It was the showbiz star news that nobody saw coming at the weekend, as well-loved TV presenter Ant McPartlin revealed he was checking himself into rehab to help him overcome his struggles with addiction.
Opening up in an emotional statement, the 41-year-old admitted he felt like he had ‘let people down’, and was now going to seek the help he badly needs to battle his struggles with substance abuse.
The substance in question was Tramadol, a prescription drug used to treat moderate to severe pain that Ant had originally been given by his doctor after a complicated knee surgery two years ago.
And speaking out on her show yesterday, fellow TV presenter Lorraine Kelly voiced her support for Ant, and shared her own difficult experience with Tramadol. The 57-year-old spoke of how she respected Ant’s call for help and reflected on the ‘seductive’ qualities of the drug.
Lorraine was prescribed the drug after a terrible horse riding accident in 2012, and despite the fact that it made her feel ‘euphoric’, she quickly realized the darker side of taking Tramadol.
“I was on Tramadol, and it really is seductive” Lorraine explained. “I wanted the pain to end, but it just it makes everything fantastic.”
The mother-of-one eventually decided to stop taking the drug because of the effect it had over her. “Your head is cotton wool” she said. “But it’s horrible, because it’s not real. I got it legitimately from a doctor, but it was my choice not to take it.”
Drugs advice website Talk to Frank describes the addictive qualities of Tramadol as similar to class-A drug heroin. “Although Tramadol is not as strong as heroin, it shares many of the same effects and both are addictive” the website warns. The site also cautions against the use of Tramadol with alcohol, as the consequences of mixing the two can be serious as an overdose can lead to ‘a coma or respiratory failure and death.’
Lorraine also confessed that she was shocked along with the general public, when the news of Ant’s rehab stint was revealed.
“He is such private person and so are both of them. You never see them at events, unless they’re picking up awards.
She continued: “If depression can happen it to him, it can happen to anybody and we have to respect that.”
She added: “He’d be a brilliant dad, he’d be fantastic. I’m sorry he’s going through this.”
Fellow TV stars Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan also wished Ant well during Good Morning Britain yesterday, as did the TV presenters close friends, Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield, who sent their well wishes to Ant during This Morning.