Sarah Harding: I’ve lived my life on alcohol and pills

Sarah Harding has revealed she was addicted to powerful sleeping pills for four years.

The Girls Aloud singer said she’s been to “hell and back” with her alcoholism and dependence on prescription drug Zopiclone – which she started taking in 2006 after finding it difficult to sleep – and it took three weeks of intensive rehab to help her break the habit.

She said: “I’m just glad I survived. My drinking was out of control and I was addicted to sleeping pills. It was an awful combination.”

The 30-year-old beauty also alluded to late singer Amy Winehouse – who died from alcohol poisoning last year aged 27 – and admitted she went through “something similar” to the Rehab hitmaker during her darkest days.

She added: “Poor Amy – she lived round the corner from me in Camden.

“I remember everyone saying, ‘We have got to go and see her before she dies.’

“I thought that was so f***ing morbid, but in a way everyone kind of expected it. But when it happened it was unbelievable. It was awful.

“The mad thing was, she was coming off the alcohol – and I have been through something similar.”

Sarah started drinking more to cope with her fame when she first tasted success with girl band Girls Aloud, who were formed in 2002, because she found alcohol gave her extra confidence.

She explained: “I never even enjoyed getting drunk before the band.

“The drinking was more to give me more confidence – especially when I was going through my little wild child stage. It was trying to maintain that f***ing image that got me in all this trouble.”

And the singer’s drink problem got worse when she split with DJ boyfriend Tom Crane in September 2010.

She said: “I was lonely out at my house in the countryside on my own. I was isolated and depressed. I was drinking to deal with my emotions after the split.”

But in October 2010 Sarah checked herself into rehab in Cape Town, South Africa to deal with her issues and she was put on Valium for three days to help her get off alcohol before checking out of the centre.

However, her spell in the facility sparked a disastrous relationship with Dutchman Theo De Vries which came to a violent end on New Year’s Day (01.01.12) when the pair had a drunken holiday bust-up in Austria.

Sarah claims Theo – who was being treated for addictions to alcohol and crack cocaine during his time in rehab – smeared blood over her face during their violent spat, as well as bit her ear and dragged her across the floor when he flew into a rage during their seasonal getaway.