Artie Lange’s legal woes related to longtime drug addiction just keep coming. The 51 year old comedian was taken into custody on Wednesday at the Essex County Jail after testing positive for cocaine for the second time in less than two months. It was not a jail sentence for Lange, but rather considered a parole violation and he’s being put into a mandatory rehab facility. Lange reported to court at the state Superior Court in Newark where the test was given, upon its failure the court had the authority to remand Lange to rehab.
Lange’s lawyer Frank Arleo also stated that Lang is currently on Suboxone, a medication used to treat opioid dependence and he also tested positive for morphine. “He knows he’s got a problem,” Arleo says. “He knows he shouldn’t have tested dirty yesterday, but he did. He knew what was going to happen.”
Katherine Carter, spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, says Lange was originally supposed to enter a drug court program in Essex County and be moved to Hudson County, closer to his Hoboken home, but could not be admitted after the positive test result. “The transfer could not occur because of that,” she said, since drug court protocol is that a participant has to be drug-free in order to transfer to another county. So in essence he’s being held in jail until he sobers up for rehab.
Lange’s team posted the news on his social media stating that he was going into a longterm treatment facility and more updates would be coming shortly.
This is clearly bad news for Artie, a talented comedian who seems to have had hundreds of chances over the years, but this time he seems to not be able to avoid jail. This past December, he tested positive for cocaine while on a 4 year parole sentence he received in June. He avoided 5 years in jail for the violation and instead Judge Nancy Sivilli recommended Lange for drug court. He had already been in court for alleged probation violations — having tested positive for drugs — when the additional violation came to light. But both the judge and Lange’s lawyer seemed to agree that his addiction would not be helped by time in jail.
Lange has struggled with drug addiction for decades, losing jobs, taking on hospital stays, and other rehab stints. His current woes stem from an arrest in May 2017 by the State Police who found him with 81 decks of heroin on the Garden State Parkway. We too wondered what a “deck” of heroin is and looked it up, we learned it’s between 1-15 grams of heroin, so 81 of them is… a lot.
One of the most-obvious signs that things haven’t been going well for the comedian is the physical destruction of his septum the last few months. It’s drastically changed the appearance of the comedian, flattening his nose after years of snorting drugs (and on one occasion, inadvertently snorting OxyContin mixed with broken glass).
Lange just appeared on the Are We Still Talking About This? podcast. Hosted by his longtime comedy industry friend Jessica Pilot, the two discussed his current state which included him detailing a kidnapping by a bookie’s “enforcer” which added to the nose breaking and caused him to miss his a court date. Lange also stated that he’s been covered, “like a Kardashian” by the media and as a result a lot of the negative press cost him work. Unfortunately being in the custody of the state will also cost you work.