Tom Barnard says he's entering rehab, struggling with pills, wine, and anger [UPDATE]

Barnard, this morning: "This is the first time I've ever done the show with tears in my eyes."
Barnard, this morning: "This is the first time I've ever done the show with tears in my eyes."

-- Update at bottom of post --

:::: UPDATE :::: Tom Barnard was very angry on Twitter before rehab announcement [TIMELINE]

On his KQRS morning show today, legendary Twin Cities radio host Tom Barnard said he's entering rehab and will be taking a leave of absence from his show (see update at bottom of this post).

"I wouldn't want to be in a situation where I either croak or I hurt someone really badly," Barnard said, adding that he has gotten into the habit of drinking too much wine and using pills both to fall asleep and wake up. "I just go through periods [where] I just cannot sleep at all."

In addition to insomnia and substance struggles, Barnard, 61, also cited anger issues.

"I don't want to be pissed off... I just don't want to be angry anymore," he said.

Barnard added he might begin treatment as soon as this afternoon or Monday at Hazelden.

During his nearly three decades on the radio (much of that time on KQRS), Barnard has consistently generated controversy and unprecedented ratings. But he said going public with his problems and taking a break from the radio in order to deal with them is "kind of like this big weight is being lifted off my shoulders."

At least one Minnesota radio host suspects Barnard's rehab announcement is a "hack April Fools bit," but Barnard insisted he's serious about treatment.

Barnard said he's "absolutely committed to do this, or I wouldn't be talking about it on the show."

:::: UPDATE ::::

Barnard's attorney, Ron Rosembaum, says Barnard will not be taking a leave of absence while he receives treatment after all.

According to a Pioneer Press report, Barnard "wants to give outpatient treatment a shot before committing to a stay at the facility" and plans to be on the air Monday morning.

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