Matt Willis reveals substance abuse began aged 7

Laura Hannam
Reporter
The Busted member has opened up about his substance abuse struggles. (PA Imags)

Busted member Matt Willis has opened up about his ongoing battle with alcohol and drug abuse, and has revealed he first began experimenting aged just 7.

The singer, who is married to former Big Brother host Emma Willis, said that he began ‘getting high’ off his asthma inhaler as a child.

Speaking on the mental health podcast The Naked Professor with hosts Matt Johnson and Ben Bidwell he said: “I was mildly asthmatic as a kid and I used to hide under my duvet and take as many hits of my inhaler as I possibly could when I was about seven because it would make my head throb, make my lips tingle.

“I’d be getting high in my bed at 7-years-old, so I have always had this in me to find ways to get away from dealing with who I am and how I feel. Quitting drinking was one of the hardest tasks in my life,” he revealed.

Matt with his wife Emma. The couple have three children together (PA Images).

He continued to talk about how drug addiction is an illness, and that he didn’t even enjoy taking some of the substances he abused.

“I did cocaine a few times every now and then when I was drinking to keep me sober. We’d call it a sharpener, so I’d be a bit p****d, do a couple of lines and go, ‘Oh I’ll be alright’.

“I hated it, hated everything about cocaine, hated the way it made me feel, hated everything about it but I couldn’t stop doing it which is madness. It is my illness. You have this hole and you try and shovel everything in it to fill it but the hole is never ending,” he said.

Willis became a teen idol in the early 2000’s, with Busted having major hits such as ‘Year 3000‘ and ‘What I Go to School For,’ but by 2005 he had checked into famed rehab centre The Priory for treatment for substance abuse.

He married Emma Griffiths in 2008 and the couple have three children together.


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