Steven Tyler heads to rehab

Dec 22, 2009 at 11:34 p.m. ET

Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler is spending the holidays in rehab.

Steven Tyler has been battling the demons of drugs and alcohol since his high school days -- before Aerosmith first hit it big in the '70s -- and his addiction has come back to haunt him again. Tyler, 61, released a statement saying he is heading into rehab again.

"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 bandmates Joe Perry, Joey Kramer, Tom Hamilton and Brad Whitford," Tyler said in his statement.

Rumors that Tyler had fallen off the wagon have been swirling since he toppled off a stage at a concert in August. His injuries caused the band to cancel the remainder of their summer tour. The rest of the band was none too pleased about this, with bandmate Brad Whitford telling Rolling Stone Tyler "doesn't act like a sober person," adding, "I'm not hanging with the guy, but his history of drug abuse is well documented."

Tyler shot back, "The easiest thing in the world is to say he's drunk or stoned," and soon afterwards announced he was taking a hiatus from the band to focus on "Team Tyler." His bandmates called his bluff and announced their search for a new lead singer.

Steven soon decided he did not want to part ways with the rock legacy he created, and reaffirmed his position with the legendary group. It is possible that one of the terms of his return was rehab, necessitated by problems with pain management.

Dr Brian McKeon, who treated Tyler, said, "Over the past 10 years, Steven Tyler has suffered orthopedic injuries and has been in severe chronic pain which will require further surgeries on his knees and feet. Managing and controlling his pain has been challenging and despite our use of alternative therapies and the creation of custom shoes built by a team of engineers from Timberland, Steven's pain has progressed."

"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."

Tyler told Rolling Stone his position with Aerosmith is top priority to him and he will not be taking that self-aggrandizing break after all. "I wish to set the record straight and say that I have read reports of a rumored two-year hiatus and want to be clear that this is completely false and I will enthusiastically be writing, recording and performing with Aerosmith as soon as things are handled," he said.

No matter what, Steven Tyler always has the support of actress daughter Liv Tyler. "He is a courageous man," she said. "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."

Tyler last underwent rehab treatment in 2008.

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