Tragic DJ Avicii hooked on ’20 pills a day’ as he battled chronic painkiller addiction

The Swedish superstar DJ took his own life a year ago today aged 28. He suffered acute pancreatitis after heavy drinking while on a gruelling tour schedule.

Avicii, real name Tim Bergling, had UK No1s with I Could Be The One and Wake Me Up, and played to sold out venues around the world.

He retired from touring in 2016
after battling opioid addiction and anxiety. The true toll of his punishing schedule on his health is laid bare in a new documentary.

Avicii: True Stories, to be broadcast today on BBC Three, reveals he was taking 20 painkillers a day including addictive opioid Percocet.

“It was like heroin but wasn’t helping the pain. I assumed the doctors knew what they were doing.

“Having the pancreatitis wasn’t the problem, it was the pain that stays with you.

“I was taking 20 pills a day but they kept telling me it wasn’t addictive.”

Avicii played 813 shows over a seven-year period, the equivalent of one every three days.

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