Ex-EastEnders star Paul Nicholls admits fears he’ll die if he relapses following cocaine addiction battle
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Paul Nicholls has candidly admitted he has fears he will die if he doesn’t beat his addiction with cocaine as he battles to stay clean.
The 42 year old former EastEnders star, who played Joe Wicks on the BBC One soap, said he “pressed the f**k it button” as his addiction peaked last year.
He has now candidly opened up on his drug use has relived his darkest days in an interview with The Sun Online. Paul revealed: “I’ve had addiction issues before and relapsed last year.
“The rabbit hole I went down led to places that I never thought I’d end up in — in flats with people that I didn’t know.
“I was taking lots of dihydrocodeine, a very strong opiate pain killer and on top of that, cocaine . . . every time I relapsed cocaine is always present.
“At certain points I’d be gone for three or four days and not sleep at all. I stopped caring, I pressed the ‘f*** it’ button.
“The last time I ended up in a flat with people smoking stuff, doing this and doing that.
“They recognised me. I was looking around and I thought, ‘If I don’t stop, I will die’.
“I’ve still got so much shame around this stuff.”
Paul has revealed he is now attending a Narcoticts Anonymous group and has remained clean for the last few months.
But, the actor admitted that he never fully recovered from his terrifying fall in Thailand in 2017.
Paul broke both his legs was trapped under a waterfall after he fell off a road on his motorbike after being chased by three dogs. After three nights he was then rescued.
After the fall, Paul had returned to work in the theatre business, but suffered a stroke, which he said made him hit “rock bottom”.
He said: “I was due to start rehearsals for Rain Man, playing the Dustin Hoffman part, but the night before I collapsed. I woke up about 16 hours later.
“When I came round, I couldn’t move the right side of my body.
“It took me about three hours to get off the floor on to the bed and then out of the room to pull myself upstairs to get to a phone.
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“I knew what had happened straight away. The right side of my body was paralysed, I knew it was a stroke. I managed to get upstairs and ring an ambulance.”
He tearfully added: “I thought my life was over.
“I lost belief, I did. I just didn’t care. I’ve never really had self-confidence. I am a worrier. I’m not your typical kind of lad.”
He went on to explain how he sank into a “deep depression” and after spending the whole of 2019 in bed and “press the f**k it button”.
But, after support from friends, he began attending support groups. He added: “How am I avoiding hitting the f*** it button now? Meetings. there’s a whole fellowship of people out there. In recovery, that’s what that’s there for. There is a bit of hope now, though. I mean, I’m back in recovery. I have fear, which most addicts do. But I can get to a year clean again and work again.
“Smoking is my only vice right now although I’ve been mainly vaping.”
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