Alexander Ludwig has revealed a battle with alcoholism which began when he was just 14.
The actor, who plays Bjorn Ironside in historical series Viking, said his first experience with alcohol involved downing 14 shots as a teenager.
Ludwig has revealed he was an “instant addict” and struggled with a life of constant drinking until he sought sobriety in rehab.
The 26-year-old, who also appeared in The Hunger Games, has shared his story of substance abuse in a confessional YouTube video.
Ludwig addressed fellow addicts on the Bite The Bullet series, aimed at admitting and addressing addiction, and urged them to seek help.
He said: “I was probably about 14 years old when I had my first drink. And I loved it. I was an instant addict. I probably did 14 shots that night.
“Alexander would be that crazy guy who would have these crazy nights. I was nothing without the party.
“It started going out with everybody and in the end it was just me alone, by myself, in some room, not knowing where I am, waking up in a ditch, getting into fights, being arrested.”
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My hope is by sharing my Experience with substance abuse and all that comes with it that this video can help someone who needs it. If you’re struggling with substance abuse or any form or addiction, anxiety, or depression know you are not alone. I’ve been there through the shit and I’m telling you it gets brighter on the other side but you must find the courage to ask for help. Head to @bitethebulletstories and click on their bio if you’d like to hear my full story. #spreadawarness #talkaboutit #bitethebullet for someone else 💪🏻thank you @farrahaviva @_kristydawndinsmore for spearheading this amazing campaign.
The actor said he does not condemn celebrating or relaxing with a drink, but he is unable to control his compulsions around alcohol and cannot drink responsibly.
He said: “Something very different happens with me when I touch that stuff, to the point where I just can’t stop.”
Ludwig said he checked into rehab at great expense, using most of his savings to get himself sober, a decision he says has changed his life.
He said: “I’m proud of it. I love being that guy now that people can rely on.
“There’s times where I thought there wasn’t a way out. And I put the people that I loved, closest to me, through so much. It’s a lot brighter on the other side.”
The Vikings star urged anyone listening to his testimony to seek help, and told them life is better without the burden of feeding a habit.