Former NRL player Chris Caruana has opened up on the drug addiction that he struggled with after his career ended.
He spent 10 years in the top tier with North Sydney Bears and South Sydney Rabbitohs before a release in 2002.
It was then, as he revealed to Newscorp, that he “realised I had nothing behind me” when he retired and slipped into a deep depression.
This came after over 150 games, over 40 tries and a $1.2 million deal with Souths at the height of his career.
He spoke on Nine’s programme Today this week about how bad his addiction got.
He said: “It all came crashing down, I felt a very, very deep space of depression and anxiety – I lost a lot of money through narcotics, and it was a terrible 10 years of my life. I wish I could take that back but it’s gone now.
“Methamphetamine, it’s a very, very nasty drug. It took away a part of my soul which I’ve got back. But longest I was awake for was probably 12 days, the longest I didn’t eat was probably 14 days. I lost probably 24kg in 12 months. It’s an insidious drug.
“I can’t explain how it affects young kids out there today. I’m looking at my daughter and my son today and they’re the people I’m hanging in there for.
“Suicide was a big thing. I didn’t want to be here. And that’s where methamphetamine got me to the grips of ending it.
“Its publicly out there that I did that. I won’t be doing it again because I want to hang in there for my children and my family and especially the people that come into my life in the last month or two months.”
He also thanked his family for the role they played in getting him sober which he has been for three years:
“My family was the catalyst — and I couldn’t do it anymore, I was sick and tired of using narcotics,” Caruana said.
“But my family, especially my mother, my sisters and, more importantly, my children, who have been my rock, Erinn and Kyle.
“That was the catalyst. I had to stop for myself really, because if I didn’t stop using, I can’t give any love and support out there to the people that love me.
“That was it, I just decided to give it away cold turkey and I’m clean today.”