WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The fallout from potential first lady Cindy McCain's battle with a prescription painkiller is more complex than she portrayed, people close to her say.
McCain, wife of Republican presidential nominee John McCain, says she wants to talk about her addiction to Vicodin and Percocet and her recovery as a cautionary tale to others, The Washington Post reported Friday.
She told Jay Leno on NBC's "Tonight Show" she tries "to talk about it as much as possible because I don't want anyone to wind up in the shoes that I did at the time."
Her misuse of painkillers she took after rupturing two disks and having back surgery led to an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and local prosecutors, the Post reported. A doctor associated with McCain's medical charity, American Voluntary Medical Team, who supplied her with prescriptions for the drugs lost his license and the charity eventually closed.
"So many lives were damaged by this," said Jeanette Johnson, whose husband, John Max Johnson, surrendered his medical license. "I cannot begin to tell you how painful it was."
McCain's addiction also caught up one of the charity's former employees, Tom Gosinski, who reported her drug use to the DEA and provided prosecutors with a journal detailing effects of her drug problems, the Post said.
"It's not just about her addiction, it's what she did to cover up her addiction and the lives of other people that she ruined, or put at jeopardy at least," Gosinski told the Post.