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By Kat Giantis
Gerard Butler apparently doesn't want to become the latest Hollywood casualty of prescription drugs. On the heels of a TMZ report that the Scottish star spent the last three weeks seeking treatment for substance abuse at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., his rep confirms he's out and feeling better.
"Gerard has completed a successful course of treatment and has returned home in good health," the rep said in a statement (via Gossip Cop).
According to TMZ, Butler, 42, entered rehab after realizing he was "relying too much on prescription drugs" for "pain management," which reportedly began during his physically demanding (and mostly shirtless) role in "300," and was made worse when he suffered a near-death experience while filming the surfing movie "Of Men and Mavericks" late last year.
The actor also allegedly had issues with cocaine, but "the root problem appears to be the injuries and pain management." TMZ says he wanted to avoid a "full-blown addiction" by preemptively seeking help.
Butler has talked openly about his battle with alcohol in his 20s.
"I had gone from a 16-year-old who couldn't wait to grasp life to a 22-year-old who didn't care if he died in his sleep," explained the law school grad, who ended up being fired from an Edinburgh law firm over his boozing. "I used to drink until I couldn't remember anything. I was just mad for it and on a death wish. It was madness. One or two drinks was never enough for me. I was a foot-on-the-floor-all-the-way drinker, so it had to go. I don't miss it."
Gerard raised eyebrows last year when he hit the red carpet looking much thinner than usual, but he chalked up the change to preparation for the surfing pic.
"If I wear a long shirt, everyone says, 'Oh my God, he lost so much weight!' But this is how I look," he told E! in September. "I just used to be a lot bigger. But now I'm surfing. I'm doing a surf movie, so I have to slim down. I don't know ... maybe I'm sick or something!"
While filming "Of Men and Mavericks" in Northern California back in December, he was pulled underwater and over a reef, resulting in an ambulance ride and brief hospitalization.
"This was maybe one of the few times that the reports were not exaggerated," he acknowledged last month on "The Graham Norton Show." "It was a pretty close call. ... [The waves] just took me and I couldn't get up. It was pretty hairy."
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