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Fred Toucher returns to Sports Hub morning show, explains absence and concerning tweets

Fred Toucher is a cohost for The Sports Hub's morning drive program.The Boston Globe

Fred Toucher returned to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher and Rich” program Friday, revealing that he had checked himself into an alcohol treatment facility after posting alarming, since-deleted comments on social media over Memorial Day weekend.

Toucher, who had been absent from the air all week until Friday, explained what happened at the top of the show at 6 a.m. and elaborated further in the 8 a.m. hour, saying he was in a dark place but that he never had any intention of harming himself.

“As you know, I’m going through a divorce,” said Toucher, who has received treatment for alcohol dependency in the past and also has dealt with throat problems and show tumult over the past several months. “The reason I bring that up is that half the time I live alone, without my kids, all right. So then there was the whole throat thing with the possible cancer, and I was out of work for five weeks, and there was a lot of time alone.

“And towards the end of that, I started getting … feeling … really dark. Exploring dark stuff on the Internet. My mood was shifting into being very dark. I knew something was going to happen.”


Toucher said he called his father Wednesday to come stay with him. His father planned to fly in Sunday.

“Sure enough, on Saturday, I relapsed completely and all that darkness comes out,” said Toucher. “For some reason I tweet something that is in my mind at the time probably very clever and very dark humor — and ‘Ooh, what is he talking about? — that in the light of day I realized was not clever at all and was stupid and actually freaked some people out.

“So what I did was, I said, ‘All right, here’s what I can do. I can stay home, and the likely scenario for this will be that I will read this again, I will become embarrassed, and I will drink, and that will just make things a thousand times worse.’ And it will just feed on itself until something really bad happens.”


So Toucher checked himself into a detoxification facility.

“Basically what I was doing was voluntarily locking myself up so I knew that I wouldn’t drink anymore,” he said. “I was like, ‘All right, I’ve lost control, I’ve lost control of alcohol, I’m not thinking like me.’ ”

Toucher said that when a patient checks into detox, the stay must last 72 hours. Because he checked in over the holiday weekend, he said, his first two days there did not count.

“Was it fun? It was the worst five days of my entire life,’’ he said. “I got out [Thursday] morning. You have to understand I had not been drinking for very long, so my detox ended, realistically, Tuesday morning. So I was just sitting around. And I couldn’t leave.”

Toucher said he appreciated how many listeners reached out and expressed concern.

“In all truthfulness, I had no intention of hurting myself,” he said. “But it was just all in all a really dumb thing to do, that only a dark, drunken mind would come up with. And to me, that was like, ‘All right, that’s it.’ ”

Toucher said that when he got out of the facility Thursday, he went directly to an outpatient facility and then to see his therapist.


“I have a plan,” he said. “The idea is never to drink again. … I just can’t handle it. It’s no excuse, but that time alone, and everything building up — the scare of the cancer, and the loneliness of the divorce, and all the crap that you hear and everything that was going on, it just kept stacking and stacking and stacking.”

On Wednesday, cohost Rich Shertenlieb — who had a scheduled absence Friday and was not part of the show — had offered a brief, vague acknowledgement of Toucher’s absence, concluding by saying, “If you’re listening, Fred, we’re all rooting for you.”

Chad Finn can be reached at Follow him @GlobeChadFinn.