Artie Lange Sobering Up In Jail Before Entering Long-Term Treatment

By Paul Gaita 02/05/19

The comedian reportedly tested positive for cocaine and morphine prior to entering the correctional facility. 

Artie Lange
Photo via YouTube

Comedian Artie Lange was booked into a New Jersey jail after testing positive for cocaine, and is expected to enter a long-term treatment program, according to his legal representative.

According to posts from "Team Lange" on his Twitter account, Lange entered the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark on January 30 after testing positive for both cocaine and morphine; the incident comes less than two months after he tested positive for cocaine and other substances during a court visit for probation violation in December 2018.

Lange's lawyer, Frank Arleo, said that the Crashing actor could be at Essex County through February 6, and expected that Lange would be moved to an inpatient drug treatment program soon after.

The first post on January 30 from "Team Lange" read that Lange would be undergoing a long-term treatment program "starting today," and promised updates before capping the post with the words, "It's time."

Lange had been booked into, but not sentenced, at Essex County Jail that same day, and remanded to state Superior Court in Newark, where he was given a drug test. Team Lange's next post on January 31 noted that "the comments made by Artie's lawyer have been taken out of context"—meaning that he had not been arrested or sent to jail, but had been booked for "a few days to sober up before transferring him to a long term treatment facility."

The post concluded with the statement, "Artie needs us to be with him, not against him."

Arleo said that his client "knows he shouldn't have tested dirty, but he did. He knew what was going to happen." Arleo added that Lange's case is due to be evaluated on February 6, and going forward, the primary concern will be "finding a bed at an inpatient facility" for Lange.

Lange tested positive for cocaine, amphetamines, benzodiazepines and Suboxone during a December 14, 2018 court appearance for a 2017 probation violation. At the time, Arleo said that Lange had prescriptions for the amphetamines and benzodiazepines, and was using Suboxone to treat his opioid dependency. Lange avoided jail time when the presiding judge recommended that Arleo apply for Lange's admission to drug court and complete community service in addition to the four years of probation for the 2017 violation.

In December 2017, Lange tweeted, "I feel now I can also stop Cocaine [sic]. But that's arrogance and addiction. I'm accepting help. If I fail now I will go to jail. Jail is not for addicts. But I'd be giving them no choice. When I use illegal drugs I have to score them. That's breaking the law."

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.