Grant Hackett enters rehab: Australian swimmer seeks treatment for drug abuse after he is found partially naked in hotel foyer
The Olympic medallist is currently being flown to the US, where he will seek treatment
Olympic swimming champion Grant Hackett has become the second Australian sportsman from the discipline to enter a rehabilitation programme for drug addiction of late.
The athlete is currently being flown to the US with his brother Craig by his side, where he will seek treatment for his dependency on prescription sleeping drug Stilnox.
The decision to seek help followed a bizarre incident, during which he was filmed wandering half-naked in an Australian hotel foyer.
"Grant is currently in transit to seek treatment for a dependency to Stilnox medication," his manager, Chris White, confirmed to the Herald Sun.
"His family and friends are enormously proud of his courage in pursuing this course of action."
Security staff at the Crown casino hotel in Melbourne, Australia were alerted, after Hackett was seen wandering around, partially nude and disorientated, as he attempted to find his four-year-old son.
"He seemed very confused. He was only wearing a white robe," one hotel resident told Australian site News.com.au.
Stilnox, which can also be prescribed to combat anxiety, can be highly addictive. The side effects of overuse can include hallucinations, impaired judgement and delusions.
It is the second time the swimmer has battled an addiction to the drug. In 2012, towards the end of his swimming career, he told the Sydney Daily Telegraph that he had a “heavy reliance” on the medication after first being given it by swimming officials.
"At one point they scared me. They're evil," the paper quoted him as saying.
Fellow Australian swimmer Michael Phelps has also previously admitted to using Stilnox throughout his career.
The news comes just weeks after another former Australian swimmer, gold medallist Ian Thorpe, was admitted to rehab after he was found in a Sydney street near his parents’ home, in a dazed and disoriented state. It since emerged that he has been suffering from depression.
His manager, James Erskine, said he had been affected by a combination of anti-depressants and painkillers and had mistaken the vehicle for a friend’s car.
"The owner of the car … called the police," he said. "They realised it was Ian Thorpe. They realised he was disoriented … He is in rehab for depression."
It has been reported by the Daily Mail that he joined Tom Daley on a holiday cruise three weeks before the incident took place.
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