The comedian will be seeking treatment in a long-term facility after testing positive for cocaine

By Christina Dugan
January 31, 2019 05:11 PM
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

Artie Lange is seeking help for his battle with addiction after testing positive for cocaine twice in two months.

On Wednesday, the comedian reported to Essex County Jail in New Jersey after testing positive for the drug for the second time in less than two months, according to a report on NJ.com.

PEOPLE has reached out to Lange’s rep and lawyer, Frank Arleo, for comment.

Though the 51-year-old, who is serving four years of probation after pleading guilty to heroin possession and tested positive for cocaine, amphetamine, benzodiazepines and Suboxone in December 2017, was not sentenced to jail, he was due to report to drug court at state Superior Court in Newark, where he was given a drug test.

Lange tested positive for cocaine and the drug court has the authority to remand Lange to jail, Katherine Carter, a spokesperson for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, tells PEOPLE.

Essex County Department of Corrections

“He was due in court yesterday because he was being transferred from regular court to drug court,” says Carter. “He was going to be in our drug court program. The original plan was that he would be into entered into our program here in Essex County and then be a direct transfer to Hudson County which is where he lives in Hoboken. However, under the rules of the program, when you enter you have to be drug-free. When he showed up yesterday for court he tested positive of cocaine and morphine. By virtue of that, he was taken into custody on the spot and remains at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.”

“He will remain there until there is a plan for his treatment,” she adds. “He will have to be in, or approved to be in, a court-approved drug treatment program.”

Lange’s attorney told NJ.com that Lange, who is on Suboxone, a medication used to treat opioid dependence, also tested positive for morphine.

“He knows he’s got a problem,” Arleo said. “He knows he shouldn’t have tested dirty yesterday, but he did. He knew what was going to happen.”

On Wednesday, a representative for Lange tweeted from the star’s account saying, “Excuse any show advertisements … starting today, Artie will be undergoing a long term treatment program, he loves and respects his fans … updates coming soon … and it’s time – TeamLange.”

A spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office told the publication that the actor was originally supposed to enter a drug court program in Essex County and be moved to Hudson County, but could not be admitted after the positive test result.

“The transfer could not occur because of that,” she said.

On Thursday, a representative for Lange took to the star’s Twitter account, again, to clarify a few things.

“The comments made by Artie’s lawyer have been taken out of context … Artie was not arrested and sent to jail … they are holding him a few days to sober up before transferring him to a long term treatment facility, Artie needs us to be with him, not against him – TeamLange”

Noam Galai/Getty

In December 2017, the troubled entertainer — who rose to fame as a performer on Howard Stern‘s radio show — was arrested at his home in Hoboken after failing to appear in Essex County Superior Court for charges stemming from a drug arrest in May 2017, Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura previously confirmed to PEOPLE.

Days later, he made his plea in a New Jersey court, according to Katherine Carter, a spokesperson for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. Lange pleaded guilty to possessing 81 decks of heroin, a term that usually refers to a bag of heroin weighing roughly 1-15 oz. and costs about $5 to $10, according to Carter.

In exchange for pleading guilty to the heroin charge, prosecutors dismissed charges for possession of cocaine brought against Lange on Feb. 23, 2016, Carter said. According to Carter, Lange said he would voluntarily enter a rehab facility, even though it was not a condition of his deal.

In January 2018, Lange revealed to his fans that he was one month sober.

“I’m back guys. Clean & Sober 32 days. One day at a time,” wrote Lange.

Lange also thanked his fans, whom he regarded as “the greatest fans in the world,” for their commitment in supporting him through his battle with substance abuse.

“I love you all for not forgetting me. To the ones who did. I’m so sorry. I’m a junky. But a recovering one right now,” he shared. “I’m gonna stop by the AA show Monday. After AA. I am not sure they’ll have me back. But I f—– up. Keith and Anthony are my brothers.”

In a fourth tweet, Lange made a promise to his fans: “u guys if get knocked down on the canvas I will always get up. Especially now cause Dan Falato’s helping me get up. U will hear from us soon. Peace. Artie,” he tweeted.

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