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Sue Devaney health: It takes the pain away Corrie star battled catastrophic addiction

The Chase: Contestant reveals she worked on Coronation Street

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The actress who has also turned her hand to musical theatre starring in Mamma Mia! at the Blackpool Opera House in 2014 was a welcome return to Coronation Street, 36 years after she first played the role. However, returning to Manchester – where the show is filmed – the actress also noticed the amount of homeless people on the streets. It was those who were struggling with drugs and alcohol that made her reflect about her own mental health and addiction issues.

“I know what it’s like to be desperate,” Sue said when talking to Manchester Evening News.

“People turn to substance abuse because, initially, it takes the pain away, even if it’s just for an hour or so.

“Then, it stops working and the very thing you used to take the pain away is causing you catastrophic pain.”

The actress spoke candidly about her own experience which wasn’t so much focused on alcohol but anything she could access.

She continued to say that her addiction was the “disease of more, more, more,” and admitted that she had an “insatiable appetite for the bad things in life.”

It is through these harrowing experiences with addiction that meant she was able to sympathise with those living on the streets.

“There’s a huge misunderstanding towards homeless people because some of them, not all of them, drink and do drugs,” Sue said.

“I’m passionate about helping these people because I know what it’s like to have no money, no job.

“I have experienced mental health issues, low self esteem, low self worth like many of us. I know what it’s like to be an addict.

“I am lucky. I got help. I had the disease of more, more, more… more drink, more sugar, just an insatiable appetite for the bad things in life. Nothing in moderation, everything in excess. I attracted the wrong type of folk.

“Am I less of a person for having the disease of addiction? I am not. So are they less of a person for using drugs and alcohol to cope?”

The NHS define addiction as not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you.

It is most commonly associated with things such as gambling, drugs, alcohol and smoking but it is possible to be addicted to just about anything including work, internet and shopping.

It explains further why addictions may begin in the first place. In the case of drugs, alcohol and nicotine, these substances affect the way you feel, both physically and mentally. These feelings can be enjoyable and create a powerful urge to use the substances again.

Being addicted to something means that when you go without it you suffer from withdrawal symptoms or a “come down”.

This can be extremely unpleasant so to avoid these side effects it is easier to carry on using or doing what you crave. The more you do it often the more you need to become satisfied which then leads to the addiction spiralling out of control.

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  1. When managing an addiction it can cause strain on your work life and relationships. For those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol addictions can also have psychological and physical effects.

On the brighter side, addiction is a treatable condition, no matter what type of addiction you suffer from.

After acknowledging that you have a problem, several treatment options are often available to you. This may involve therapy, self-help groups and medication.

Rehabilitation centres can also be accessed for those who are severely struggling. These provide 24-hour care programs, a safe housing environment, and supply any necessary medical interventions or assistance.

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