Chevy Chase Checks into Rehab: Inside His Battle with Addiction
Chevy Chase had previously opened up about his struggles with addiction and his stay at the Betty Ford Center in the early 1980s
The actor, who announced Monday that he is seeking help at an addiction treatment center in Minnesota , previously sought treatment at the Betty Ford Center in the early 1980s for a painkiller addiction.
Though the actor, 72, has remained largely private about his struggles with addiction, he wrote an open letter in The New York Times in 2007 as a tribute to President Gerald Ford. The actor was known for impersonating the late president on Saturday Night Live, but Chase also took the time to thank the statesman’s wife, former first lady Betty Ford, for the difference she made in his life.
“If it hadn’t been for the courage of Mr. Ford’s wife, Betty, for admitting to an alcohol problem, I would never have received the help I needed in the early 1980s at the Betty Ford clinic, located not far from the Ford residence near Palm Springs,” he wrote.
At the time, Chase’s agent told the Times the actor had developed a “dependency on prescription drugs relating to chronic and long-term back problems” stemming from his stint as a cast member on SNL.
“During my short stay there, I often saw Mrs. Ford personally surveying the clinic and generously offering a helping hand to those who were lucky enough to face their problems and, with the learned help of the clinic staff, appraise their behavior and their lifestyles,” he continued.
Four years later, Chase referenced his addiction issues in an interview with Esquire magazine.
“I never shot things up or freebased,” he said. “I was pretty love-level when it came to drug abuse. I checked myself into the Betty Ford Clinic after my nose started to hurt.”
The National Lampoon’s Vacation star is currently in an in-patient program at Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center in Minnesota, a representative for the actor confirmed to PEOPLE.
Chase checked himself in for an alcohol-related issue, and his rep added that the actor “wants to be the best that he can be.”