Moustache-toting Hollywood actor, Burt Reynolds, entered himself into a rehabilitation clinic in Florida in order to receive treatment for his addiction to painkillers. Reynolds fell into the dependency trap after undergoing surgery on his back but after the initial pain subsided he realized he couldn’t stop taking the medication. He checked himself into the Hanley Center in West Palm Beach although the tenure of his stay is unclear.
His manager, Erik Kritzer, issued a statement which said that Reynolds sought help after he “realized he was in the prison of prescription pain pills.”
According to further statements by Kritzer, Reynolds was hopeful that his very public battle against the painkiller addiction would prove to others that to recover from addiction they need to seek professional help or risk being stuck in a perpetual cycle of habitual behaviour and damaging every aspect of their life in the process.
“He checked himself into rehab in order to regain control of his life,” Kritzer said in the statement. “Mr. Reynolds hopes his story will help others in a similar situation. He hopes they will not try to solve the problem by themselves, but realize that sometimes it is too tough to do on their own and they should seek help, as he did.”
But for the star of ‘Boogie Nights’ and ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ this was not his first run in with prescription medication. In the 1980s he broke his jaw after an untrained stuntman hit him around the head with a metal chair whilst filming the very first scene of ‘City Heat’ in which he starred alongside Clint Eastwood. Due to injuries incurred by the mistake he was prescribed Halcion, a sleeping drug which was supposed to help him through the pain. Sadly Reynolds became addicted to them and blames his ‘strong constitution’ for allowing him to take up to 50 tablets a day.
“50 Halcion a day?” One interviewer asked him.
“Yeah, of the blue ones, strong ones. And still talking! “Uh Loni I’m gwong too gowhoa downshtairs.” She’d say, “What, I just gave you three sleeping pills.” My tolerance went up. I would get out of bed and take five pills. And I’d be awake and five or six hours later I’d take five or six more. So, yeah, 50 pills over a 24-hour period.“ He replied.
The jaw injury nearly cost him his career as at the time he was placed on a liquid diet which caused him to shed 50 pounds. He looks back upon that time as one of the most insane periods of his life but has since made good recoveries from both addictions – going cold turkey on the Halcion which resulted in an eight hour coma and doctors calling his wife in to say her final goodbyes..
Shortly after the Halcion episode rumours began to circulate that he had contracted HIV and that made his life even harder. Clearly the rumours were unfounded and Reynolds is still alive and well and certainly not showing any signs of having HIV or AIDS.