No one is exempt from painkiller addiction

Childhood stars Ant and Dec

You may or may not have read the news and found out that Byker Grove, Saturday nights take away and I’m a celebrity host Ant McPartlin has confessed that he is suffering from painkiller addiction.

The 41-year old actor, singer and television presenter shot to fame in the late 80s starring in the teenage television programme Byker Grove, before becoming a pop singer and one-half of the duo “PJ and Duncan alongside on and off screen best mate Declan Donnelly.

Last weekend, Ant confessed to his best friend and the media that he is suffering from depression, alcohol and substance abuse and as a result of this has entered rehab.

Unfortunately, most average people who suffer from depression and painkiller addiction aren’t able to afford to check into the Priory, so most of them get pushed from pillar to post by the NHS who have no money, and their system doesn’t work properly. For example, one area of the country has more money to spend on mental health so that they will get more money and better psychiatric nurses and doctors. People from poorer rural areas don’ get so much help due to lack of funding. So the only way they can hope to improve is by going private. Which costs a lot of money?

McPartlin, 41, told The Sun on Sunday: “I feel like I have let a lot of people down and for that, I am truly sorry. I want to thank my wife, family and closest friends for helping me through this really difficult time.

“I’ve spoken out because I think it’s important that people ask for help if they’re going through a rough time and get the proper treatment to help their recovery.”

McPartlin is believed to have checked into a rehabilitation facility, where he will remain for up to two months for treatment for issues the paper reported as having stemmed from failed knee surgery two years ago.

Many people who suffer from injuries can become depressed especially injuries that affect your social pattern and your mobility. However, the shame and stigma can leave you feeling alone and turn to drink and drugs. This can be difficult to tell people about because many people are in denial and those who recognise they have a problem try to ignore it and as a result, we can find themselves going to the deepest and darkest demons of substances to help us cope.

I took codeine for years on a daily basis because of a bulging disc in my back. The pain was so bad that it affected my mobility and I was left almost crippled. I also gained weight due to this, and I was very frustrated because physio failed and four-hour trips to the hospital and back to see a specialist didn’t help either. I was given a spinal block, which also didn’t make a difference.

I was lucky enough to be able to come off tablets. However, no one is exempt from painkiller addiction, and you may not realise you are addicted until you run out of pills because your intake becomes much higher.

The TV presenter is said to have started taking prescription drugs to cope with the pain. An unnamed source said that alcohol had also become a cause for concern among the presenters’ friends.

While many people including other celebrities praised Ant for being brave by speaking out, it doesn’t solve the fact that many people in the UK can’t even get a proper diagnosis, let alone counselling and medication.

Prince William, Prince Harry and Kate Middleton encouraged people to speak out about their mental health struggles, however when people eventually do speak out they are put on an NHS list which can take months, and they are often taken off the list before they can get a diagnosis. This is because it can take years to get a diagnosis, and the NHS don’t have the facilities to keep the forever growing list of people on their lists for that long.

If you or a loved one is suffering from painkiller addiction or any other addiction you can talk to organisations who can help. To discuss this blog post, please comment below or join in the discussions on our social media pages.

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