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Ben Higgins is using his platform to share an important message.
During a special episode of Addiction Talk, a Facebook Live series hosted by American Addition Center, the Bachelor Nation alum opened up about his past struggles with prescription pain medications following a knee surgery in high school. Ben, who starred in season 20 of The Bachelor, also recalled the moment he decided to make a change after stealing pills from his grandfather.
"The Bachelor gave me an insight into what vulnerability can do when done in an appropriate way," he explained. "Sharing things that I'd never shared before, especially on national television kind of opened me up to a whole new world."
Ben, who spoke about his addiction for the first time in his book Alone in Plain Sight: Searching for Connection When You're Seen but Not Known, added that speaking out about his insecurities helped him connect with other people. "That gave me a new seeded kind of confidence in being vulnerable," he shared, "and then I knew there was one other thing that was really sitting there on my heart that I'd never shared—like you said, with family, with friends—was my struggle with addiction. And not just the addiction piece, but my struggle on where the addiction came from."
The former reality star, who is currently engaged to Jessica Clarke, explained that since the book release he's doing around eight interviews a day sharing his story, which he feels is "desensitizing" him to talk about a topic he held close to the vest for many years.
Ben then went into detail about when he first realized he was struggling and, which he noted as being when he felt he was consistently hiding things from people.
"I would say it was more of a slow fade. I was recognizing that I was always hiding something from somebody. I think that was the first sign to me," he recalled. "I was always strategically prepping in my mind on how I can hide whatever it was, maybe I was carrying something on me or maybe I was gonna go find it, or maybe I was high at the time and I didn't want to anybody to know. I was just always finding something. And for a while I was okay with it, for a while it wasn't a problem mentally. It was just something I was doing."
However, his normal routine felt thrown off when he stole prescription pills from his grandfather, Ben described. And then there was a final day: "I took pills from my grandfather and I remember the moment. I did and I remember doing it and walking out and I just remember this feeling of like, 'Who are you? Like, what is this about? Why are you still doing this? And you're taking something from somebody that needs it and someone that you love.' And that was I think the start of me starting to say, 'I need to start at least confronting it.'"