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Last Updated: Friday, 10 October, 2003, 21:26 GMT 22:26 UK
US pundit addicted to painkillers
Rush Limbaugh
Limbaugh: Wants to "break the hold" of his addiction
Conservative US radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has admitted on air he is addicted to prescription painkillers.

He told his audience he intended to enter a drug treatment programme to combat the problem.

Mr Limbaugh, whose show is broadcast on more than 600 stations across the US, said he became addicted to prescribed drugs following surgery on his spine several years ago.

The admission comes as US media reports alleged the pundit was being investigated for alleged drug abuse in Florida.

He has also become embroiled in a racism row over remarks made as he commentated on a US football game.

'Highly addictive'

Mr Limbaugh said he took the drugs to combat pain in his back - from the surgery - and also in his neck due to herniated discs.

"Rather than opt for additional surgery for these conditions, I chose to treat the pain with prescribed medication," he told his listeners.

"This medication turned out to be highly addictive."

Mr Limbaugh, 52, said he intended to check himself into a drug treatment centre for the next 30 days "to once and for all break the hold this highly addictive medication has on me".

Sources at Mr Limbaugh's radio station said his show would continue with guest hosts, Reuters news agency reported.

'Racism' allegations

The disclosure follows US media allegations he is under investigation by the authorities in the US state of Florida for drug abuse.

Mr Limbaugh acknowledged an investigation is under way, but gave no other details.

The announcement also follows a public row last week, when he resigned after being accused of making racist comments while commentating on a US football game for television sports channel ESPN.

He said a black player was overrated by the sports media because they wanted a black player to do well.

Mr Limbaugh refused to apologise to the furious player and said his remarks were directed at the media - not at him.


SEE ALSO:
ESPN pundit quits in race row
02 Oct 03  |  Americas
Tune in, phone up
02 Dec 00  |  UK News


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