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The Bill and Waterloo Road star reveals he’s been addicted to heroin for 20 years

MyLondon logo MyLondon 14/05/2022 Ella Bennett

Actor Richard Mylan has opened up about his 20-year struggle with heroin addiction. The former Waterloo Road and The Bill star has now been in recovery for 10 years, but has revealed that he was once a functioning professional addict.

Speaking to the BBC in the hopes of reducing the stigma surrounding addiction, he revealed how he started taking the illegal drugs early on in his career as he suffered from crippling anxiety. He said: "It was the biggest mistake I ever made."

The actor recalled how it was after one night of weakness and a few drinks that his drug addiction started. He said: "I was in the West End from a young age and there was lots of alcohol and recreational drugs and that cemented certain negative behaviours."

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Richard Mylan (left) starred in Waterloo Road © BBC Richard Mylan (left) starred in Waterloo Road

Speaking of his addiction struggles throughout his career, he added: "My personal relationships suffered, my work relationships suffered and it robbed me of my inner ambition.

"I managed to work, I managed around relationships and things to a degree but nothing ever lasted because, ultimately, it was chaos. It definitely took chunks of my life away from me."

The actor decided to tackle his addiction 10 years ago with the support of his now wife, Tammie. He said to the BBC: "Ultimately, I'd had enough of that cycle of being dragged under and coming up for air then being dragged under again. You get so beaten down by that process.

"I was almost like washed up on a shoreline half dead, thinking I've had enough. I wanted to live and be happy." He has now decided to speak of his long battle with addiction in the hopes of changing the narrative and removing the stigma.

The actor said: "Addiction is robbing people of themselves. They can never be brought back unless they have the right level of service and support.

"So I'd say to addicts, don't be scared about plugging in to support as they just want what's best for you. That is the reason why I am a successful recovering addict."

The actor is now part of a campaign to challenge stigma with Adferiad, which supports nearly 16,000 vulnerable people every year.

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