October 19, 2021 – 13:08 BST
Ant McPartlin spoke about his former addiction with painkillers with Kate Middleton at the launch of Taking Action on Addiction campaign
Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly joined the Duchess of Cambridge at the launch of new campaign, Taking Action on Addiction, at the Bafta headquarters in London on Tuesday.
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Kate, 39, delivered a passionate keynote speech in which she discussed the devastating impacts of addiction. She also highlighted the importance of tackling misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding addiction and its roots in early childhood experiences.
WATCH: Ant and Dec at the Forward Trust’s charity event
The Duchess, who is patron of the Forward Trust charity, spoke with Ant and Dec about Ant’s former addiction problems. He told Kate: “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.”
READ: Declan Donnelly felt he ‘lost’ best friend Ant McPartlin after drink-drive shame
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Ant struggled with a two-year addiction to super-strength painkillers following a knee operation in 2015. Three years later, he crashed his car in 2018 while more than twice the alcohol limit and subsequently went into rehab for his alcohol and painkiller addiction.
Ant and Dec were also joined by their supportive wives Anne-Marie Corbett and Ali Astall at the addiction awareness event.
Ant seen arriving at the event on Tuesday
During her speech, Kate highlighted the importance of tackling misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding addiction and its roots in early childhood experiences.
“Addiction is not a choice,” she explained. “No one chooses to become an addict. But it can happen to any one of us. None of us are immune.
“Yet it’s all too rarely discussed as a serious mental health condition. And seldom do we take the time to uncover and fully understand its fundamental root causes.
“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.”
Kate delivered a passionate keynote speech
The royal also described how the COVID-19 crisis has affected addiction rates, with some 1.5 million more people facing problems with alcohol, and almost one million young people experiencing an increase in addictive behaviour.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on addiction rates. And families and children are having to cope with addiction in greater numbers than ever before,” she said. “We know that over one-and-a-half million people across the UK who did not have substance misuse prior to lockdown may now be experiencing problems associated with increased alcohol consumption.
“Around two million individuals who were identified as being in recovery may have experienced a relapse over the past 18 months. “And almost one million young people and children are showing an increase in addictive behaviour since the pandemic began.”
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