Rush Limbaugh is headed to rehab
October 10, 2003
RUSH LIMBAUGH is headed to rehab, the PREMIERE host told listeners at the end of his show FRIDAY (10/10). LIMBAUGH's month-long hiatus is to kick the addiction to pain medication that was revealed in the NATIONAL ENQUIRER cover story last week. He also said that he became addicted to the drugs several years ago after spinal surgery and has been asked by authorities to limit public comment on the case. Guest hosts will fill in until he returns.
Here is the text of LIMBAUGH's statement: "You know I have always tried to be honest with you and open about my life. So I need to tell you today that part of what you have heard and read is correct. I am addicted to prescription pain medication.
"I first started taking prescription painkillers some years ago when my doctor prescribed them to treat post surgical pain following spinal surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery was unsuccessful and I continued to have severe pain in my lower back and also in my neck due to herniated discs. I am still experiencing that pain. Rather than opt for additional surgery for these conditions, I chose to treat the pain with prescribed medication. This medication turned out to be highly addictive.
"Over the past several years I have tried to break my dependence on pain pills and, in fact, twice checked myself into medical facilities in an attempt to do so. I have recently agreed with my physician about the next steps. Immediately following this broadcast, I am checking myself into a treatment center for the next 30 days to once and for all break the hold this highly addictive medication has on me. The show will continue during this time, of course, with an array of guest hosts you have come to know and respect.
"I am not making any excuses. You know, over the years athletes and celebrities have emerged from treatment centers to great fanfare and praise for conquering great demons. They are said to be great role models and examples for others. Well, I am no role model. I refuse to let anyone think I am doing something great here, when there are people you never hear about, who face long odds and never resort to such escapes. They are the role models. I am no victim and do not portray myself as such. I take full responsibility for my problem.
"At the present time, the authorities are conducting an investigation, and I have been asked to limit my public comments until this investigation is complete. So I will only say that the stories you have read and heard contain inaccuracies and distortions, which I will clear up when I am free to speak about them.
"I deeply appreciate all your support over this last tumultuous week. It has sustained me. I ask now for your prayers. I look forward to resuming our excursion into broadcast excellence together."