Rob Ford, Jimmy Kimmel

ABC/Randy Holmes

It's not often that Jimmy Kimmel gets serious on Twitter, but the late-night host realizes substance abuse is no laugh matter.

Toronto mayor Rob Ford announced Wednesday that he planned to take a leave of absence and seek treatment for alcoholism following the reported emergence of a troubling photo. The embattled politician was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live in March 2014, and back then, the pair joked back and forth about a few of Ford's past embarrassing public moments.

But shortly after Ford issued a statement to NBC News confirming he would seek professional help to conquer his "problem with alcohol, and the choice I have made while under the influence," Kimmel responded with his full support. "All jokes aside," the comic tweeted, "I hope @TOMayorFord really does get the help he obviously needs."

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In November 2013, Ford was stripped of many of his political powers after admitting to having used crack cocaine "in a drunken stupor." He apologized to his constituents in a Nov. 18 interview with Today, asking Toronto citizens for "five or six months" to clean up his act, saying if people, "don't see a difference, I'll eat my words." In a follow-up interview with Today in February, Ford said he was doing better, not using "illegal drugs," and that his habit of heavy drinking was "past me."

Things seemed to be going well for the mayor, who began his reelection campaign just last month, asking the people of Toronto to vote him back into office this October. In Ford's statement Wednesday, he said, "I love the people of Toronto, I love being your mayor and I hope you will continue to stand by me," adding,"With the support of my family, friends, professionals and the people of Toronto, I will conquer this."

We wish him the very best.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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