"Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse.... 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.

Former Tallahassee Mayor and Democratic Party star Andrew Gillum on Sunday said he will retreat from public life and seek professional help for alcohol abuse after Miami Beach police discovered him "inebriated" at a hotel with two men and baggies of suspected meth.


“This has been a wake-up call for me,” Gillum said in a brief statement issued via e-mail. “Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse.”


Gillum, 40, was the Democratic nominee for Florida governor in 2018. He lost by fewer than 34,000 votes to Republican Ron DeSantis, who took office last January. Since then, Gillum has led a statewide campaign to register new voters, hoping to improve Democratic chances of carrying Florida in the presidential race and winning more state and local offices.


Related: Andrew Gillum linked to meth overdose incident in Miami Beach hotel, police reports say


Miami Beach police and other emergency responders were called to a hotel room early Friday and found Gillum with two other men, one of whom was passed out from apparent drug use. Three plastic bags thought to contain methamphetamine were also found in the room, police said.


The unconscious man was revived and taken to a hospital. Police said Gillum was "inebriated" and initially unable to communicate with them. He was later allowed to leave.


No arrests were made and authorities said the incident is not being handled as a criminal offense.


Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, a longtime Democrat, issued a statement after the incident: “There does not exist an active investigation surrounding this matter. I have no further comment.”


Gillum first issued a statement Friday saying he went to Miami for a wedding. He said he’d had too much to drink but denied using any illegal drug.


“I now need to firmly focus on myself and my family,” Gillum said in his Sunday statement. “I will be stepping down from all public-facing roles for the foreseeable future.”


He repeated his apology to family members and political supporters: “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.”


Gillum's full statement is below:


"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."


This story originally published to tallahassee.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.