Sarah Harding says quitting cocaine was 'a do or die' situation before going to rehab in South Africa
SARAH Harding has opened up about how quitting cocaine was a matter of "do or die" before she went to rehab in South Africa.
The Girls Aloud singer, who is currently battling aggressive advanced cancer, wrote about her drug use in her upcoming book Hear Me Out.
The star previously opened up about going to rehab for an addiction to sleeping pills and alcohol.
But of the her new book's release this week, Sarah, 39, released an extract that details the first time she tried cocaine before forming a drugs habit.
In the excerpt published by Metro, Sarah explains how she was with friend Calum Best, 40, who tried to discourage her from taking the drug.
"I could see the powder on the table, so I walked over and looked down at it," Sarah wrote. "F*** it, I thought, what's good for the goose and all that.
"Once the deed was done, Calum got really angry. 'Thanks a lot,' he shouted at his friend. 'She was the one unspoilt, innocent thing in my life'.
"I chimed in, 'No it's not her fault, you lot have all been doing it every time we're out so why shouldn't I?' That was my first taste, and it had taken quite a while."
The singer details how her drug use became a habit after breaking up with her ex Tom Crane and visiting Ibiza with friends in 2011.
"I was on a treadmill of booze, sleeping pills and drugs if they were around," she continued. "Anything to numb the pain.
"If something really bad had happened to me, it most definitely would have been then. I realised then that it was literally a case of do or die, and I knew I had to take action."
It was then that Sarah booked a trip to a rehab facility in South Africa, where she was "dragged" out of the car at the airport to make sure she went.
Despite her drug use, the star is adamant she didn't "go down the dark route" in trying other Class A drugs like heroin.
"Drugs like ketamine and crystal meth scared the life out of me," she added.
Sarah has been battling breast cancer since last year, and went public with her battle in August 2020 as the cancer spread around her body.
Today, she also revealed her joy after she was told that the tumours in her brain and lungs had reduced as her cancer treatment "moves in the right direction".
The Daily Star have reported that an excerpt from the book shares the good news about her treatment having an impact.
It reads: "Before I put this book to bed, I wanted to share a little bit of positive news.
What is breast cancer and how does it spread?
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK – with one woman diagnosed every ten minutes.
While most women can get breast cancer, it is most common in women who are over the age of 50.
According to Cancer Research UK, breast cancer starts in the breast tissue.
Breast cancer develops when abnormal cells in the breast begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way and eventually form a growth.
Most invasive breast cancers are found in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast.
If it’s not diagnosed and treated it can move through the lymph or blood vessels to other areas of the body.
Each year in the UK there are around 55,200 new breast cancer cases.
This equates to around 150 new cases a day.
It also accounts for 15 per cent of all new cancer cases each year.
If the cancer is diagnosed at its earliest stage then 98 per cent of people will survive the disease for five years or more.
If it is diagnosed at the latest stage, then just 26 per cent of people survive for five years or more.
What are the four stages of breast cancer?
Stage one: The cancer is small and only in the breast tissue – but can also be found in lymph nodes close to the breast.
Stage two: The cancer is either in the breast or in the nearby lymph nodes or both.
Stage three: The cancer has spread from the breast to the lymph nodes or the skin of the breast or the chest wall.
Stage four: The cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
What are the signs?
- A lump in the breast or armpit
- Changes in the positioning of the nipple
- Nipples leaking in women who have not had children
- Skin changes
"MRI scans at the end of December revealed that the tumours in my brain and in my lung have shrunk a bit with the treatment."
Sarah goes on to admit that she doesn't know "exactly what this means", but she was happy with the direction it was going.
She adds: "Right now, every little victory feels momentous.
"With this news under my belt, I was able to enjoy a relaxing quiet Christmas with mum and yes, I got plenty of lovely Christmas pressies."
Elsewhere in the book, Sarah details her fear at reuniting with her Girls Aloud bandmates after suffering side effects from cancer treatment – including bloating and her eyelashes falling out.
She also revealed that she turned down radiotherapy when her breast cancer spread to form a second tumour.
She recently told the Times magazine that she is grateful just to wake up every day because she now realises just how precious life is.
Sarah admitted she does not know exactly how long she has left — and does not want to know. She was told by doctors that last Christmas would “probably” be her last.
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