Anthony McPartlin, one of the biggest names in British television for shows, such as “Britain’s Got Talent (BGT)” and “I’m A Celebrity,” has acknowledged that he is addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol. 41-year-old McPartlin, one half of the hugely popular presenter duo Ant & Dec, admitted to his battle with substance abuse resulting from a bungled knee operation in 2015, anxiety from his inability to conceive a child with makeup artist wife Lisa Armstrong, and depression. He will be in a specialized rehab clinic for at least two months where he will undergo treatment for addiction, comprising a mix of group counseling as well as personalized therapy sessions. He is also expected to take a five-month break from TV.
McPartlin has been suffering from chronic pain since 2015 after an incorrectly-done operation to treat a knee injury. The pain made him suffer physically and mentally, and he began taking Tramadol, an opioid medication used in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. McPartlin subsequently developed an addiction to the drug. He also started using Tramadol in combination with alcohol, very often alone, a fact which deeply concerned his closest friends. Of late, he has been writhing in pain backstage and finds it difficult to manage shoots.
McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (popularly called Dec), co-TV presenter and childhood best friend, were known as regular visitors to bars and pubs in Chiswick, West London where they live. After visiting pubs together, McPartlin would return home and continue drinking alone, probably as an act to relieve himself of the acute pain he was experiencing.
Ongoing problems turned McPartlin into a recluse
McPartlin, who married Armstrong in 2006, has admitted that his marriage is under pressure. One of the reasons attributed to this is the inability of the couple to have children. Armstrong is reportedly desperate to conceive a child, and the couple is unsure if they will ever be able to do so. In 2013, McPartlin had spoken about the difficulties faced in conceiving a child, explaining that although they were trying, it was proving to be tougher since they were both relatively older.
Nearly a week before his statement to the media, McPartlin underwent another knee surgery in London to correct the damage. It is likely that he will be wheelchair-bound for six weeks. Doctors have reportedly expressed serious concerns that his knee might collapse one day, which will leave him disabled. McPartlin managed to keep his problems under wraps by practically turning into a recluse. His friends allegedly told The Sun that McPartlin only left the house for professional work since he was in severe distress and had gradually developed an addiction to medication. In recent weeks, the situation had become worse and he had stopped leaving the house almost completely.
Recognizing the problem and seeking help for recovery is essential, says McPartlin
In a statement to The Sun, McPartlin emphasized the importance of admitting to oneself that help is needed. He genuinely regretted of letting people down with his actions. McPartlin also expressed gratitude to his wife, family and closest friends for their support during this tough period in his life. Explaining his reasons for speaking out, McPartlin believes that it is vital for people to seek help if they are going through a bad phase so that they receive suitable treatment for addiction recovery.
It is believed that Donnelly, who was stunned after learning about his friend’s addiction problems, contacted counselors on McPartlin’s behalf and insisted that he goes through addiction rehab. In spite of being a popular public figure, McPartlin had the courage to speak out and seek help for recovery. This has won him praise from fans and other celebrities. It has also highlighted the fact that mental health issues make no exceptions and can strike anyone.
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