England international and Premier League star ‘hooked on sleeping pills’


England international and Premier League star ‘hooked on sleeping pills and mixes them with vodka at illegal lockdown parties… as friends fear he’ll ruin his career if he doesn’t get help’

  • An unnamed Premier League player is reportedly addicted to sleeping pills
  • Footballers have previously been warned of the potentially fatal dangers of taking prescription sleeping pills and drinking alcohol as an intoxicant 
  • Player has been buying Zopiclone – used to treat insomnia – on the black market

An unnamed England and Premier League player is reportedly hooked on sleeping pills and has the habit of combining them with alcohol.

Footballers have previously been warned of the potentially fatal dangers of taking prescription sleeping pills and drinking alcohol as an intoxicant.

And now a Three Lions star has been buying Zopiclone – used to treat insomnia – on the black market and mixing the tablets with champagne and vodka at illegal parties during lockdown, according to The Sun.

An unnamed England and Premier League player is reportedly hooked on sleeping pills and has the habit of mixing them with alcohol (stock picture)

The report claims that the footballer’s friends fear he will ruin his career if he doesn’t get help with the star getting around Premier League drug tests by taking the Class C controlled pills. 

‘I couldn’t believe it and turned to my friend, who is a team-mate,’ a source who attended a Covid-rule breaking party told The Sun.

‘He told me this is why he has been struggling. He is addicted to the tablets.

WHAT IS ZOPICLONE?

Zopiclone is a sleeping pill that is used to treat insomnia.

It comes in tablet and liquid form and helps patients fall asleep more quickly.

It is available in the UK only on prescription. 

NHS advice explicitly states patients should not drink alcohol while on Zopiclone. 

‘His team-mates and friends are really worried. It will totally affect his game

‘The troubled player was off his face and dancing on a coffee table. He was completely out of it and didn’t know what he was doing or saying.’

Sleeping pills are widely available from doctors or online and do not feature on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s [WADA] list of banned substances. 

They are commonly used to help players get to sleep after the adrenaline rush of matches played in the evening, but they also produce a high when mixed with alcohol. 

However, there are harmful effects to taking them recreationally, including dependence and the potential to overdose. 

Former England international Paul Merson has previously spoken about a drinking game he used to play with Paul Gascoigne when the pair lived together when at Middlesbrough.

Speaking on Sky’s A League Of Their Own show, Merson said: ‘Well we used to play a game every day bar Friday.

Paul Merson (left) has previously spoken about a game he used to play with Paul Gascoigne (right) which involved mixing sleeping pills with red wine

Paul Merson (left) has previously spoken about a game he used to play with Paul Gascoigne (right) which involved mixing sleeping pills with red wine

‘We’d get back from training and we’d give my brother and Jimmy [Five Bellies] a load of money to go and get some bottles of red wine.

‘We’d put the red wine into these massive jugs then Gazza and my brother would sit on that seat and me and Jimmy would sit on this seat.

‘Load of money on the coffee table and then we’d start drinking red wine and every hour we’d pop a sleeping tablet.

‘Whoever fell asleep last picked the money off the table and went to bed.’

Sleeping pills are not banned by WADA, like other recreational drugs. There is a risk of overdose and the combination with alcohol is potentially fatal, according to information service DrugWise.

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