Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has entered rehab after a relapse on pain medication following foot surgery. The 74-year-old singer underwent surgery to “prepare for the stage” as the band prepared to start their Deuces Are Wild shows in a forthcoming Las Vegas residency in June. A spokesperson for Tyler issued a statement that said the “necessity of pain management during the process” had led him to relapse, but Tyler has since voluntarily entered a treatment program to “concentrate on his health and recovery.” The remaining tour dates for June and July have been canceled, but the band expects to resume their residency in September.
Tyler previously discussed his struggles with addiction with GQ magazine stating that drugs were “more or less the thing to do” as a rock star in the 70s. Heavy drug and alcohol use was prevalent amongst many bands during this time, with Tyler stating that hardly any bands even knew what being sober meant. Tyler started using drugs in the 1960s as a teenager, but the rockstar lifestyle caught up with the singer during his early years with Aerosmith.
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In 1988, Tyler’s bandmates and management staged an intervention that led him to a period of abstinence. The singer stated that it took many years to get over the anger of being sent to rehab, but his anger has now turned to appreciation, and he owes a “thanks to them” for his sobriety. Following a relapse in 2009, he entered the Betty Ford facility for prescription drug abuse treatment and was believed to have remained sober afterward.
Tyler’s history with prescription pain medication abuse is unfortunately not an uncommon occurrence in America. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 2 million people in the US had a prescription Opioid use disorder, and over 16 million people reported misusing any prescription psychotherapeutic drug in 2020. The rate of addiction to prescription pain medication is so high due to several factors, including high accessibility, a history of over-prescription, and the fact that the body can develop a tolerance quickly to it. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the risk of developing an Opioid dependency significantly increases after 5 days of regular use.
Successful treatment of prescription drug abuse may need to incorporate several components, including detoxification, counseling, and medications. Multiple courses of treatment may be necessary for an individual to make a full recovery, but recovery is possible for everyone.
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How Steven Tyler Made The Best Of His Situation
Tyler opened Janie’s House in 2017, a home for residential treatment programs for abused and neglected girls just outside Atlanta, after meeting women during his previous time in rehab who were also seeking treatment. Many of the women, Tyler told CNN, were seeking treatment, in part, due to the ramifications of the abuse they had endured during their lives. “While I was in [rehab], I found out most of women in there were battered and beaten and abused verbally and sexually in huge numbers,” Tyler said. “It was like 7 out of 10, 8 out of 10.”
The organization’s namesake comes from Aerosmith’s 1989 hit song “Janie’s Got A Gun,” which details a young girl abused by her father. Preceding Janie’s House, Tyler created Janie’s Fund to bring awareness to the neglect and abuse children face, and to provide financial support to ensure that girls receive the most effective services available to help them overcome the trauma and pain of abuse.
It is not yet known how long Tyler will remain in treatment, but a representative of the singer apologized to those affected by the show cancellations, “especially our most loyal fans who often travel great distances to experience our shows,” and thanked everyone for their support and understanding during this time.
Carmen McCrackin earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Auburn and has over 3 years of professional writing experience. Her passion for writing and educating others led her to a career in journalism with a focus on mental health and social justice topics. Her main mission is to be a platform for all voices and stories, and to provide tangible resources to those seeking recovery for themselves or loved ones.
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