Artie Lange has checked into an inpatient rehabilitation program in connection with a drug possession conviction earlier this year, the comedian announced.
The New Jersey native on Monday appeared on NJ 101.5, where he told host Steve Trevelise that he would "go into drug treatment." The announcement came after Lange met with Kevin Meara, founder of Hamilton Township's City of Angels, a drug addiction-focused nonprofit.
"I'm about to go into drug treatment and commit to a full rehab — inpatient," Lange, 51, said on Monday. "Kevin's helping me and, I don't know, I'm a very humble guy at this point. I think I'm ready to go and do what I've got to do. It's been long enough."
A Hoboken resident, Lange last year pleaded guilty to drug possession charges following a traffic stop during which New Jersey police allegedly found him with heroin. He later was arrested for failing to appear in court, and ultimately pleaded guilty to possessing 81 "decks," or baggies, of the drug. Judge Nancy Sivilli sentenced the comedian to four years of probation, as well as an outpatient drug rehab program.
In a third arrest last year, police allegedly found Lange with cocaine and heroin in a New Jersey parking garage. His struggle with addiction earlier this year inspired an episode of HBO's Crashing titled "Artie," in which the comedian played a version of himself.
Now, Lange has decided to pursue an inpatient program, but did not offer further reasoning for the move. As NJ.com reports, Lange has unsuccessfully participated in a number of inpatient and outpatient rehabs in the past.
This time, however, Lange said that he hopes to stay sober in honor of late comedian Mitch Hedberg, who died following a heroin overdose in 2005 at the age of 37. At the time, "even that didn't stop me," Lange said.
"I should have grabbed him and said, 'Let's go to the hospital right now. Let's get detoxed and get better right now,'" the comedian added. "Mitch was the kind of guy that openly said he was so far-gone with shooting heroin that he goes, 'Guys, don't try to help me, I want to do heroin until I die.'"
Lange also posted about his rehab stint on social media, writing on Twitter that he was "about to take a big step to help myself," and that his fans "have saved my life."
Since announcing his inpatient rehab stay, Lange has been retweeting messages of support from fans, and "staring at the ceiling" in the facility where he is housed.
"I have to do this guys," Lange wrote.