that his issues with alcohol or PTSD aren't "cured" in any sense of the word.

21 days, you’re not gonna cure anything. Matter of fact, there is no cure. It’s very, very similar to diabetes. Where there are a lot of behavioral changes. I recognize that. You know, so… personally, I feel like we have a lot of tools that we can build on… to make myself the best person that I can be. Bring my best self… forward. Not only for me but for my family, for our constituents.

As part of his treatment, Guillory says he plans on making himself available for anyone else struggling and gave credit to a higher power as he revealed that his faith has grown over these past three weeks.

I feel like God can use me as an example. You know, and all this is possible through him. It’s impossible without him. And look, people are listening out here—and I hope you are. With my own will; my own volition, my own efforts—individually, I can’t do this. I cannot do this, it has to take a higher power. So, you know there’s never been a time in my life where I haven’t known God or felt that he was present—but man I was taking that for granted. I really was. And in these 21 days of reflection, you know, my faith has grown.

The Mayor-President admitted that he is fully aware that most people who struggle with addiction don't always have the means or the funds to seek out the type of help that he was able to quickly receive with his 21-day inpatient rehab nor do they often have the answer on what to do.

I hope there are people watching out there knowing that you’re not gonna have all the answers. You know this is a disease, it’s in the DSM like.. five? It’s a medical condition. Really, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. The only thing we can be ashamed of is not seeking the help that’s there. And I understand not everyone can go to a facility—do the best you can. Call my office. We will do everything we can to help you.

After briefly taking questions, Mayor-President Guillory thanked media members before quickly exiting the stage to get back to work.

Hours after his press conference, Guillory and his wife Jamie did sit down for an interview with KLFY's Darla Montgomery to expound upon some of the questions asked at the press conference and also address some of the rumors swirling around their relationship and how it related to the Mayor-President's decision to go to rehab.

You can watch a full recap of the press conference via the official LCG feed below.

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