Aerosmith's Steven Tyler Owns Up: Says Rehab Was For Dependency On Sleeping Pills

Rocker had been sober for nearly two decades before entering rehab facility last month.

After cryptically entering a rehab facility last month in search of a "safe environment" to heal from foot surgery, Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler has admitted that he was battling dependency on pain and sleeping medication.

The rock icon, who has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction in the past, said he tried to nip the problem in the bud before it got serious by checking into a facility. "To have your feet done, to have your leg done, you have to be on narcotics," Tyler told The Associated Press on Friday. "You have to be on sleep aids at night. I don't know about [Aerosmith guitarist] Joe [Perry], but I was off and running, and I didn't like the me that was me." Perry underwent knee surgery in March after postponing the much-needed repair for two years in order to continue touring with the band.

Amid rumors that he had slipped off the wagon after nearly two decades of sobriety, the 60-year-old Tyler released a statement in late May confirming that he had checked into a rehab facility. At the time, he said he was looking for a safe place to recover from several painful foot surgeries to correct damage caused by his high-energy live performances.

"This was a month ago, so I just put the brakes on and checked into detox and just pulled the plug on all of it," he said. Both Tyler and Perry battled heavy drug and alcohol issues in the '70s and early '80s that led to a split between the creative core of the band. Once sober, they reunited, and the band issued their 1987 smash album, Permanent Vacation.