Son Of Maltese Business Mogul Opens Up About 20-Year Cocaine Addiction

"I absolutely don’t agree with rehab centres."


Franco Fenech, son of late Maltese business-mogul George Fenech, yesterday opened up about how he overcame a cocaine addiction of nearly 20 years.

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He spoke during an interview with Karl Stagno Navarra which was spurred by Fenech's Facebook posts, where he appealed to the Maltese public to refrain from passing judgement on other people's situations and life choices. 

His rationale behind sharing his story on social media is that it goes towards helping others who might be facing similar struggles.

“I don’t use Facebook as a means of increasing my popularity. I believe that in the 21st century social media is a means by which you can communicate with someone who might be in similar circumstances as you, and maybe they can’t express themselves,” he said.

In the interview, Fenech also discusses his reservations about rehabilitation centres, having entered into a number of programmes and reaching a personal conclusion that they do not go to the root of addicts' problems on a individualistic basis.

“I absolutely don’t agree with rehab centres. They have become a multi-million-making business, so it is not in their interest that people who go there get rehabilitated."

"In rehab everyone is treated like a degenerate of society. With any sort of compulsive behaviour – [addiction] is the end of the problem – but there are other underlying issues."

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Fenech credits his recovery from his 20-year cocaine addiction to people in his life who supported him – close friends and family. He also attributes it to finding out that he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is treated medically with amphetamine drugs.

"I believe that my father’s greatest wish in heaven is for me to lead a good life and help others"

He also mentions his grieving process, and his faith, as part of his journey towards recovery. 

“I am still grieving the death of my father. My father was my pilaster. I believe in God and I believe in heaven. I believe that my father’s greatest wish in heaven is for me to lead a good life and help others.”

Fenech has been clean for two years, and continues to advocate against prejudice and judgement on social media:

“If there is something we don’t agree with as a nation we immediately point our fingers. [...] [But] in the past few years Malta has really moved forward. We are part of the civilised western world.”

In 2015, Malta ranked as having the 7th highest cocaine use per capita in the world. Do you want to talk about your experiences with cocaine? Write to us on [email protected]

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