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Masterchef Australia – Christina A Former Drug Addict

MC Christina

In the I never would have picked this one files, Christina from Masterchef has revealed to TV WEEK that she is a former heroin addict and how she nearly died.

In what is a compelling read in TV WEEK Β she says that it started in her final year in high school and that is how she blew her education.

Due to blog/media etiquette I won’t put the whole interview here but just some excerpts.

The article says:

Christina was first exposed to the drug by a former friend. When the pair moved in together, her addiction worsened.

It was her rapid weight loss that first alerted her mother to the problem.

Christina says “Mum hadn’t seen me in ages and she came to visit and I was really skinny. She drove me to the hopsital and that’s when I came clean and told her that I was addicted to heroin.”

Because her mum worked full time the decision was made for her to live with her aunt and uncle to attempt to get clean.

She says “It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I detoxed with no pain medication, I just sat in my aunt’s guest bedroom, alone and slowly fought the addiction. I didn’t eat for a week; the pain of the heroin was too much.”

It seems her murky past has not make have anything but an optimistic outlook or future.

46 comments

1 JStar { 07.31.13 at 4:43 pm }

I too would not have picked it at all. The fact that she has turned her life around into a more positive space is amazing given that many people before her (and after) are unable to ever live clean again.

In terms of her place in the competition, it is never a good sign when contestants’ interviews are published before their televised eliminations.

2 Bel { 07.31.13 at 4:51 pm }

I know 2 people who’ve been on heroin for over 20 years and you wouldn’t pick it unless you spent a lot of time with them. You don’t have to look and act like a shambles to maintain an addiction.

Good on her for a) getting past it and b) being honest about it in the public domain. It might help take some of the shame out of it for others perhaps.

Taa for posting this RR- I would never have read it in TV Week πŸ˜‰

3 Rosie { 07.31.13 at 4:52 pm }

Wow, I’d never have picked that one either! And major kudos to her for now making such a success of her life! She can even cook!

I hate to think she’ll leave before Noelene, Kelty or Samira, but as JStar says, this info coming now is not a good sign. For once I hope we are wrong.

4 Gabby { 07.31.13 at 5:15 pm }

Good on you Christina for beating it and staying away from it. You must be blessed to have a loving family and friends to support you. What a strong, determined young woman. I wish her the best, not only in the in the competition but in the rest of her life.

5 Dr T { 07.31.13 at 6:00 pm }

Almost dying on heroin/morphine/oxycodone etc is incredibly easy to do… sadly quite common. Claims more lives per year than car accidents

6 Louise { 07.31.13 at 7:39 pm }

@Dr T

Except not actually, if you’re talking about Australian deaths. Latest data (2010): ~500 opiate deaths vs ~1400 MVA deaths.

7 Bel { 07.31.13 at 10:59 pm }

Dr T, I’d agree with you, if it wasn’t for the people I’ve seen do this for >20 years. They get good at it. I think it’s more ‘newbies’ who OD, or people who’ve abstained and lost their tolerance.

It kinda surprises me that people would say “wow, I’d never have picked that”…. you wouldn’t necessarily pick it in a long-term user, and certainly not in someone who gave it away years ago. Not sure what people expect to see?

Taa for the interesting stats Louise.

Anyhoo, good on her again. Nice work giving it away.

8 EmTee { 07.31.13 at 11:00 pm }

Bravo to Christina for beating the addiction and turning her life around.

A friend of mine lost her daughter (who was in her late 20s) to heroin recently. The daughter was a lovely woman but had long term issues with severe depression and a friend (sic) convinced her to try heroin. Tragically this first try was also her last.

9 Georgie { 08.01.13 at 7:46 am }

It’s so easy to fall into the mire of heroin, but it takes enormous strength of character to get out. Power to you Christina.

10 Joseph Skyrim { 08.01.13 at 8:26 am }

I’m more impressed with those who never touch drugs at all in the first place (ie. common sense). Still, good on her for seeing the error of her ways.

11 Simone { 08.01.13 at 9:30 am }

I wish we spoke this way about smokers, nicotine addicts. I wish we could hear Rishi confessing that he used to be addicted to cigarettes, but with the help of his mother and sheer strength of will, he managed to beat it. Because cigarettes kill more people than heroin by a factor of several thousand percent, but we’re allowed to buy those and no-one is interested in your little triumph stories when you beat it.

12 Joseph Skyrim { 08.01.13 at 10:02 am }

@Simone (11) – True, but my view doesn’t change really. Self inflicted addictions or problems don’t really make you a hero if/when you beat or solve them.

13 Georgietake2 { 08.01.13 at 10:25 am }

Self Inflicted perhaps – but understanding not everyone is strong and what drives people to these addictions helps. We all do things we are not proud of and we know are wrong. It is the ability to see the error and stop that is an achievement. Smokers and drug addicts are people too, and I applaud anyone who kicks a nasty dangerous habit. It is harder to stop than start.

14 Georgie { 08.01.13 at 10:28 am }

I agree with you in part Joseph but it’s not always that black and white – some people are carrying baggage not of their own doing. A lot of substance abuse stems from abuses suffered during childhood resulting in low self esteem and no equipment to deal with it as adults. These same people are often from dysfunctional families, so have zero support too.

15 Zhee and her stuck comments { 08.01.13 at 10:50 am }

Ouch, sometimes those people who get addicted to something don’t really have a choice at all. It needs one thing to trigger an addiction, maybe an awful childhood, abuse, rape, and so on. There’s a huge grey zone.
If we aren’t addicted to alcohol, nicotine or drugs, we just might be lucky.
I believe we all have an addiction for something. We just might have had luck that it didn’t trigger addictions for the bad stuff. Some people have maybe more self control.

Georgie, you are right. I had a very good friend back then who had an abusive, alcoholic father. First she started to cut herself, then an eating disorder appeared, later after finishing school she was an alcoholic and used drugs. Between all those phases she tried to clean herself up, went to therapists as she also was diagnosed with Borderline, she actually spent months in hospitals. She’s 30 now and the last thing I heard from her was being hospitalized again. Sad thing is, she’s an absolutely amazing artist, she’s creative, she’s beautiful. But she still thinks she’s a piece of sh*t. She goes back to her old ways because she can’t keep up with her life and she once said that drugs and alcohol simply put her thoughts to sleep.
Sure some people say she didn’t have the will to get sober and get her life back on track, but sometimes people really can’t clean up. So I applaud Christina for getting her act together and that she stayed strong.

16 brain dead dave { 08.01.13 at 10:58 am }

You are a little black and white about some things Joseph, like calling for the public execution of the two royal baby radio pranksters on your blog, for example. Suffice to say, I haven’t been there since.

But hey, you inflicted that problem on yourself,buddy.

The link between abuse in childhood and substance abuse in later life has been clearly demonstrated.

I don’t see anywhere above where it’s claimed Christina is a hero, either.

17 gav { 08.01.13 at 11:11 am }

I read an interesting study about returning Vietnam vets who’d become addicted to heroin while over there. I don’t think you can judge people’s characters on the basis of whether they get addicted to an addictive drug once exposed to it. Stopping is very hard, good for her.

18 daisy { 08.01.13 at 11:12 am }

Zhee@15 My heart goes out to your friend and all of those like her.
My rage goes out to all of the basatrds that put them there.
I hope your friend finds the peace and self appreciation she needs.

Oh also f**k to judges who pass light sentences on abusers because the crime doesn’t seem that bad to them.

19 daisy { 08.01.13 at 11:20 am }

Simone, I would hold a similar view of fags. I hate smoking but not the addicted smoker….unless of course they are inconsiderate and smoke where they are not supposed to. I sympathise with my friend who smokes because she wants to stop and hasn’t been able to yet. She’s no villain but a prisoner to this habit.

I love you Joseph but I am happy when I hear someone has kicked an addiction of any kind. I’m addicted to RR πŸ˜‰

20 everybody else { 08.01.13 at 11:22 am }

WE KNOW!!!!!!!!

21 brain dead dave { 08.01.13 at 11:30 am }

I’m not like everybody else. Don’t let the bastards grind ya down, daisy.

22 daisy { 08.01.13 at 11:33 am }

Daisies tend to pop back up again.

23 daisy { 08.01.13 at 11:36 am }

You know I have known childhood abuse, so I also know its effects.

24 daisy { 08.01.13 at 11:42 am }

Anyhow, now I need to go and bake a pineapple upside down cake for my home-schooling grandsons to eat. I am teaching them art and Indonesian.

25 Joseph Skyrim { 08.01.13 at 11:47 am }

BDD (@16) – Hehe a “little” black and white? I go kinda extremist on some things (… a lot of things actually…), must concede the hero thing was poorly worded by myself though. At least Christina sorted herself out of her drug dependency, not sure I have the same strength of character to stop being a jerk. πŸ˜›

26 Reality Raver { 08.01.13 at 11:53 am }

Daisy – well don’t kick that addiction!

In my opinion addiction is a complex issue with many factors that can trigger it genetic (that’s me), environmental, or circumstantial, mental health or a combination of all. Needs to be looked at with a compassion and a bit of tough love. There was an interesting article in the smh a few months ago about a mum who found out her son was an addict, sought advice and she was advised to measure out his heroin. In the end he died in his car after having a shot as he was alone. I am pro harm minimisation but did think after that that all that assisting and essentially condoning the addiction he ended up dead. Unfortunately can’t find link. It was a real what would you do if you found yourself I those circumstances. She thought she was doing the best thing for her child

27 Daze { 08.01.13 at 12:06 pm }
28 daisy { 08.01.13 at 12:18 pm }

RR Ok it keeps me from my other addictions.
Bothering Woolif and finding jobs he hasn’t done πŸ˜‰
And dressing up in green and orange mu-mus.

29 Gabby { 08.01.13 at 12:47 pm }

I believe addiction is in the genes and I am a sufferer like my mother and her father before her. However my addiction is a different one to theirs. If I was that mother I would get the best advice available as she probably did, and work out with my child which path of action we would follow together. This all sounds so easy, if only it was. Look what happened to that poor lady. My heart goes out to her.

30 brain dead dave { 08.01.13 at 12:54 pm }

I always read and enjoy your stuff, Joseph.

It could be construed as an extreme statement on your blog and a bit shock jockish, I had a laugh at the time but thought , well, you never know if some nutter (aside from myself) is going to read it and take it extremely seriously and do your bidding. This is how jokes can go terribly wrong.

31 daisy { 08.01.13 at 12:56 pm }

My beautiful auntie, one of the lovliest, funniest, kindest ladies had one son die at about 40 from a heroine od. And a before that a daughter die from breast cancer in her mid thirites, leaving behind three little children. Life can be hard.
That’s when the kindness and compassion of others can keep us afloat. And sometimes a buoyant sense of humour.

32 daisy { 08.01.13 at 12:59 pm }

Joseph@25 “That’s what I’m talkin’ bout” (‘scuse me for pretending to be Oprah). A bouyant sense of humour.

:) :) “Back at yarh” That’s me being Ellen.

33 Joseph Skyrim { 08.01.13 at 1:07 pm }

@BDD (30) – damnit stop beating me with irony! πŸ˜› Though it would be semi-cool if I could control some psycho (or better yet- psychos) with a blog… wait… doesn’t RR do this already?

@Daisy – *hugggggs*!

34 daisy { 08.01.13 at 1:30 pm }

Pineapple upside down cake looks perfect so far. Hope it doesn’t sink when I take it out.
WIll ice it with the philly recipe.
Who’s coming for morning/ afternoon tea?
No teabags! Pot only.

35 Culinary Boner { 08.01.13 at 2:34 pm }

Noting the deadly seriousness of this topic, I thought I’d share my dinki di prescription for progressively weaning the junkies of Australia off smack, one beer at time…
Stage 1 – Bolivian Cocaine Beer – http://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Chamabeer.jpg – “what nausea?”
Stage 2 – hemp or dope beer – “a known emetic… that’ll detox ya system, sunshine” – http://bryehn.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/millenniumbuzz.jpg
Stage 3 – The unavoidable “munchies” phase – http://christopherranch.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/pizza-beer.jpg – “all the goodness of garlic, oregano and basil, ice cold from the fridge”
Stage 4 – a perfectly normal addiction – https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/3092370253/48d1dfc79a10499327cf1021931e8347.jpeg – “welcome back, you’ve achieved normality”

36 night nurse { 08.02.13 at 12:56 am }

CB Clockwork Orange at Stage 4.

37 Eliza { 08.02.13 at 2:29 am }

Hmm.. I agree with you in one sense, Joseph, however I feel that addictions, as others have also said, usually stem from something deeper. I won’t say all, but I’d say most people addicted to something, be it drugs, food, cigarettes or something else, have either had a life event which has pushed them in that direction, or use it as a copping mechanism for something going on at that time in their life. It can be a method of escape or even a way to feel in control. These people aren’t necessarily weak, as depending on what their addiction is, it may be something they feel gives them strength if that makes sense? I would have to agree though that I am much less sympathetic to smokers, particularly due to the fact I am asthmatic and their smoke makes it hard for me to breathe!!

Harsh call on the radio DJs though!!! Not warranted at all..

Thanks for your insights though, I don’t mean to jump on the lets disagree with Joseph bandwagon. I read and value your thoughts.

38 Joseph Skyrim { 08.02.13 at 8:24 am }

@Eliza (37) – Don’t worry about it. The world would be a boring place if everyone agreed with me! It would also mean that I somehow became the universal emperor or something if that was the case(which is very unlikely). ;P

39 Gabby { 08.02.13 at 9:35 am }

Well written Eliza. Also many people have become addicts as a result of suffering from pain. Through no fault of their own, gradually over time their pain medication becomes weaker and weaker and the next thing you know we have so many people addicted to prescription pain medication. This is a huge problem and this can also lead people to far more stronger and sometimes illegal drugs.

40 anna { 08.03.13 at 3:33 pm }

Does this mean they’ll let her win (even though I think she will) just because she came clean? Beat her demons?

41 daisy { 08.03.13 at 3:51 pm }

I doubt it Anna. They had an ex-addict before on MCP. I don’t remember if he won. If he did that wouldn’t work with the alternating pattern theory.

42 anna { 08.03.13 at 3:53 pm }

Daisy, he won. Now he is advertising some crap on tv

43 daisy { 08.03.13 at 3:55 pm }

OK then they’ve done that one. But I like Christina so I son’t mind if she wins.

44 Littlepetal { 08.03.13 at 5:00 pm }

The crap is selling very well. By being a sponsor on MC their sales has gone up.

45 anna { 08.03.13 at 5:15 pm }

I’ve been saying she will win from the get go

46 Littlepetal { 08.03.13 at 5:37 pm }

He he he. We will know soon.