NEW YORK - Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh headed back to the microphone for his long-running radio talk show Monday, more than a month after announcing he was addicted to prescription painkillers.
WABC Radio said Limbaugh would air from noon to 3 p.m. EST from an undisclosed location. His show reaches some 600 markets and about 20 million listeners a week, but WABC said Monday it expected to attract a larger than usual audience on Limbaugh's first day back.
Limbaugh's last show was on Oct. 10, when he announced he was starting a five-week rehabilitation program.
"Over the past several years I have tried to break my dependence on pain pills," he said that day. He said he had checked himself into treatment programs twice before in an effort to beat his habit.
Since Limbaugh left the show, his spot has been filled by several guest hosts, including Tony Snow, Walter Williams and Matt Drudge.
His brother, David Limbaugh, announced on the show last week that the commentator was returning to the show.
"He's obviously champing at the bit to get back to doing what he does best," David Limbaugh said.
Limbaugh gave up his job as an ESPN sports analyst Oct. 1, three days after saying on the sports network's "Sunday NFL Countdown" that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed.
In the past, Limbaugh has decried drug use and abuse on his bluntly conservative show, arguing that drug crimes deserve punishment.
Rush Limbaugh has said he started taking painkillers "some years ago" when a doctor prescribed them following spinal surgery. Back pain stemming from the surgery persisted, Limbaugh said, so he kept taking pills and became hooked.
A law enforcement source in Palm Beach County, where Limbaugh owns a $24 million oceanfront mansion, said last week that Limbaugh's drug use is still under investigation by the state attorney's office.
Reports of possible drug abuse first appeared in the National Enquirer, which quoted his maid as saying she was his drug connection. She said Limbaugh had abused OxyContin and other drugs.