Hayden Panettiere gets real about destructive addiction to opioids

Los Angeles, California - Hayden Panettiere got painfully honest about her secret past addictions, devastating bout with postpartum depression, and surviving an abusive relationship.

Hayden Panettiere got painfully honest about her secret past addictions, devastating bout with postpartum depression, and surviving an abusive relationship.
Hayden Panettiere got painfully honest about her secret past addictions, devastating bout with postpartum depression, and surviving an abusive relationship.  © Collage: Screenshot/instagram/haydenpanettiere

"I was on top of the world and I ruined it," the Heroes star told People.

In a very candid interview, Panettiere opened up about her shocking secret addiction to opioids and alcohol that almost cost her career and her life.

The former child star, who began acting around the age of 11, shared that she started using drugs at 15 when someone offered her "happy pills" before hitting the red carpet.

"They were to make me peppy during interviews. I had no idea that this was not an appropriate thing, or what door that would open for me when it came to my addiction."

As her career flourished, landing gigs like her breakout role on the hit show Nashville, the 32-year-old dished that "things kept getting out of control off set."

"And, as I got older, the drugs and alcohol became something I almost couldn't live without," she continued.

Hayden Panettiere's dark and complicated past

Hayden Panettiere also dished on her turbulent on-and-off again romance with Brian Hickerson while in the midst of her opioid addiction.
Hayden Panettiere also dished on her turbulent on-and-off again romance with Brian Hickerson while in the midst of her opioid addiction.  © Screenshot/instagram/haydenpanettiere

Additionally, the actor suffered from a difficult bout of postpartum depression after welcoming her daughter, Kaya.

"I'd think I hit rock bottom, but then there's that trap door that opens."

She also spilled on her turbulent, four-year relationship with ex Brian Hickerson, whom she was dating while in the midst of her opioid addiction.

Many may recall the various incidents between the former pair, with one event occurring in May 2019 when Hickerson was charged with domestic violence and she was issued a protective order.

The former couple are now on good terms, according to the Scream 4 star, who added that following months of intense trauma therapy, and inpatient treatment within the last year, she is now sober, single, and focused on her future.

"It's an everyday choice, and I'm checking in with myself all the time. But I'm just so grateful to be part of this world again, and I will never take it for granted again."

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshot/instagram/haydenpanettiere

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