A MUSICIAN who has battled his addictions to drugs and alcohol has turned his life around with his own sober record label.

Chris de Banks, 38, moved to Brighton and Hove when he was 25, but had seen his life spiral downwards because of his lifestyle.

Despite trying to get help and rehabilitation, he only lasted 11 days on his first attempt before going on a seven-month bender.

“I would spend all the rent money on alcohol and drugs,” he admitted.

But bass guitarist Chris, of Furze Hill, Hove, made a promise to change and to rid himself of his addiction to alcohol for good in 2016 – and he has been sober since.

“I had felt some tweaks and pains. I thought, I’m going to die if I don’t get some help,” he said.

Now, alongside the charity Forward Trust, he wants to highlight how former prisoners and addicts who have beaten addictions can offer skills to employers in the More Than My Past campaign.

He set up record label We Are Not Saints, which provides an alcohol-free environment for musicians and others who want to escape the boozy Brighton music scene, and it marked its first anniversary this month.

Chris has also started to rebuild friendships, but he admits his behaviour pushed the relationship with his family and friends to the limit.

He said: “The first time someone branded me an alcoholic I was 22.

“I have a vision of alcoholics as people who were drunk on park benches, and didn’t think I could be an alcoholic at that age.

“Friends told me to give treatment a try.

“I lasted 11 days before I got the idea that a couple of pints would not hurt. I then went on a prodigious bender that lasted seven months.

“A low point was when the friends who I lived with asked me to leave because of my drinking.

“Even when I owed a friend £50, I kept £5 back to pay for alcohol.

“He said ‘mate, you need to get some help’.”

Now after getting help, he is helping others to turn their lives around too.

Chris said: “Recovery is as difficult as you want to make it.

“You can’t think that you know everything, you have to be willing to learn about yourself. It became a promise to myself, the first time I was going to be honest with everybody. I thought, ‘I’ve been this screw up, but here I am now’.”