Hollyoaks Actor praises bid to beat addiction at UEA

Actor Paul Danan at the conference organised by the centre for interprofessional practice at the UEA

Actor Paul Danan at the conference organised by the centre for interprofessional practice at the UEA. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

A former soap actor praised the work of Norfolk's budding health professionals as he visited the county to share the story of his drug and alcohol addiction.

Paul Danan, who played Sol Patrick in Hollyoaks and also appeared in Celebrity Love Island, was helping to raise awareness of the Norfolk Recovery Partnership, which will be launched next month, and the Norfolk Recovery Festival, which takes place in June.

After doing some filming for the partnership yesterday morning, he went on to the John Innes Centre to take part in a conference where University of East Anglia students looked at the issue of alcohol misuse.

Mr Danan watched a powerful play by UEA drama students before telling the conference: 'I think it's amazing that people are doing more research and that Norfolk is raising awareness of people with drug and alcohol problems.'

The actor said his substance misuse began as a way to cope with social situations, but became an addiction while he was still in his 20s.

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It took him until he was 30, with treatment and counselling, to beat the disease.

He said: 'They are finding more and more information about how this is a disease and an illness. It's not people doing it on purpose.'

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Yesterday evening Mr Danan joined the DramActive Academy seniors group at Hethersett High as they prepared a play which will be performed at this summer's Norfolk Recovery Festival.

Dragon Chaser is a hard-hitting piece about the nervous breakdown of a teenager due to drug and alcohol misuse.

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