Writing in his new book, Easily Distracted, Steve recalls how he became hooked on drugs in an edited extracted published in The Guardian.
The 49-year-old, who surprised many with his portrayal of real-life journalist Martin Sixsmith in the 2013 film Philomena, revealed that he started taking drugs in 1992 when people supplied him with the illegal substance.
In the book, he recalled a terrifyling experience where he had a panic attack that left him feeling like he was about to die.
“I could feel pins and needles in my left arm, and my heart was thundering. I thought I was having a heart attack,” he wrote.
“I was put in a car and driven through red lights to get me to hospital. I cried all the way. I couldn’t stop thinking, “I’m going to die. This is it. My headstone will say: ‘Stephen Coogan, born in Middleton in 1965, died in Edinburgh in 1992, aged 26 years.’ What a waste!”
After the incident Steve went on to suffer from more panic attacks that “wouldn’t go away”.
He sought help from a therapist, but once the attacks had eased off he began taking cocaine again.
“It was always around, always on offer. I didn’t start to buy it until years later,” he revealed.
“In those early days it was all recreational and relatively controlled. I’d have a line or two and stop. I liked it because it gave me confidence. I always thought, ‘I’m not really one of those people who does cocaine, so I’ll be OK.’”
Steve, whose recent travelogue The Trip – in which he and Rob Brydon review some of the finest restaurants in Europe – won critical acclaim, reveals that he no longer takes drugs and doesn’t drink alcohol any more.
“But I am in no denial about my past,” he said. “I will always be a recovering addict.”