Artie Lange went back to court on Friday to find out if a judge would revoke his probation and send him to prison after he violated conditions. Lange managed to avoid jail time on the condition that he is accepted by a strict rehab program called “drug court.” Drug court was developed to help keep non-violent drug offenders stay out of jail, and is a team of court staff, attorneys, probation officers, and substance abuse professionals who work together to support and monitor the participant’s recovery. The program requires intense supervision, frequent testing, and of course, rehab.
Artie was arrested in May 2017 for possession of a substantial quantity of heroin decks and a year later was sentenced to four years probation on the condition that he maintain sobriety. He was subject to mandatory drug testing as part of his probation. That was back in June. Then in November it was revealed that Lange tested positive for cocaine and opiods twice in one month. He checked himself into a 30 day inpatient treatment program in Pennsylvania and was released after 28 days. Supposedly (and according to Lange’s own tweets and several interviews) he got clean while in rehab and stayed clean after release.
But Lange showed up for court today looking unwell- unshaven, wearing a hoodie, and with a new evolution to the ever progressing mis-shapeness of his nose that has been the result of years of drug abuse. And according to records from today’s courtroom proceedings in Essex County Superior Court, Lange hasn’t been able to stay clean. He was tested during the hearing and tested positive for cocaine, amphetamine, benzodiazepines and Suboxone according to nj.com. Two of the drugs were prescribed, and one is used to treat opiod addiction.
Lange- who always maintains a close connection to his fan base- spoke via Twitter after the hearing. He says he has not used heroin in 41 days, and thanks the medication Suboxen for helping him stay heroin-free. “That’s a prison that for now I’m out of. It’s also the reason I’m not in jail,” he said. He admits, however, that he has used cocaine since leaving rehab. “I had to touch the flame,” he said. “I’m a bad addict. I had to see if I could get high. It was awful. If ur on Suboxen don’t try it.”
He also thanked the judge and prosecutor for their compassion and for not sending him to jail, and said he has work to do now. “I feel now I can also stop Cocaine. But that’s arrogance and addiction. I’m accepting help.” He asked fans to pray for him, thanked all of those who have been helping him, and promised that he still plans to follow through with setting up a fund to help addicts afford rehabilitation.
It’s not just the court rooting for Artie’s success. Friends and fans (and comedy websites) continue to voice love and support for Artie to get the help he needs and get clean.
Guys I will tweet about this once. Today in court they drug tested me. For the last decade or more they’d have found both Heroin and Cocaine. With the help of in my eyes a miracle legal medication called Suboxen I tested negative for Heroin. I haven’t used Heroin in 41 days…
— Artie Lange (@artiequitter) December 14, 2018