Wasim Akram Gets Real and Talks About His Cocaine Addiction

"You need help," said Huma after finding out about Wasim Akram's addiction problem. Akram opens up about his cocaine addiction problem.

It might be challenging to write an autobiography, especially if you decide to share aspects of yourself that are challenging for you to face on your own. For the benefit of his children, Wasim Akram has chosen to write it all down in his upcoming memoir Sultan: A Memoir. Even when the subject is as sensitive as overcoming cocaine addiction, he wants to be able to express his side of the story.

After 18 years of international competition, the former cricket player retired in 2003. He continued to be involved with cricket, though; he changed careers to become a trainer and commentator. He kept taking jobs that required him to traverse the globe. Following his retirement, when he began to want a substitute for the adrenaline rush of competition, the cocaine addiction persisted until Huma, his first wife, passed away in 2009.

In his memoir, Akram was frank about the subject and said he wanted to pamper himself; he liked to party. “The culture of fame in south Asia is all-consuming, seductive and corrupting. You can go to 10 parties a night, and some do. And it took its toll on me. My devices turned into vices”.

He added the worst part is that he became dependent on cocaine.  use gradually became more serious to the point that he thought he had to use it in order to function when he was offered a line at a party in England.

Using cocaine, according to Akram, rendered him emotional and manipulative. He thought Huma, his wife at the time, experienced loneliness frequently. “She would talk of her desire to move to Karachi, to be nearer her parents and siblings. I was reluctant. Why? Partly because I liked going to Karachi on my own, pretending it was work when it was actually about partying, often for days at a time.”

She eventually learned about his drug use after finding a package of cocaine in his wallet. “You need assistance.”  I concurred. It was out of control. He was unable to stop it. One line would multiply by two, which would then multiply by four, which would multiply by one, which would multiply by two. He had trouble falling asleep. He was unable to eat. He lost track of my diabetes, which led to migraines and mood changes in him. Like many addicts, a part of him welcomed the revelation because the secrecy had been draining, he added.

Akram sought assistance and entered rehab, but the experience was horrible. The doctor was an outright con artist who focused more on controlling families than on treating patients in order to separate them from their money.

“Try as I might, part of me was still smouldering inside about the indignity of what I’d been put through. My pride was hurt, and the lure of my lifestyle remained. I briefly contemplated divorce. I settled for heading to the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy were, out from under Huma’s daily scrutiny, I started using again,” he claimed. After Huma passed away in October 2009 from a rare fungus infection called mucormycosis, things changed. Wasim Akram gave up cocaine use.

Huma helped me overcome my drug addiction in his final unselfish, unintentional deed. I no longer followed that manner of living, and I have never done so, Wasim Akram added in his autobiography.

“I’m a bit anxious about the book,” he declared, “but I think once it is out, I’ll be kind of over it. I’m anxious because at my age, I’m 56 and I’ve been diabetic for 25 years, it is just stress, you know it was tough to revisit all the things. I’ve done it for my two boys, who are 25 and 21, and my seven-year-old daughter, just to put my side of the story.”

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