The comedian has long been open about his struggles with sobriety

By Jodi Guglielmi
December 21, 2020 03:55 PM
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John Mulaney has checked into rehab, PEOPLE has confirmed.

The former Saturday Night Live writer, 38, is seeking treatment after relapsing following a decades-long battle with addiction.

Mulaney's rep did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. The New York Post's Page Six was the first to report the news.

The comedian, who previously said he started drinking at the age of 13 before later abusing drugs, has been open about his struggles with sobriety.

"I drank for attention," he told Esquire in 2019. "I was really outgoing, and then at 12, I wasn't. I didn't know how to act. And then I was drinking, and I was hilarious again."

While he said he never enjoyed smoking marijuana, he "loved" cocaine and other prescription drugs.

"I wasn't a good athlete, so maybe it was some young male thing of 'This is the physical feat I can do. Three Vicodin and a tequila and I'm still standing,'" he said. "Who's the athlete now?"

Credit: Gary Gershoff/Getty

Mulaney first became sober at the age of 23 without the help of a treatment program.

"I went on a bender that weekend that was just, like, fading in and out of a movie," he told Esquire. "It was just crazy. A weekend that was ... there were ... I'm never going to tell you. That's mine. I didn't kill anyone or assault anyone. But yeah, I was like, 'You're f---ing out of control.' And I thought to myself, 'I don't like this guy anymore. I'm not rooting for him.'"

In his 2012 comedy special New in Town, Mulaney touched on his sobriety, saying it often surprises people when they learn he does not drink.

"I don't drink," he said"I used to drink, then I drank too much, and I had to stop. That surprises a lot of audiences because I don't look like someone who used to do anything."

Last month, Mulaney joined the Late Night with Seth Meyers team as a staff writer and has made regular appearances on the show in the weeks since.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.