08/02/2010 09:41 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ricardo Munoz Fights Alcoholism: 22nd Ward Alderman Discusses Alcohol Addiction

Chicago alderman Ricardo Munoz decided to publicly discuss his battle with alcoholism this week--even as he faces re-election in February.

Ald. Ricardo Munoz, who expects to face a challenge in the 22nd Ward, approached Hoy, the Tribune's Spanish-language paper, to discuss his battle with alcohol for a story published Monday.

"This last year has been rather difficult for me, in terms of my abuse of alcohol," Munoz said in a follow-up interview Monday with the Tribune. "In May, I came to the conclusion that I needed help. That's when I checked myself into an outpatient rehab clinic."

Munoz told the paper he has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as well as counseling for five weeks. In that time he has relapsed once, the paper reports.

He told reporters that he drank excessively after work--and it would often result in him starting work later in the morning.

"The disease had affected every aspect of my life," Munoz said. "It affected me professional, socially and at home. That's why I came to the conclusion that I couldn't continue it and needed help."

Munoz is considered an independent on the City Council--and has made some enemies in the Democratic Party over the years because of it. He is expected to have a challenger in February.

Read about Munoz's battle here.