Embattled conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh admitted on his talk radio show Friday that he is indeed addicted to painkillers, and will check in “immediately after this broadcast” to a 30-day rehab center treatment program, AP reports.
“You know I have always tried to be honest with you and open about my life,” Limbaugh said during his admission to some 20 million listeners nationwide. “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.”
Rumors of Limbaugh‘s drug addiction surfaced the first week of October, at the same time he resigned from his job as a sports analyst on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” after saying that the media gave Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb more credit than he deserved because they wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.
According to Reuters and AP, supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer was the first to come out with a report that Limbaugh was under investigation by authorities in Palm Beach, Fla., where he lives.
On his show the controversial commentator stated, “authorities are conducting an investigation” but said he was not at liberty to offer further details until it is complete. AP reports the Palm Beach County state attorney’s office could neither confirm nor deny Friday that an investigation was under way, and Limbaugh’s attorney, Roy Black, did not return a call seeking comment.
Limbaugh, 52, went on to say during his show that he entered medical treatment facilities for the same problem twice before and that he started taking painkillers “some years ago” after a doctor prescribed them following a spinal surgery. His back pain stemming from the surgery persisted, so Limbaugh said he started taking pills and became hooked.
“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.”
Limbaugh said special guests would be on hand to take over hosting duties during his 30-day stint.