The Truth About Ben Higgins' Painkiller Addiction

Ben Higgins is one of the most popular The Bachelor stars of all time. After appearing in season 11 of The Bachelorette, Ben got his own shot at love, starring in season 20 of The Bachelor. Fans immediately adored Ben, dubbing him "the perfect Ben" throughout the season's run. By the end of his season, Ben proposed to Lauren Bushnell, and the couple returned to reality TV shortly after with their show Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? in 2016. Apparently, however, it wasn't happily ever after, as the couple announced their split the following year. 

As his love life played out in the public eye, fans consistently rooted for the lovable Ben. It turns out, however, that life wasn't always so great for the reality TV star, and he'd experienced some dark times earlier in his life. Thanks to his new memoir, Alone in Plain Sight: Searching for Connection When You're Seen but Not Known, we're seeing a different side of Ben. Keep reading to learn more about Ben's memoir, specifically how the reality star gets candid about his struggle with painkiller addiction. 

Ben Higgins gets candid about his struggle with addiction

While fans saw him as "the perfect Ben," things weren't always as picturesque as they seemed in Ben Higgins' life. The former bachelor has opened up about his struggle with painkiller addiction, calling it a time of "shame and failure," per E! News. The addiction, which Ben details in his memoir, Alone in Plain Sight, started in high school with a prescription after a knee injury. According to Ben, the setbacks kept piling on — he got rejected from a top college choice, he found his girlfriend cheating on him — and for a four-month period, he turned to painkillers and fell into a bad crowd.  

Ben's lowest point came, however, when he "started to treat people like objects that existed for my pleasure." Ben says that one day he "made eye contact" with himself in a mirror and "felt like the devil himself was staring back" at him. At that point, Ben recalls saying a prayer for the first time in a long time, and says that he turned to God to help get his life back on track. 

Despite any shame that Ben felt at the height of his addiction, he wants to use his platform to rewrite the narrative. While speaking to Us Weekly, the reality star admitted that it's "hard" and "still tough" to be candid about such an intimate topic, but that he hopes someone going through addiction doesn't need to be ashamed and that there is a way out. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA's 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).