As the queens prepared for the rainy day runway, Blu Hydrangea sparked a conversation about alcohol and drugs on the drag scene.
“There’s no bigger high than going on stage and entertaining people,” said The Vivienne.
“So coming off that stage and going, ‘I need it, I need to feel it again, let me take this.’”
The Liverpudlian queen admitted that she had been addicted to “party drugs” for four years.
I couldn’t leave the drugs at the party, it was constant.
“Three of my friends died and it didn’t stop me,” she said.
“I couldn’t leave the drugs at the party, it was constant.”
The Vivienne explained how working seven nights a week had left her without anything to do in the day.
“A lot of my drug use was pure boredom,” she explained. “It was just a habit that caught on, but a bit too quick and a bit too hard.”
In an emotional confessional, she explained how she was kicked out of her home and was warned that she’d be dead by 30.
“When people say you’ve got to hit rock bottom to get further, it sounds so stupid but it’s the truth,” she said.
“It was the loneliest part of my life. I was p***ing my life up the wall and I could have been dead now if I didn’t do anything about it.”
The Vivienne credited the help of Liverpool’s Armistead Centre and a move to Spain – where she met her partner, David – with helping her kick her addiction. She said is now two years clean of drugs and wants to use her platform to help others.
“I want to say to people, ‘I fell into that trap but you can get out of it with the support and help of friends and family, and even yourself. You’ve got it deep inside of you, you can stop it, you can do it. Look at me now, I’m on Drag Race season 1.’”
After the episode aired, The Vivienne admitted that the episode was “a hard watch.”
“The best and worst of me came out,” she wrote. “It’s a pressure cooker. Anybody I can help through sharing my story is worth more than anything.”
Cheryl Hole and Drag Race UK judge Michelle Visage were among the many to send messages of support to The Vivienne on Twitter.
— michelle visage (@michellevisage) November 7, 2019
Can we all take a moment to share some LOVE to @THEVIVIENNEUK for sharing her story and helping so many people with being so honest with her struggles. She’s a brave person, a beautiful soul and a sister for life. I love you girl!
— Cheryl Hole (@CherylHoleQueen) November 8, 2019
Government statistics show that 0.5 percent of the UK adult population (268,390) were in contact with drug and alcohol services in 2017-18, with 1.1 percent (589,101) estimated to have issues with alcohol dependency.
Addiction among the LGBT+ community is much more common, with Stonewall reporting that one in ten LGBT+ people have experienced some form of addiction in the year leading up to 2017.
If you or someone you know have been affected by addiction, contact Antidote, the UK’s only LGBT+ run and targeted drug and alcohol support service, by calling 020 7833 1674 and asking for one of the Antidote team.
People looking for help or advice about alcohol can also contact Alcoholics Anonymous on 0800917765 or Drinkline on 0300 123 1110, while those wanting information or advice about drugs can talk to FRANK on 0300 123 6600.
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