Patsy Palmer, 47, first began playing Bianca Jackson on EastEnders back in 1993, and after leaving in 1999 and returning in 2008, the star left the show again in 2014. The actress has now returned to EastEnders as her character becomes embroiled in some dramatic scenes. While Patsy has played out countless dramas on the BBC soap, her problems haven’t always been reserved for the small screen.

In 2010, Patsy opened up about her 20-year-long battle with drink and drugs, and revealed at the time she was relying on addict support programmes to stay clean and sober.

“You can get dressed up and look great but inside you might be dying,” Patsy told Mirror.co.uk about her former problems.

“I felt like that. In this business you can get away with ­murder. You try to make yourself look nice from the outside, but if you’re not feeling good inside, what’s the point?”

The star once indulged in all-night parties and binged on alcohol, cocaine and ecstasy.

She confessed: “Quite often, I’d party all night and go into work the next morning, just ­grabbing sleep on the set whenever I could. I don’t know how I survived.”

Looking back, Patsy said: “My emotions were completely unmanageable at that time and I don’t think I realised how unmanageable they were until I stopped. When I look back and see how much I’ve changed I think I was a different person.”

After going to rehab, Patsy finally broke free from her additions and in September 2004 became teetotal.

Alcohol and drug misuse

Alcohol misuse is drinking in a way that’s harmful or when a person becomes dependent on alcohol.

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Government guidelines advise men and women not to regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

The short term risks of alcohol misuse include accidents and alcohol poisoning , and in the long-term it can it can lead to heart disease, liver disease, stroke and even cancer.

The NHS states: “If you’re concerned about your drinking or someone else’s a good first step is to see a GP.

“They’ll be able to discuss the services and treatments available.”

Drug misuse can also be harmful to a person’s health and can lead to addiction.

Those who need treatment for drug action are entitled to NHS care in the dame way as anyone else who has a heathy problem, says the NHS.

Again, your GP is a good place to start to discuss your problems and treatment options.

There are a number of charity and support groups across the UK that provide support and advice for people with alcohol misuse and drug addiction.

Alcohol misuse:

Drinkline national alcohol helpline on 0300 123 1110

Alcohol Change UK

Alcoholics Anonymous helpline on 0800 9177 650

Al-Anon Family Groups helpline on 020 7403 0888

Drug addiction:

Frank drugs helpline on 0300 123 6600

Another star who’s opened up about their alcohol problem in the past is Michael Barrymore



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