Shaun Ryder: Heroin helped my ADHD

Shaun Ryder was diagnosed with ADHD in his 50s credit:Bang Showbiz
Shaun Ryder was diagnosed with ADHD in his 50s credit:Bang Showbiz

Shaun Ryder has claimed taking heroin made him feel "normal" while coping with undiagnosed ADHD.

The Happy Mondays frontman was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - which has symptoms including restlessness and difficulty concentrating - in his 50s and he admitted it made his past behaviour make sense to him.

He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “As a kid, I’d be constantly fiddling around, itching, twitching, struggling to concentrate, but when I took heroin it made me focused.

“These days for ADHD they give you stimulants – amphetamine and methylphenidate on prescription. I’m not advising anyone to take heroin if you’re ADHD, but all I can tell you is that back then it made me feel normal...

“It’s a spectrum and I’ve got the version that means I can’t remember a thing – until autocues came along I used to stand on stage with the Mondays and start singing the third verse or whatever because I couldn’t keep track in my head.”

The 61-year-old singer has been "clean" for over 20 years but knows fans are still interested in hearing about his days of excess.

He said: “I’ve straightened meself out. Been clean 21 years but the public still wants to hear about the drugs, drugs, drugs, rock ’n’ roll and sex. I’m not sure what it’s like for young lads entering the business now but gone are the days when a chauffeur-driven car with weighing scales in the boot for drugs would be waiting outside the 'Top of the Pops' studio for us.”

The 'Loose Fit' singer has six children from four marriages and he admitted being a dad, and a husband to spouse Joanne - the mother of his three youngest children - has helped him change for the better.

He said: “I love family life. Kids. Being in the countryside. Writing songs, performing. I used to get really p*****off when people on the street would yell ‘you’re twisting my melon man’ or ‘call the cops’. I never knew how they expected me to respond. Now, I just shout back ‘aright’ and give the thumbs-up.

"I don’t have a young man’s ego, and that’s quite liberating.”