Liam Payne has opened up about his past struggles with alcohol, saying that he “hid it very well” while promoting his solo music career.

The singer, who was a member of One Direction from 2010 to 2016 prior to the band’s “indefinite hiatus”, spoke about his experience of alcohol dependency in a new interview with The Guardian.

Payne explained how performing to stadiums full of thousands of people during One Direction’s heyday had a significant impact on him when he was later off-stage.

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“Doing a show to however many thousands of people, then being stuck by yourself in a country where you can’t go out anywhere – what else are you going to do? The minibar is always there,” the 26-year-old said.

Payne said he was still “struggling” with alcohol while promoting his debut solo single “Strip That Down”, which was released in May 2017.

“I just hid it very well,” the singer said.

He later decided to abstain from drinking any alcohol for a year, which he stated had a huge effect on his social life.

“My social life completely plummeted,” Payne explained.

“I always feel like you never get past the awkward first 10 minutes at a party, when everyone’s like: ‘Do we get up and dance, or do we just sit here?’ I don’t know whether it made me happier, but it was definitely needed.”

During the interview, the musician also spoke about how for a period of time, he was advised to take an epilepsy drug to help him cope with his “erratic highs and lows”.

However, taking the drug would sometimes have an adverse effect on him when he was exposed to certain lighting.

“I just needed a little bit of help to keep me stable,” Payne said. “But under certain lights on stage or during interviews, I wouldn’t be able to tell them my name.”

Last month, the singer opened up to SAS: Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton about how the “level of loneliness” he has experienced with his global fame “nearly killed him”.

In a recent interview with British GQ, Payne spoke about how he underwent therapy for two years after leaving One Direction.

Always drink responsibly. For more information, visit Drinkaware.co.uk.

For guidance and support on drug addiction, you can contact the 24-hour Frank helpline on 0300 123 6600, text the charity at 82111 or email at frank@talktofrank.com.

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