Chris Kirkland’s wife gives him drug tests after addiction ‘almost killed him’

Ex-Liverpool keeper Chris Kirkland has opened up on his addiction to painkillers – and his wife even administered random drug tests on him.

Kirkland went cold turkey on painkillers last year after he purchased some online that made him think they were only “months or even weeks” away from killing him. The shot-stopper first started taking the pills in 2012, when he signed for Sheffield Wednesday after fans labelled him injury prone.

The ex-Liverpool man had managed to stop the habit in 2016 – but he relapsed over lockdown. In March last year, Kirkland was unable to gain another prescription from his GP, so he turned to the internet.

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He told The i: "Within minutes of taking them I knew I was in trouble. 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 went cold turkey, and he added he wouldn't wish the first week on anyone. And to make sure he didn't slip back into old habits, Kirkland wasn't allowed to take deliveries from the postman and his wife administered random drug tests.

Kirkland recently celebrated one year clean from prescription painkillers. He added: "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."


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