ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says state Senate Leader John Flanagan deserves "respect and support" for seeking help with alcohol.

Flanagan, a Long Island Republican, issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying he received treatment after realizing that drinking was becoming a "crutch" to deal with the pressures of his job.

In a Tweet, the Democratic governor called alcoholism a disease and praised Flanagan for seeking help and serving as an example for others.

The 56-year-old Flanagan says no one is immune to alcohol dependency and that he hopes his public disclosure serves as a reminder to others struggling with a drinking problem.

Flanagan was first elected to the state Senate in 2002 and was chosen to lead the chamber in 2015.

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