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Eric Dane rehab reflects rising toll of painkiller addiction

eric dane
Eric Dane in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, 2011. Getty Images

(CBS) Though he's best known for his role on TV's "Grey's Anatomy," Eric Dane is now starring in his own real-life medical drama. The 38-year-old actor recently entered rehab to overcome an addiction problem, People magazine reported.

What's Dane addicted to? The magazine quoted a rep for the actor saying it was prescription pain medication. If that's right, Dane seems to be part of a trend.

Between 1999 and 2009, there was a sharp increase in the number of Americans seeking rehab for addiction to painkillers, according to government statistics. One of the most notable shifts during this 10-year period was the rise in rehab admissions for addiction to prescription opiate medications, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin) and Vicodin (hydrocodone).

Of the opiate admissions, 33 percent were for prescription drugs. That's up from 8 percent a decade earlier.

"These data underscore the severity of our Nation's prescription drug abuse epidemic and the importance of public awareness regarding the harms caused by drug use," Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy, said in a written statement released by the Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration.

Rehab can take awhile, and many people with substance abuse problems try several times before kicking their addiction. As for Dane, his rep said the actor was due back at work next week.

WebMD has more on prescription painkiller abuse.

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