Steven Taylor has a summary of Rush Limbaugh’s comments on his addiction to presciption drugs.

Audio is available on Rush’s website, along with a written 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 of 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.

Well, getting addicted to prescription drugs happens. Taking potentially illegal steps to feed the habit is harder to defend, but is understandable. The business about “inaccuracies and distortions” is self-defeating, since it smacks of whining and casts rather imprecise aspersions. It may, however, nonetheless be the case that the press accounts–or the accounts of the main accuser–are indeed inaccurate and that he’s not at liberty to speak about them under present circumstances. It’s a messy situation, however.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Apache says:

    What? Kevin and Company are not dancing in the isles, yet?

  2. The burden of proof rests with the media–they need to establish that Rush really did take extra-legal means to procure these pain killers, and that he did so in felony quantities. Until I see proof of this, I will believe that he simply became an abuser over time, and with his very real health problems spurring him on.