X Factor: Matt Cardle talks candidly about his drug & alcohol dependency ‘I almost killed myself’

by Nick Barnes
matt cardle, porcelain

matt cardle, porcelain

Matt Cardle has recently completed a 28-day stay in rehab and he’s also opened up in a very candid interview stating that he was weeks away from death.

Cardle, who won The X Factor back in 2010 was hooked on prescription drugs and he found himself washing them down with a bucket load of alcohol but after breaking down in front of his family on Boxing Day 2013, he knew he needed help.

Speaking to The Sun on Sunday, Cardle admitted: “I was so out of it – I was like a zombie.

“The doctor said to me if I’d been left to my own devices for another three or four weeks, I might not be here now”.

The 30-year-old recalled how he repeatedly collapsed in public as his Valium addiction reached new highs, he began to strip off on a train and almost choked do death in his sleep as he threw up.

However, Matt did begin to take the anti-anxiety pills innocently to conquer his fear of flying. When he first started to take the pills, he was flying back and forth to Los Angeles to record his new album, and due to all the flying, he needed to take the pills. But, the addiction quickly became much more than that.

Cardle continued: “I didn’t have my wits about me to even count how many I’d taken. It was a lethal situation. Towards the end I was so out of it and I was asking people around me how many pills they’d seen me eat. This is what kills people. It’s what killed Heath Ledger and Anna Nicole Smith.

“Any time I started to feel stressed, I would lean on the drugs and drink. I was kidding myself thinking I had a handle on it. That little word in front of the drug – ‘prescription’ – gave it an air of safety for me. But, it’s the total opposite – they’re so highly addictive, both physically and mentally”.

Matt Cardle Note

Cardle went on to recall how he hit rock bottom at Christmas 2013 as his nephew gave him a present, he broke down crying. His brother begged him to seek professional help and he did just that. The following day he had checked into the priory.

He also went on to say that he was “burnt out emotionally and physically” due to the sheer amount of work he’s done in the past couple of years. His latest couple of albums have been independently released and he took over all the production.

At the height of his addiction, Cardle revealed that he was taking four times the prescribed dosage and he even washed down the pills with alcohol.

He said: “I never thought about suicide but I almost killed myself unintentionally.

“Once I woke up when I had been sick in my sleep. I was lying on my front but if it had been the other way around, it would have been a different story. It was a 50/50 thing”.

Going on to speak about the train incident, Matt opened up: “I had always pushed it too hard and I passed out on the train – spilling beer all over myself. I started getting changed on the train and got half naked. I didn’t know where I was or what I was doing.

“All my sense of what was good and bad and right and wrong had gone out of the window.

matt cardle when you were my girl

“I remember getting to this busy restaurant. I saw my brother and his mates all sat there and I just collaped. My brother dragged me out to the garden and said ‘This can’t carry on’. In the morning when I woke up, all my pills were gone. I’d eaten them all. I don’t remember how many I’d had but it was an empty packet. I’d done 40 milligrams before I’d even got on the train – which is already far too much for anyone.

“I was hurting head to toe, I was an emotional wreck. I could not stop crying”.

Matt’s four week stint in rehab helped him to wean himself off the pills and the alcohol and he is now ready to take on his nationwide tour, which kicks off in April. His next single, Hit my Heart is due to be released on March 31.

“My fans have been so great. I just want to be able to go out and give 150 per cent for them. I am completely sober for the first time in a long time – and I feel brilliant,” he added “I have had a long time caning it and partying. I feel sharper and healthier than I’ve ever felt in my life and I’m really relishing this morning. For now, booze is an absolute no-no as part of my recovery”.


Nick Barnes

Nick is the Assistant Editor at Unreality TV, along with being a full-time Beyoncé obsessor! Email him at nick@unrealitytv.co.uk or catch him on Twitter @ImNickBarnes


  1. Jo96 on February 2, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I’m glad to see he’s doing better, what a talented and lovely man.

  2. lisa snugs bunny tempany on February 2, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I love you. It was sad reading this but onwards and upwards now x

  3. Bobette (USA) on February 2, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    It nearly broke my heart reading this story just now! Its rather strange and wonder if there is more to it than coincidence but…. I only found Matt & his music a couple of weeks before Christmas… when I was trying to detox at home!!! It was one of the worst weeks of my life but sometime during the early part of that week, I got on YouTube and somehow ended up finding Matts music… and his angelic voice spoke to my heart and soul! I would just sit and cry and listen to every bit of his music I could find. My hubby thought I was crazy but figured what the heck if it helped me, go for it! THEN to find out that Matt himself had gone into Rehab…. it just blew my mind and I prayed and prayed for him. Seeing as I didn’t know that much about him I figured he just had a small problem with the pills and never dreamed he was as bad off as he was!! I thank God for saving Matt AND for leading ME to find him during my hard time with detox. I’m still using, but have re-learned how to take my meds the correct way(pain meds and xanax) and my Dr. has been a big help. Matts song “Amazing” touched me as soon as I heard it cuz it was like…. how did I FIND him, came outta nowhere… and it was AMAZING to me! Love ya Matt and wil always keep you in my prayers! Be strong!

  4. Bobette (USA) on February 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Forgot to check the boxes for follow ups… Thanks again. God bless!

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