Rob Ford, the famously “crack-smoking mayor”, is returning to his post in Toronto after two months of “intensive rehabilitation” for his drug and alcohol use. He has expressed contrition for the way he acted, but said that it is up to the people of Canada’s largest city to decide whether he is fit for continued public service, which they will do in the upcoming mayoral election in October.It is not our place to cast particular judgments about a man we do not know and his relationship with substance abuse. That said, we would feel more optimistic about Rob Ford’s recovery if he had announced that he was going to give up politics while he worked to rebuild his life. We have been fortunate enough to know many people who have enjoyed long and successful recoveries from serious drug and alcohol problems, and the thing that they mostly have in common is that they put recovery first. Running a tough political campaign does not look like the best way to do that.