July 1, 2021 – “Drinking was destroying my body, it was damaging me and my relationships in so many other ways,” he said, adding he used alcohol to escape and give up on life.

Carden said his family supported him and friends “quite literally saved my life”, but that it took Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, psychotherapy and counselling to get to the point where he was healthy, loved life and had a wonderful partner.

“I’ve gone from not recognising addiction in myself for so, so long to seeing it everywhere and doing its worst damage in the most deprived communities,” he said.

Carden said addiction was “killing more people and ruining more lives than ever” and had led to the deaths of several MPs – and yet many “would still rather hide its ugly reality”.

In a message to young people, the former frontbencher said: “Pride is about celebrating who we are without shame. In the end, it’s a simple choice: choose to hide or choose to live. My advice is choose to live.”

The Conservative former minister David Mundell said Carden had made a “hugely impressive, moving” speech, while another, Crispin Blunt, praised him for being “very brave about the journey he has been on”.


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