The 48-year-old actor, who played deputy director Simon Lowsley in the BBC series, has spoken openly about his secret battle to help reduce the stigma around heroin abuse.
While he had previously kept his addiction a secret, admitting he used to be a “working professional addict”, the star has now insisted he “doesn’t care about that anymore”.
The father-of-two said he suffered from “crippling anxiety” and began using illegal drugs early in his acting career, during his time on stage in the West End.
“It was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made,” he recalled, speaking to BBC Wales.
Richard, who also starred in The Bill and BBC Three series Grownups, revealed he battled a “cycle of abuse” and was brought to his “absolute lowest” when he was spiraling between using drugs and trying to get clean. .
“My personal relationships suffered, my work relationships suffered and my inner ambition was robbed,” he said, adding that “chaos” stole “pieces of [his] life away’.
Richard tackled his addiction ten years ago with the “unconditional support” of his wife Tammie.
She now wants to challenge the stigma around drug abuse and help recovering addicts, as she is working with the South Wales-based charity Adferiad.
While it’s unclear if Richard will be joining the new cast of Waterloo Road, Coronation Street stars Rachel Leskovac, Ryan Clayton and Kym Marsh all set to join the show.
Additional cast includes Jo Coffey (EastEnders) joining the school as PA, Vincent Jerome (Sins of Solitude) playing Lindon King, Associate Principal along with James Baxter (Alma’s Not Normal) as Joe Casey, also Associate Principal.
Adam Thomas, Angela Griffin and Katie Griffiths are three former Waterloo Road cast members returning to reprise their roles as Donte, Kim Campbell and Chlo.
MORE: Melanie Hill leaves Coronation Street after 7 years, to return to Waterloo Road?
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