Steven Tyler Goes to Rehab for Pain Med Addiction

By Tamer El-Ghobashy
|  Wednesday, Dec 23, 2009  |  Updated 8:08 AM EDT
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Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler has checked himself into a rehab facility to treat an addiction to painkillers.

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Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler has checked himself into a rehab facility to treat an addiction to painkillers -- a full month after rumors swirled that the frontman was leaving the legendary rock band on bad terms.

"With the help of my family and team of medical professionals, I am taking responsibility for the management of my pain and am eager to be back on the stage and in the recording studio with my band mates," Tyler, 61, said in a statement released to People. The magazine reported Tyler had already entered rehab.

The move comes after speculation in November that Tyler was splitting from the band after 40 years together. Rumors of Tyler's exit started after Tyler told a reporter he planned to pursue solo projects following a Nov. 1 concert in Abu Dhabi. Band mates had not been in contact with Tyler for weeks prior to the show, and there was speculation they were ticked off at him after he forced the cancelation of a summer tour. Tyler was injured when he fell on stage in August, but the band thought he had recovered sufficiently to continue.

Band mate Joe Perry went as far as to Tweet that "Aerosmith is positively looking for a new singer to work with. You can't just take 40 years of experience and throw it in the bin."

But the rockers appeared to make nice and Tyler acknowledged his desire to return to Aerosmith in his statement.

"I love Aerosmith; I love performing as the lead singer in Aerosmith," it read. "I am grateful for all of the support and love I am receiving and am committed to getting things taken care of."

In a separate statement to Rolling Stone, Tyler addressed rumors that he demanded a two-year break from the band, calling them "completely false." "I will enthusiastically be writing, recording and performing with Aerosmith as soon as things are handled," the statement said.

Tyler last entered rehab in May 2008 for pain stemming from foot surgery and has battled "severe chronic pain" from orthopedic pain for 10 years, his doctor told People.

"The balance between managing his pain and avoiding addiction is tenuous and difficult and his bravery in persevering through rigorous touring is admirable. As with many athletes, Steven put his performance first as he struggled with acute pain for years," Dr. Brian McKeon said.

Actress Liv Tyler, the singer's daughter, issued a statement in support of her father saying she and her family "are in complete support" of Tyler's decision. "He is a courageous man. We love him and are so proud that he is getting help to balance his pain management, not just for himself but for his family, friends and fans," her statement said.

There were no immediate comments from Tyler's band mates.

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