Last month, Tiger Woods was arrested on DUI charges after police in Jupiter, Florida spotted the golf legend driving erratically.
As it turned out, Woods was not drunk but under the influence of a potent cocktail of prescription pills.
The 41-year-old recently underwent back surgery and sources say he suffered a bad reaction to painkillers that were prescribed to him by his doctors.
But the fact that Woods didn’t consciously enter an impaired state before getting behind the wheel doesn’t make his actions any less dangerous.
Police departments across the country report that they’ve seen a sharp rise in cases of “drugged driving” in recent years, and the risk of death or serious injury is just as real as when a driver is drunk.
To his credit, Woods seems to understand the severity of the situation.
While he maintains that the drugs he was on were solely for pain management, Woods apparently recognizes that he needs professional help in order to free himself from the grips of substance abuse.
In a statement issued this morning, Woods revealed that he is seeking treatment as a result of his arrest over Memorial Day weekend:
“I’m currently receiving professional help to manage my medications and the ways that I deal with back pain and a sleep disorder,” Woods said.
“I want to thank everyone for the amazing outpouring of support and understanding especially the fans and players on tour.”
According to TMZ, Woods has been spotted out and about in Florida with his children, so it appears he did not enter an in-patient facility.
Critics are skeptical, and some have expressed the belief that Woods public revelation that he’s seeking treatment is simply part of an effort to secure a lighter sentence at his upcoming DUI trial.
Some have called on the golf icon to seek more aggressive treatment, both for the sake of his health and as a message to his younger fans that prescription pill addiction is as serious as any other form of substance abuse.
It does not appear that Woods will be heeding that advice.
Woods will likely be able to avoid harsh punishments from both the court and the PGA, but it remains to be seen if his career and reputation will be able to survive yet another scandal.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.