“It gets better and help is there.”
Ant McPartlin has opened up about his past struggles with alcohol and drugs to the Duchess of Cambridge.
Ant – who is one half of the TV presenting duo Ant and Dec – joined Kate at the launch of the Taking Action on Addiction campaign on Tuesday.
Kate chatted to Ant and Dec before she delivered a passionate keynote speech in which she discussed the devastating impacts of addiction.
The Duchess of Cambridge was surprised by Ant & Dec today as she bumped into them on her way to the Taking Action on Addiction event.
Kate chatted to the duo about the importance of people speaking out about addiction and listened to Ant share his own experience with addiction. pic.twitter.com/u05D1zH7UJ
— The Royal Family Channel (@RoyalFamilyITNP) October 19, 2021
“Post-lockdown, looking at the stats it’s really worrying what families are going through,” she said.
“Even hearing some of the stories today, there’s that feeling that you have to carry that secret alone and actually once you start sharing your stories, people have either experienced it themselves or know someone that’s gone through addiction.”
Ant agreed with The Duchess and alluded to his own struggles.
“I found that myself. By the time I asked for help, it was bad, but as soon as you opened up to people, problems have got to disappear. It gets better and help is there.”
“You hear from so many people that things didn’t change until they hit rock bottom,” Dec added. “If we can stop people hitting rock bottom, wherever that is, and get the help much earlier it would make such a difference.”
Ant struggled with an addiction to painkillers following an operation on his knee in 2015. In 2018, he was involved in a car accident while drink driving and later went to rehab for his alcohol and painkiller addiction.
Speaking on his addiction at the time, Ant told The Sun: “I feel like I have let a lot of people down and for that I am truly sorry… 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.”
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) October 19, 2021
Kate’s emotional speech highlighted the importance of tackling misinformation surrounding addiction and stressed that it is something that can happen to anybody.
“Addiction is not a choice,” she said “No one chooses to become an addict. But it can happen to any one of us. None of us are immune.
“The journey towards addiction is often multi-layered and complex. But, by recognising what lies beneath addiction, we can help remove the taboo and shame that sadly surrounds it.”