The real story of Artie Lange’s court appearance
Artie Lange continues his fight against drug addiction. It's a fight he is losing after again testing positive for cocaine in a court appearance last Wednesday. A tweet was put out afterwards from "Team Lange."
City of Angels founder Kevin Meara has been helping both Artie and the Lange family since the comedian announced his rehab to New Jersey 101.5 last November. Meara called into Steve Trevelise on his way back from Washington DC where he attended the Swearing-In Ceremony of James W. Carroll as Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy:
What happened in court?
"Artie went for his hearing," Meara said. "Where they made their decision on drug court. Prior to anybody getting into drug court, they do an assessment. It was done after we had actually left for the day, so I'm not even sure what they came up with. But the drug court administrator does an assessment, and they determined that he needed further treatment."
Can you explain drug court and how it works?
"So drug court varies from state to state and county to county," Meara said. "But what it is, it was set up specifically to deal with people with substance use disorders. They're realizing that a lot of what goes on is what they call, 'victimless crimes.' They set certain criteria. I believe in most cases it couldn't be like felon assault type charges, it has to be more minor felonies, like victimless crimes I guess they would call it. So they set up a special court, a special judge. They've got administrators, counselors and everything, but it's pretty damn intense. Many of them are five year programs. You'll call in and the recording will say whether you have to report that morning. If you have to report that morning, you come in, you do a drug test. You talk to the counselors, so it's random screening on drug tests. There's counseling, there's things that they have to do. In the beginning it's really strict. There's curfew, I think at 9 o'clock at night. You have to get a job, there's a lot of requirements."
What about the, "long term treatment?"
"I've seen people be in recovery for seven years and relapse and go back to heroin. So there's no given cookie cutter to this. I can tell you is that, having sat with Artie listened to his story, he's got a lot of trauma. Probably starting sometime with his fathers death. And then years of substance abuse to numb that pain. So his recovery is going to take years also. The other thing you have to understand is, when our kids start using drugs at 12,13, 14 years old and we see them when they're 27, 28, 29 whatever. Their maturity level, their ability to function as a 29-year-old is severely hampered by all the abuse their brain has taken. We always say the first thing is the drugs, but the thing that takes longer is the behaviors. That takes time."
Artie Lange is the most beloved comedian I've ever seen. In the short time I've worked with him; I've seen fans, comics, club owners and of course, friends profess their love for him. That's the thing about Artie, he makes you feel like you're his friend. He'll tell you he loves you and genuinely cares about you. It's the same for those who see him and follow him. For the sake of all of us. We hope and pray that he wins his fight.
More from New Jersey 101.5: