The singer said she did not take the drug, but it provided the moment when she realised she needed to “confront” her “demons”.
Speaking to DJ Fat Tony on The Recovery podcast, Allen explained how she headed back on the road due to a lack of money after the birth of her children.
“I was like 14 stone and just did not feel like a pop star at all so I started taking this drug called adderall, which is like speed, to lose the weight, and I got addicted to this drug because it made me invincible and I could work really long hours and be all the people I was required to be,” she said.
“And then I ended up on tour in America supporting Miley Cyrus. It was when she was doing Wrecking Ball and the Bangerz tour and it was a highly sexualised tour,” Allen explained.
“I had just spent the last three years pushing babies out. It couldn’t have been less what I felt like.”
It was the first time Allen had been a support act on tour, with the singer explaining that the slot had affected her self-confidence.
“I was supporting this girl who was much younger and more attractive than I felt and I just started acting out in all manner of ways,” she said.
“I started cheating on my husband and I had always really drunk alcohol to take the edge off of the drugs, and then I realised I was getting up in the morning and downing those mini bottles of vodka or whisky or whatever was left, without the drugs any more.
“I was thinking: ‘I think I have got a drinking problem’. I remember being in LA and thinking: ‘None of this acting out is working any more. Maybe I should try heroin’.
“But… I had been in a scene where I had seen what happens to people who use heroin, and knew that when that thought popped into my head it was time to confront my demons, and that was about five years ago. And I started recovery.”
Allen said she started to battle addiction using online recovery tool The Rooms, but said she relapsed after six months.
“I just wanted to get to six months so at least I know I can stop this when I need to. At six months I started drinking again and almost instantly I lost everything. I lost my marriage, I lost my house that I had worked for 10 years to buy,” she said.
“My career started sinking and I lost all my friends, I didn’t have any of my friendships any more.
“I was so resentful and so angry all the time, I really felt that the world owed me stuff and I got the raw end of the deal. And that went on for another four years and then I ended up back in The Rooms again.”
Allen is now sober and says it has helped her to have a “great relationship” with her children.
I’m there to pick them up at the school gates whenever I can be. I’m dropping them off in the morning, and I’ll make them dinner, and they’ll come to me when they’ve got problems, and that’s golden to me,” she said.
“They’re confident little girls. They’re not going to turn into drug addicts like I did. They’re on a good path.”
Late last year, Allen revealed that she has finished her fifth album and is now working on three musicals.
In September 2020 Allen also announced her marriage to Stranger Things star David Harbour. The pair tied the knot at a ceremony in Las Vegas.
For help and advice on mental health:
- ‘Am I depressed?‘ – Help and advice on mental health and what to do next
- Help Musicians UK – Around the clock mental health support and advice for musicians
- Music Support Org – Help and support for musicians struggling with alcoholism, addiction, or mental health issues
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably for young men
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day