Paul Gascoigne on alcohol addiction: 'The only person who can save me is me'

The former footballer was detained under the Mental Health Act in October

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The Independent Online

Paul Gascoigne has addressed his alcoholism, saying that he is responsible for his own recovery.

“The only person who can save me is me,” he said. “The last couple of times when I’ve relapsed I’ve managed to nip it in the bud quickly.

“If the person’s not strong enough the person could find themselves in a coffin.”

His last relapse in October ended with him being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. He claims that the incident was caused by a therapist, who arrived unannounced at his home and stayed for hours at a time asking him about his drinking habits.

He alleges he eventually told her to leave, at which point the police arrived and took him to hospital where he stayed for five or six days.

“The doctor came along, a senior guy, and asked me to stay,” Gascoigne told The Sun. “He said, ‘Do me a favour and stay until Monday.’

“He said he shouldn’t be having to section me but that I needed to rest. He said I was getting so wired up and fired up that I shouldn’t go home as I wouldn’t get rest there.”

Video: Paul Gascoigne speaks about alcohol problem in 2013

The former footballer, 47, also attributed his relapse in part to boredom. He asserts that he has undergone tests on his liver, kidneys and heart and “it has all come up fine”.

 “I was doing well, but every day was like Groundhog Day - doing the same thing - and I started drinking again,” he said.

“I was going to the gym, going shopping then going home. I just had a little blip. I messed up. But when that happens to me, the whole world sees it.”

He admits that he “benefited” from the time spent in hospital, although still finds his behaviour unpredictable.

In September, Gascoigne was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after he allegedly hurled a brick at a van in an apparent altercation with a photographer.

 “I don’t know what is going to happen to me in the next hour. That is how I have to look at things. I am not very good at drinking beer — and am drunk after four,” he said.

“I drink gin because it calms me down — and can easily drink a bottle if I start.”

He hopes to help other alcoholics struggling with their addiction.

“Once you become an alcoholic you can spot the signs in people very quickly,” he said. “It’s quite easy to relapse — and it’s quite easy to stay sober.”

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