Amber Valletta opens up about her past experiences with drugs and alcohol addiction in a video recorded for MindBodyGreen.com. "I'm coming out to you today, and I'm not coming out to you in the way you think," she says, "I'm coming out to you today as an addict. I suffer from a disease called addiction."
The "Gamer" star reveals that her problems began when she was 8 years old because she was "uncomfortable being a human being." She confesses, "When I was 8, I started trying to get out of myself. I sniffed markers, I sniffed glue, fingernail polish, anything that could give me a buzz. Then I found drugs that were around the culture of my family. By 10 I had been high."
Although she believes that addiction has something to do with genetics, Valletta takes full responsibility for her actions, saying, "I am not a victim. I do not blame my parents. I don't blame my family, and I don't blame anything that happened to me that was negative."
Valletta's addiction gradually escalated over the years. It reached its peak by the time she was 22 and was at the top of her modeling career. She had become a full-blown addict who was abusing cocaine and alcohol on a daily basis. She recalls, "I had a multimillion [dollar] deal and I showed up the first day to shoot this campaign high and drunk. I didn't care and that's just to show you addiction takes you to the worst places. I showed up to my uncle's bedside- he was dying- and I was still high, still drunk." The Oklahoma native claims that being in the modeling industry had catapulted her addictions. She says, "I was in a business that drugs and alcohol were widely acceptable and they were given to me."
At 25, Valletta decided to seek help because she "didn't want to die." She reveals, "I had to be willing to lift the veil off the shame and say, 'I'm an addict, I can't do this alone, I don't want to do this alone, I don't feel comfortable, can you help me?' "
The actress, whose new show "Legends" premieres on TNT in August, has now been sober for 15 years. She hopes by opening up, others will be inspired, saying, "My hope is that someone, somewhere in this room, out of this room will hear something that will help them and perhaps get them out of the shadows and the darkness of addiction and bring them into the light."