Monday 23 July 2018

Ant McPartlin on his two-year addiction to painkillers: 'I was at the point where I'd take anything'

Ant McPartlin (Joe Giddens/PA)
Ant McPartlin (Joe Giddens/PA)
Ant McPartlin and his wife Lisa Armstrong, who helped put him on the road to recovery. Photo: PA Wire
Ant and Dec (Ian West/PA)

Julia Hunt in London

Ant McPartlin has said he is "overwhelmed" by the support from fans after he revealed he nearly died as he battled depression, alcohol and substance abuse.

The TV star - one half of much-loved duo Ant and Dec - entered rehab in June after struggling with a two-year addiction to super-strength painkillers following a knee operation in 2015.

Opening up for the first time since leaving rehab, he told 'The Sun on Sunday' he was at the point where doctors said he could have killed himself.

McPartlin's revelations triggered a flood of support online and he has now posted a message on Twitter saying: "Have to say I'm overwhelmed by everyone's love, support and well wishes today.

Ant McPartlin and his wife Lisa Armstrong, who helped put him on the road to recovery. Photo: PA Wire
Ant McPartlin and his wife Lisa Armstrong, who helped put him on the road to recovery. Photo: PA Wire

"Thank you one and all. I'm sending all my love back."

In the interview, McPartlin explained how he had been hiding pills in different places to avoid his addiction being detected before a conversation with wife Lisa and TV partner Declan Donnelly got him on the road to recovery.

"I was at the point where anything - prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs - I would take," he said.

"And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me, 'You could have killed yourself'."

Ant and Dec (Ian West/PA)
Ant and Dec (Ian West/PA)

Earlier this year, the 41-year-old asked Lisa to call an ambulance in the early hours of the morning after bingeing on tramadol, morphine and alcohol while recovering from a second knee operation in June.

"It was five in the morning and I was screaming in pain so I rang Lisa," he told the newspaper.

"She was upstairs because I was living in the living room because I couldn't get around.

"I said, 'You're going to have to call me an ambulance. I'm in a bad way'."

He added: "I was insane. It sends you crazy. It was to the point of hearing things, seeing things in the garden and still the pain was getting worse. I was depressed through the whole thing because I was in pain and immobile," he said.

The 'Britain's Got Talent' presenter would visit different private doctors to get more tramadol prescribed, and recalled one occasion on 'Saturday Night Takeaway' when he and Dec were performing with Take That.

"I knew there was a dance routine involved. I took a load of stuff that day just to get through the day," he said.

"I couldn't feel anything on the night. But that did a lot of damage.

"From the old lady who lies about her valium supply to someone like me who was necking tramadol to the point of psychosis, in the end it's the same thing. It's addiction."

Irish Independent

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