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Rush Limbaugh

In 2003, there was a Florida investigation into the illegal doctor-shopping that led to the Rush Limbaugh prescription drug addiction case, where he used different physicians to get prescriptions for hydrocodone and oxycodone.

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh admitted to his radio listeners on October 10, 2003 that he indeed was addicted to prescribed painkillers, and he then entered a treatment program. He had suffered from back pain for years, and then corrective surgery had been "botched" resulting in no relief from the pain.

Limbaugh had previously spoken out about drug abuse, before his addiction became known. A legal battle ensued when the assistant state attorney general requested Mr. Limbaugh's medical files, since that is information protected under the fourth amendment. Limbaugh's attorneys and the ACLU filed on his behalf, and a Florida judge stated that the state could not question Limbaugh's doctors about his medical condition or any information that was disclosed to the doctors.

Good Housekeeping ...

Limbaugh's former housekeeper went to the Florida police with the information that would eventually get him arrested. She said he took up to 30 Oxycontin (oxycodone) pills in one day. Through the course of the investigation, a Palm Beach couple was arrested for pushing Oxycontin and hydrocodone. Stories of meetings where a box of cash was exchanged for a baggie of pills were particularly damning to his case.

It is not uncommon for someone to become addicted to painkillers, especially if the pain is still there. Sometimes, though, addicts continue to use the medications even after the pain is dissipated. In the Rush Limbaugh prescription drug addiction case, he was only using two similar medications, both prescribed for pain, as compared to recent deaths of celebrities who were mixing various types of prescriptions at the same time.

Limbaugh and his attorneys feel that the state never had enough evidence to support the charge of doctor shopping. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and he was released on bail. In return for a not guilty verdict in a plea agreement, Limbaugh paid for the costs of the investigation, and is subject to random drug testing.

Doc Shop Shock ...

Some of the people who listen to Limbaugh feel that he was unjustly singled out, because he is a media personality. They don't think that many people are actually charged with doctor-shopping, even though it may be widespread.

In the 1990's, Limbaugh had a back surgery that was not successful. This was the beginning of his painkiller addiction. Limbaugh stated he had gone to hospitals to detox from hydrocodone on two occasions, but it's not clear whether those visits actually happened or not.

Whether Limbaugh was involved in doctor shopping, his addiction to prescription medications was fairly well-documented. He does not appear to have suffered many ill effects of his overuse of the pain medications he was abusing. This is in stark contrast to other well-known people who have passed away after mixing prescription drugs with other drugs or alcohol. They are both dangerous addictions, and it's a positive thing that they have been brought into the light. This may encourage many other people with addictions to come forward and seek treatment.

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