Gerard Butler Rehab Stint Highlights Problem of Painkiller Addiction

Actor Gerard Butler reportedly checked himself into rehab three weeks ago for an addiction to painkillers.

Butler checked himself into rehab at the famous Betty Ford Center, according to reports, and completed his rehab stint on Friday.

The Scottish actor who rose to fame in the U.S. starring in films such as, "P.S. I Love You," began an addiction with painkillers following the shooting of action film "300" due to suffering from acute pain, according to TMZ.

He had also recently experienced an extreme surfing accident, which almost claimed his life, late last year while shooting the surfing film, "Of Men and Mavericks."

"Gerard has completed a successful course of treatment and has returned home in good heath," the actors rep said in a statement.

Other high profile celebrities have also struggled with prescription drug abuse, including Nicole Richie, Winona Ryder, Matthew Perry, Kelly Osborne, Jaime Lee Curtis, Rush Limbaugh, Elvis Presley, and most notably Michael Jackson.

"I would anesthetize myself on a daily basis and I found painkillers were very helpful because they did the job without the messiness of alcohol," actress Jamie Lee Curtis told Readers Digest of her addiction.

Painkillers can be highly addictive, particularly for those suffering from acute pain because painkillers effectively numb physical pain and often enable patients to escape from emotional pain as well.

Other factors for painkiller addiction include the inaccessibility of non-drug pain management methods, induced relaxation, a quick tolerance build-up to the drugs, and the stigma that becomes associated with openly using painkillers.

In some cases, painkillers can have a side effort of euphoria, as the chemicals used in prescription painkillers can be derived from the same poppy plant that is used to make heroin and opium.

Furthermore, many painkiller users often neglect the parts of their bodies suffering from pain, which only exacerbates the issues once the painkillers wear off and withdrawing from prescription painkillers is also notoriously unpleasant.

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