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Instagram Model Shares How She Overcame Addiction As A Teenager

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Instagram Model Shares How She Overcame Addiction As A Teenager

An Instagram model who began abusing drugs and alcohol at 15 has shared how she managed to turn her life around to finally get clean.

Holly Valentine, 26, from Los Angeles, California, has found online fame on Instagram (@holly.treats), where she has 1.5 million followers.

But now she's spoken out about the difficult past that many of her fans may not know about, and how she managed to recover and build herself a successful career.

Holly, who's now been sober for eight years, said her addition began as a 'vulnerable and lonely' teenager, when she started hanging out with the 'wrong' crowd.

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Credit: Jam Press
Credit: Jam Press

She said one friend she made would consistently 'pimp' her out, and she became worried that she would have 'trafficked or kidnapped' her.

As her addictions escalated, she used a variety of drugs including cocaine, MDMA and pills.

Holly said: "Then when I was 17 I tried speed - thinking it was cocaine - and I went home and stayed up all night cleaning and getting ahead in all of my classwork.

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"I was already taking ADD meds that had been prescribed to me and it honestly just felt like the same feeling but at a higher dose.

"I liked the feeling of having 24 usable hours in the day and I didn't realise how high I was actually getting."

At the height of her addiction, when she was 19, Holly overdosed on what she thought was GBH but was actually GBL (Class C recreational drugs).

"They both give similar highs but if you store GBL in the refrigerator like you would with GHB, it separates the formula and makes it lethal," she said.

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Credit: Jam Press
Credit: Jam Press

Holly tripped over and ended up waking up in the ER, which was when her family realised something was wrong.

In 2011, Holly was also arrested after a night out, when she was found carrying drugs and subsequently held in jail for a week before being sentenced to six months of rehabilitation.

She said: "My mom, dad and my lawyer basically decided for me that I was going the treatment route and at the time I was very upset but now I'm grateful."

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The jail time proved to be the wake-up call Holly needed, and on 8 June 2012, Holly went sober - going through the 12-step rehab programme.

Eight years later, she hasn't touched a drop of alcohol or any drugs, barring weed - which she has been smoking for the past eight months to help with medication side effects.

Holly eventually went to university and started a marketing career, along with her modelling, and now looks back on her addiction as something that helped make her successful.

She said: "I will never let anyone else tell me who I am or what I'm capable of.

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Credit: Jam Press
Credit: Jam Press

"My addiction also prepared me as a businesswoman and as an artist, and nothing bad that happens in my life today remotely compares to my old life.

"As a result, nothing surprises or scares me, or feels unsolvable."

Holly added: "Nowadays I've learned that staying really objective and getting outside yourself through helping others makes you feel instantly better if you're going through a hard time.

"I'm also aware that I need to make sure I have a way to ground myself quickly, if I have a panic attack.

"Keeping a regular daily routine and having things that keep me accountable also keeps me on track."

Featured Image Credit: Jam Press

Topics: Instagram, News

Jess Hardiman
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