Are you struggling with addiction?
Lauren answered some big questions for us about what ruined and rekindled her life.
Could you tell us about the point when you realised you needed help with your addiction?
Lauren: There are a series of moments as an addict when you know you've gone too far. I think it crept up on me, I felt for a long time that I was in control of everything, but in reality I was spiralling. I went from taking cocaine on a weekend to four times a week in a matter of months. The first time I knew I needed help, I had done my last line at 7.30am just as my alarm went off to tell me to get up for work. I called my boss and told her I was high so I couldn't come in. Then I called my sister and told her everything. But even that rock bottom had a trap door and it was only a year later that I actually turned up to a recovery meeting after my friends insisted I needed help.
There are so many sober influencers and celebrities speaking about their experiences.
Why is it important that people of influence talk openly about their experiences with drugs?
Lauren: It is and it isn't. It's amazing that so many people are open about their journey with addiction, it offers hope to others who feel alone and desperate. When I first got clean it was only Russell Brand who was talking about addiction but now there are so many sober influencers and celebrities speaking about their experiences. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who speak out very early in their recovery journey. I think it's really important to protect your sobriety above all, it's such a fragile and raw time that I think for many people, it would be better to keep it private. I only spoke about my journey publicly when I was four years sober, so I gave myself some time to become comfortable first.
What advice would you give to others if they wanted to be clean from drugs or alcohol?
Lauren: I got clean and sober using a number of different tools; anonymous fellowships (alcoholics, narcotics and cocaine addicts anonymous), a brilliant therapist, the support of friends and family, the support of a sponsor and of others in recovery, church, books, podcasts and blogs. But these aren’t the only ways, there are plenty of charities and also NHS drug and alcohol services that are on hand. You just need to take the bravest step and tell someone you need help. I don’t know anyone who has overcome an addiction on their own; seek help, be honest, be open, be willing and you will get there.
Your life is too valuable to sacrifice your liberty to chemicals.
Most of all I want you to know that no matter how old you are, how young you are, how much you consumed or what you did when under the influence, there is always a path to a life of freedom available for you. I believe that and you must too. Your life is too valuable to sacrifice your liberty to chemicals, the world will open up for you when you break free of them. But for now, you have to do something to help yourself.
If you’re affected by any of the issues mentioned above, please consult the helplines below:
- Talk to Frank
- Premier Lifeline Open 9am to midnight every day on 0300 111 0101
- Text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free 24/7 support across the UK. Text YM to 85258.
- Samaritans 116 123. Call us free, day or night, 365 days a year