Coronation Street creator Tony Warren has revealed that he battled against a morphine addiction which he said settled "the cold, lonely, aching place inside".
The 74-year-old said the pressure of his early success with the Street got to him and he turned to drink and drugs to escape.
He told the Radio Times: "It became inescapable. Once I went to Amsterdam to get away from it, put on the television and there was Ena Sharples with Dutch subtitles. I put my foot through the screen.
"After Coronation Street, what do you do for an encore? I had a drink while I thought about it, and that one turned into a million."
Tony, who said he has an addictive personality, also started buying tincture of morphine from "a bent chemist".
He said: "I used to have hugely upset tummies and in those days you could buy preparations with a quantity of morphine in them. I soon discovered it settled not just my tummy but the cold, lonely, aching place inside, too."
The long-running soap celebrates its 50th anniversary with a live episode on December 9.