The Truth About Tiger Woods' Struggle With Prescription Pills

In light of Tiger Woods' near-fatal car crash Tuesday, where he was seen taking off "fast" and appearing "agitated and impatient" according to onlookers (via TMZ), one can't help but be reminded of the golfer's 2017 DUI arrest, and his documented struggles with addiction.

According to reports, the February 23 crash was a single-car accident where the golfer was the sole occupant, and involved major vehicle damage. Woods, who was trapped in the car until being removed by first resonders, was promptly taken to the hospital to get surgery for multiple sustained leg injuries (via Fox News).

The car accident comes just after Woods' 5th back surgery that took place on Dec. 23. Woods had not undergone a back surgery since April 2017 when his lower spine was fused, which took place just before his infamous arrest in May 2017 for driving under the influence (via NBC News). In 2017, Woods had taken several medications just before getting behind the wheel, which were at least partly prescribed to him to aid in his 4th surgery recovery. 

Tiger Woods has a history of substance abuse

Police did not find anything illicit inside Woods' car following his Tuesday accident, and no confirmation about possible substance abuse has been released (via TMZ). However, it is no secret that one of best golfer of all time has had issues with prescription drugs in the past – we can only hope that is not the case here.

Woods has struggled with chronic pain for years stemming from several decades of pushing his body to the limit of what a human can do. In the HBO documentary Tiger, the director analyzed Woods' struggles with his family's control over him, the effect of the media on his psyche, and his never-ending battle with fame and success, all of which could have contributed to his dependency issues. It also highlighted his notorious struggles with sex addiction in relation to his publicized cheating scandal, and the substance abuse that rose from his chronic pain in his back and leg (via Golf Channel).

There are similarities between Tiger Woods' motor vehicle accidents

In his notorious May 2017 arrest, Tiger Woods was found asleep at the wheel of his beat-up Black Mercedes at 2 A.M. Sadly, the athlete was found to have five different prescription pills in his system including Vicodin, Dilaudid, Xanax, Ambien and THC which all appeared in the toxicology report(via Golf Digest). At least two of the medications, which included a mix of both painkillers and sleep aids, were prescribed to help him recover from his back surgery, but it was, of course, negligence on Woods' end to take them before attempting to drive.

After his arrest, Woods released a statement, per ESPN, which read, "I understand the severity of what I did and I take full responsibility for my actions. I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn't realize the mix of medications affected me so strongly." Shortly after the incident, Woods checked himself into a clinic to seek help for his prescription addiction (via USA Today).

At the time, the championship pro-golfer stated, "I will do everything in my power to ensure this never happens again." Until more details emerge, we can only hope Woods quickly recovers from his injuries, and can go back to winning on the green.

If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).