In early June 2005, Lange began missing work at the Howard Stern Show, prompting concerns of a possible relapse of past substance abuse. The situation climaxed in Lange behaving incoherently and belligerently on-the-air. He infamously sneered at Howard and crew that: “Artie’s going to do what Artie’s going to do!” Stern later commented that this statement had scared him. Lange missed the entire week of work.
At the time, Lange’s absence from the show went largely unmentioned and was written off as stress from doing the radio show and beginning production of his movie Beer League. The real reason for Lange’s absence was revealed in a spontaneous revelation on the September 21, 2006 episode, on which Lange acknowledged that he was regularly snorting heroin from February to June 2005. Lange discussed past episodes of heroin use, beginning when he was a stand-up comedian and continuing until Beer League was set to begin shooting. Lange detailed his painful withdrawal, which included common side effects such as cold sweats, shaking and vomiting. Lange recalled disconnecting the telephone to avoid speaking to his mother, who ultimately intervened to help him recover. Lange was threatened with legal action by the Beer League producers (whom he later described as having “waste management connections”) if he failed to show up for the first day of shooting in June 2005, which led Lange to secure a home visit from a doctor who prescribed Lange with buprenorphine (Subutex) to alleviate his heroin dependency. Since starting the medicine, Lange has claimed to be free of any illegal substances. n May 2004, Las Vegas station KLAS-TV reported him dead. The story turned out to be a prank executed by Stern Show regular caller Captain Janks. The website artielangedeathwatch.com was started to predict when Lange would die if he continues this lifestyle. Before discontinuing updates, the site projected that he would die at age 53. Since quitting heroin, Lange has gained well over 100 lb (45 kg); on July 26, 2007, it was determined on The Howard Stern Show that he had reached 300 lb (136 kg). [WIKIPEDIA]