As noted by ESPN, medical marijuana is legal in Florida, where Woods was arrested near his home, but it is unclear whether he has a prescription for it. Shortly after his arrest, he said in a statement, “What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”
Woods was taken into custody after falling asleep at the wheel of his 2015 Mercedes and veering partly off a road, and officers noted in their report that he was “extremely slow to answer questions, had slurred and mumbled speech, and was slow to provide” documents such as his license and registration. The 14-time major winner appeared unsteady and disoriented in dash-cam footage released by authorities.
According to the report obtained by ESPN, the substances found in Wood’s system following his May arrest were: hydrocodone, the generic form of a painkiller known as Vicodin; hydromorphone, a painkiller known as Dilaudid; alprazolam, a mood and sleep drug known as Xanax; zolpidem, a sleep drug known as Ambien; and delta-9 carboxy THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Last week, Woods entered a DUI diversion program as part of a plea agreement resulting from his arrest. According to prosecutors, the superstar golfer will be placed under 12 months’ probation, during which he cannot drink alcohol or take drugs, and he will be required to plead guilty to reckless driving and complete DUI education.
“As I previously said, I received professional help to manage my medications,” Woods said Monday in a statement. “Recently, I had been trying on my own to treat my back pain and a sleep disorder, including insomnia, but I realize now it was a mistake to do this without medical assistance.
“I am continuing to work with my doctors, and they feel I’ve made significant progress. I remain grateful for the amazing support that I continue to receive and for the family and friends that are assisting me.”
The 41-year-old Woods underwent back surgery in April, the fourth such procedure of his career and a major factor in his inability to compete regularly in recent years. A winner of 79 official PGA Tour events, second only to Sam Snead, Woods does not have a win since 2013, and he has not triumphed in a major since the 2008 U.S. Open.
This year, Woods hasn’t played in an event since withdrawing from the Dubai Desert Classic after the first round in February. Shortly before his arrest, he wrote on his website, “I had nerve pain with anything I did and was at the end of my rope. … I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again.”