Matt Cardle started "eating" Tramadol "for fun" at the height of his addiction.
The 34-year-old singer begged to be prescribed the drug when he injured his finger but now admits he didn't really need it and says it was "lucky" that he was never found dead somewhere because of his dependency.
He said: "I got lucky on a number of occasions not to have been found f***ing cold ... I wasn't that injured, I didn't really need it. I started eating Tramadol for fun if I'm honest. Then the first time I did Valium was on a flight to LA and that was it. Valium and alcohol are lethal together anyway. It's a muscle relaxant and your heart's a muscle. The danger with them is when you mix them with alcohol you forget what you're doing."
And the 'When We Collide' hitmaker - who is now clean - admits his problem would worsen when he got drunk.
He added: "You don't go out, you don't get up and leave and are like 'I fancy a line' you just don't. You go out and you have a few drinks, then someone will be like 'here you go' and it all stems from that."
Matt - who triumphed on 'The X Factor' in 2010, beating One Direction to the crown - admits there were many times when he came close to dying.
Asked how close he got, he told The Sun newspaper: "There were a number of them. I didn't realise because a lot of it was on my own. I would wake up in various parts of my flat, in the toilet, in my bedroom, on the bed, off the bed, in the lounge, and it would always be like, 'Oh that's where it ended.' If you were on your own and you're completely smashed and you've taken one or two too many, you won't wake up, it'll stop your heart and that's it. So it was getting to that point for me without knowing it."
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