Nov. 14, 2023 – The ex-England international, now 42, has since received support from wife Leeona, and 15-year-old daughter Lucy after admitting he was close to taking his own life. He has now spoken out about how he discovered the extent of his addiction to the drug after being admitted into rehab. 

This year it was revealed that Tramadol will be added to the list of prohibited substances under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and Kirkland called it an ‘evil’ drug that ‘nearly killed me’.  

‘I found out when I went into rehab that I was taking the equivalent of six shots of heroin a day,’ he told the Athletic. ‘It is an evil, evil drug. It nearly killed me, and should have killed me. 

‘At the start, it gives you a good feeling. It makes you feel happy, if you have anxiety or anything like that. I was using it for pain, yes, but I was using it for anxiety more than anything. But it messes you up mentally. I knew after three months that I was in trouble, that I’d become reliant on it.


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