Amber Valletta: "I suffer from a disease called addiction"
Amber Valletta opened up in a new video for the wellness site MindBodyGreen on Friday about her past struggles with addiction and how difficult the road to recovery has been for her.
"I'm coming out to you today, and I'm not coming out to you in the way you think," the Hitch actress began. "I'm coming out to you today as an addict. I suffer from a disease called addiction."
And while the star did not pass the blame for her addictions, she did shed some light on how and when her problems all started.
"When I was 8, I started trying to get out of myself," she said. "I sniffed markers, I sniffed glue, fingernail polish, anything that could give me a buzz. Then I found drugs that were around the culture of my family. By 10 I had been high. By 18 I moved to Europe, I found cocaine and alcohol. I was in a business where drugs and alcohol were widely accepted. They were given to me."
The Revenge actress has enjoyed immense success in the modeling and acting industry, but she revealed that it was all aspects of her life that were affected by addiction, not just her work life.
"I put everything on the line for my addiction — all my friendships, my family, my job, I had a multi-million dollar deal. I showed up to the first day to shoot this campaign high and drunk," she recalled. "I didn't care, and that's to just show you addiction takes you to the worst places. I showed up to my uncle's bedside — he was dying — and I was still high, still drunk and looking for a place to go do another line."
At the age of 25, the Oklahoma native sought treatment for her addictions, saying, "I had to be willing to lift the veil off the shame and say, 'I'm an addict, I can't do this alone, I don't want to do this alone, I don't feel comfortable, can you help me?'"
And the model's openness is sure to inspire many others who are struggling or on their journey to recovery.
"My hope is that someone, somewhere in this room, out of this room will hear something that will help them and perhaps get them out of the shadows and the darkness of addiction and bring them into the light."