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Chris Kirkland's wife gives him random drug tests after near-fatal addiction

Chris Kirkland's wife gives him random drug tests after near-fatal addiction

The former Premier League goalkeeper has been doing everything he can to make sure he doesn't relapse.

Former Premier League goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has admitted that his wife gave him random drug tests after he became addicted to painkillers.

Kirkland was one of the ever present Premier League and Football League goalkeepers of the 2000s and 2010s, turning out for the likes of Liverpool, Wigan, West Brom and latterly Sheffield Wednesday.

The English shot-stopper was a member of the Liverpool squad that won the Champions League in 2005, but after that he never really reached the heights he arguably deserved to.

Over the past few years Kirkland has used his platform to raise awareness about mental health and addiction, citing his own personal struggles.

Now, in an interview with The I, the 42-year-old has admitted that his wife had to give him random drug tests after he went cold turkey on painkillers.

The goalkeeper first started taking painkillers in 2012 after signing for Sheffield Wednesday, after supporters labelled him injury prone.

He kicked the habit in 2016 but relapsed during lockdown, but forced himself to quit again last year after a scary episode.

In March 2022, Kirkland couldn't get any more prescription painkillers through his GP, so he turned to the internet instead.

"Within minutes of taking them I knew I was in trouble," Kirkland told The i.

"I don’t know what they were but they weren’t painkillers. I just didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know where I was or what was happening.

"I put ‘home’ in the sat nav and somehow managed to get home, then I was violently ill and slept for 18 hours. I got up the next day and flushed them down the toilet. I still had some proper ones in the house but I knew that day there was no going back."

Kirkland immediately went cold turkey, and to prevent any more relapses, his wife performed random drug tests.

Now one year clean from prescription painkillers, Kirkland said:

"Ninety-five per cent of the time I’m really good. I’m still going through a stage where three to four days a month I just can’t function.

"I don’t talk. It feels like a black cloud is over you. You can hear people talking but it’s like you’re not there. It’s the lowest of the lows which is why they think it might be bi-polar."

Featured Image Credit: PA/Alamy

Topics: Premier League, Liverpool, Wigan Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday, EFL Championship