JACK Fincham has bravely spoken for the first time about his secret stint in rehab – and says it was his mum who tricked him into going while he was high on drugs.
The life-changing moment came just two years after Jack won Love Island with his then-girlfriend Dani Dyer.
His new-found fame saw him thrown from a 9 to 5 job selling pens to partying most nights – and his addiction battle soon spiralled out of control.
Alongside using class A drugs, including cocaine, Jack was taking at least 30 diazepam pills a day to cope with his crippling anxiety.
In his first newspaper interview about his drug addiction, Jack told The Sun: "The night before I went to rehab, I'd been out and taken a load of sleeping and anti-anxiety tablets.
"I didn't know who I was or what I was doing. I didn't even know I was going to rehab.
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"My mum and my agent had been talking about me, knowing something was really wrong.
"I came down into the kitchen and my mum told me to pack a bag. She said 'you can go away for a little while if you want?'
"This goes to show the state I was in because you'd think I would have questioned it, but I said 'oh, alright then', without even knowing where I was going.
"I got in the car with my agent and I still wasn't asking where he was taking me. I was just out of it and didn't have any idea what was going on.
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"We drove to rehab and when we arrived he said 'this is where you're going', but he didn't say the word 'rehab' and so off I went.
"I got in there and then realised 's*** I'm not coming out of here now'.
"I started kicking off, shouting 'I don't need to be here, I'm not like that, I don't have a problem'."
Jack speaks to us today having been off drugs since August.
He admits this is the longest he's been clean since his eight-week stretch in the Love Island villa in 2018.
"Death was on the cards for me, it was imminent," Jack says emotionally.
"If I had carried on how I was, even up to six months ago, I would definitely be dead. Without a shadow of a doubt."
Jack admits he was in denial about his drug addiction as he sat alongside heroin addicts inside The Haynes Clinic in Bedfordshire when he was admitted back in November 2020.
But his daily abuse of xanax and diazepam had him suffering from terrifying physical symptoms, such as hallucinations, whenever he tried to go cold turkey.
"It was a vicious cycle of waking up with crippling anxiety and feeling like I didn't want to be here anymore," said Jack.
"I thought I'd rather be dead than feel like this. I take loads and loads of diazepam to literally escape the world and calm my brain down.
"You don't realise how physically addicted you get to stuff like xanax and diazepam. They ruined me. They absolutely ruined me.
"Every time I'd try to stop I'd have fits, hallucinations and be awake for days and days and days on end.
"With drugs like cocaine, I always thought 'I only do it on weekends, I don't have a problem'.
"So in rehab sat across from heroin addicts, it didn't work because I went in with the attitude of 'I'm not as bad as them'.
"I'd come out and be good for a while and then I'd go downhill again."
The 31-year-old admits he relapsed months after his four-week rehab stint in 2020.
He blew his cash on drugs as he continued to lose TV work because of his addiction – but praises ITV for always being there with their support.
Then in 2021 he was arrested for drug-driving – accused of having cocaine and Valium in his system – but the charges were later dropped.
He was pulled over by cops in March 2023 and last month, Jack was handed a 36-month driving ban and given 60 hours' community service after admitting two counts of drug-driving.
Jack – who is set to volunteer in a charity shop as part of his sentence – claims he had taken cocaine two nights before he got behind the wheel.
It was five months later, in August this year, that Jack was again arrested by police for drug-driving, for which investigations are ongoing.
He insists he has been clean ever since – and his conviction in October has helped change his life.
"This has made me realise that I have to take responsibility for my actions," says Jack.
"I was carrying on with the same lifestyle after the arrest in March, but now it's hit home.
"I'm glad it's happened. That's how life is, if you make a mistake, you have to pay for it. I deserve to have a driving ban and be doing community service.
"I had no respect for myself and was selfish about others. I didn't care what happened to me in the frame of my mind I was in. I wasn't thinking about what harm I could do to myself or how I could hurt others.
"This isn't about wanting people to feel sorry for me. It's embarrassing enough as it is.
"This is more about explaining I have been going through a problem and I still am. I'll always have to work on this problem.
"I'm not saying 'poor me, poor me'. Getting behind the wheel of the car when you've taken drugs is not acceptable – but the real turning point was getting in trouble with the police and realising that I could have killed myself or someone else in that car."
Jack – who suffers from ADHD – attended his first Narcotics Anonymous meeting last night and is back in therapy as he continues to rehabilitate himself.
He credits returning to the job he did before Love Island for helping him get back on his feet.
"Everything that's happened is now part of my story. I believe going through all this has made me stronger.
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"This time round is different and I really have made a conscious decision to change my life and be the best person I can be.
"I ain't going to let addiction beat me, I won't."
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