Abby Wambach abused alcohol and prescription drugs for years

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Abby Wambach's new memoir, Forward, contains what can only be described as a bombshell: The soccer star says she abused alcohol and prescription drugs for years until being arrested for DUI in April.

"That night getting arrested was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Because if I don't get so publicly shamed and publicly humiliated, I don't think I wake up," Wambach told the Associated Press. "I think I was asleep for a lot of years. Asleep to the pleas from my family and friends, and even myself, to get help."

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The US 2015 Women's World Cup Team's Abby Wambach (L) and Carli Lloyd (2nd R) present US President Barack Obama (C) with a team jersey during an event honoring them at the White House in Washington, DC, October 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
CARY, NC - APRIL 5: Forward Abby Wambach #28 of the Washington Freedom and defender Danielle Slaton #17 of the Carolina Courage fight for control of the ball during the WUSA game at the SAS Soccer Park on April 5, 2003 in Cary, North Carolina. The Freedom defeated the Courage 2-1. (Photo By Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO-MAY 5 ::Abby Wambach #28 of the Washington Freedom runs with the ball during the WUSA game against the San Diego Spirit during the WUSA game at Torero Stadium in San Diego, California. The Freedom won 3-0. (Photo by Christopher Ruppel/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JUNE 12: Rookie forward Abby Wambach #28 of the Washington Freedom looks to move the ball during the WUSA game against the Boston Breakers on June 12, 2002 at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. The Freedom defeated the Breakers 2-1. (Photo by Doug Pensinger /Getty Images)
VILLANOVA, PA - AUGUST 17: Fans of Abby Wambach of the Washington Freedom show their support during the game against the Philadelphia Charge on August 17, 2002 at Villanova Stadium in Villanova Pennsylvania. The Freedom won 1-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 22: Abby Wambach of the Washington Freedom holds the 2003 WUSA Goal of the Year Award during the WUSA Founders Cup Awards Ceremony on August 22, 2003 at the Natural History Museum in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Norway's Marianne Pettersen (11) tries to get away from the defense of Abby Wambach of the USA during their FIFA 2003 Women's World Cup quarter-final soccer match 01 October, 2003, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. AFP PHOTO/Don EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, Greece: US forward Abby Wambach and her teammates celebrate their victory at the end of the gold medal football match against at the Olympic Games, 26 August 2004 at Karaiskaki stadium in Athens. USA won 2-1. AFP PHOTO DDP MICKAEL KAPPELER (Photo credit should read MICKAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images)
ATHENS, GREECE - AUGUST 26: Fussball / Frauen: Olympische Spiele Athen 2004, Athen; Finale / USA / Gold- Brasilien ( USA - BRA ) 2:1 n.V.; Abby WAMBACH / USA erzielte das Siegtor fuer die USA 26.08.04. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
U.S. Women's National Soccer Team forward Abby Wambach in warm-ups prior to an international friendly match against Mexico at PAETEC Park in Rochester, New York on September 13, 2006. The U.S. Team won the match 3-1. (Photo by Mark Konezny/WireImage)
The United States' Abby Wambach wearing a special pink Breast Cancer Awareness top during pregame warmups on Saturday, May 12th, 2007 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The United States Women's National Team defeated Canada 6-2 in a women's international friendly. (Photo by Andy. Mead/WireImage)
Abby Wambach of the US celebrates after scoring a penalty shot during a Group B match against Sweden of the Women's Football World Cup 2007 at Chengdu Sports Center, in China's southwestern province of Sichuan, 14 September 2007. AFP PHOTO/LIU Jin (Photo credit should read LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
TIANJIN, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 22: Abby Wambach of USA celebrates after she scored a point during the Womens World Cup 2007 Quarter Final match between the USA and England at Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium September 22, 2007 in Tianjin, China. (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)
CARY, NC - APRIL 27: Abby Wambach #20 of the U.S. Women's National Team stands for the singing of the national anthems during an international friendly match against the Australian Women's National Teamon April 27, 2008 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina. The U.S. won 3-2 in stoppage time. (Photo By Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - MAY 10: Abby Wambach #20 of U.S.A. chests down a high pass during a 6-0 win by U.S.A. over Canada in an international friendly match against Canada on May 10, 2008 at R.F.K. stadium in Washington D.C. (Photo by Tony Quinn/Getty Images)
SLUG: SP/FREEDOM. DATE: May, 3, 2009 CREDIT: Katherine Frey / TWP. LOCATION: Boyds, MD. SUMMARY: Saint Louis Athletica vs. Washington Freedom, women's soccer at Maryland SoccerPlex CAPTION: Washington Freedom's Abby Wambach winds up to take a shot on goal in a game against Saint Louis.
MIAMI SHORES, FL - FEBRUARY 9: Forward Abby Wambach of the USA Women's Soccer Team works out during a training session on February 9, 2011 on the campus of Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JULY 10: Abby Wambach of USA celebrates after scoring her goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup Quarter Final match between Brazil and USA at Rudolf-Harbig Stadium on July 10, 2011 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Alex Livesey - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
DRESDEN, GERMANY - JULY 10: Abby Wambach of USA leaves the pitch holding a U.S. flag after her team's victory of the FIFA Women's World Cup quarter final match between Brazil and USA at Rudolf-Harbig stadium on July 10, 2011 in Dresden, Germany. (Photo by Alexandra Beier - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
USA's striker Alex Morgan (L) celebrates scoring the 0-1 goal with USA's striker Abby Wambach during the FIFA Women's Football World Cup final match Japan vs USA on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL ROLAND (Photo credit should read DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - JULY 17: Abby Wambach of USA celebrates scoring the second goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup Final match between Japan and USA at the FIFA World Cup stadium Frankfurt on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - SEPTEMBER 22: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States goes for the ball against Canada during the final match of the Celebration Series on September 22, 2011 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JANUARY 09: Abby Wambach of the USA during the Women's World Player of the Year nominees press conference during the FIFA Ballon d'Or Gala 2011 at the Kongresshaus on January 09, 2012 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Stuart Franklin - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
FRISCO, TX - FEBRUARY 11: Abby Wambach #20 of USA during an international friendly with New Zealand at FC Dallas Stadium on February 11, 2012 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: Abby Wambach of USA celebrates victory during the Women's Football Gold Medal match between USA and Japan, on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 01: Abby Wambach #14 of USA reacts to fans after defeating Ireland in the game at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 1, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. USA defeated Ireland 2-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: U.S. Olympian Abby Wambach visits the USA House at the Royal College of Art on August 10, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for USOC)
FIFA Ballon d'Or award winner Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) poses with FIFA Women's footballer of the year US forward Abby Wambach after the FIFA Ballon d'Or awards ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 7, 2013. AFP PHOTO / OLIVIER MORIN (Photo credit should read OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/Getty Images)
HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 20: Abby Wambach #20 of the USA gets a Gatorade bath by her teamates after a 5-0 win against Korea Republic after Wambach broke Mia Hamm's alltime International goal scoring record with 159 at Red Bull Arena on June 20, 2013 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
HARRISON, NJ - JUNE 20: Abby Wambach #20 of the USA 157th International goal against Korea Republic during the first half of their game at Red Bull Arena on June 20, 2013 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 30: Abby Wambach #20 of the US Women's National Team in action against New Zealand at Columbus Crew Stadium on October 30, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
BRASILIA, BRAZIL - DECEMBER 14: Abby Wambach of USA during the match between USA and Brazil in the International Tournament of Brasilia at Mane Garrincha Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Celso Junior/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 20: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States stands before playing a game against Haiti during the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship at RFK Stadium on October 20, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
US football player Abby Wambach gives a press conference ahead of the 2014 FIFA Ballon d'Or award ceremony at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on January 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
USA forward Abby Wambach listens to the national anthem before the Algarve Cup football match USA vs Iceland at the Estadio Municipal in Lagos on March 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO (Photo credit should read JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/AFP/Getty Images)
WINNIPEG, MB - JUNE 12: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States looks on in the second half against Sweden in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 match at Winnipeg Stadium on June 12, 2015 in Winnipeg, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 26: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States acknowledges the crowd after defeating China 1-0 in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Quarter Final match at Lansdowne Stadium on June 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States runs on the pitch before taking on Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
USA forward Abby Wambach celebrates after their victory in the final football match between USA and Japan during their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver on July 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone of USA jointly lift the Winner's Trophy during FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Final between USA and Japan at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - JULY 05: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States of America celebrates after their 5-2 over Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Final at BC Place Stadium on July 5, 2015 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Forward Abby Wambach kisses the FIFA World Cup trophy at the US Women's World Cup football team's championship rally, at L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles, California, July 7, 2015. The US team defeated Japan 5-2 in the final to win the World Cup to become the first team to win the championship three times. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Hope Solo and Abby Wambach from The United States women's national soccer team is seen at 'Good Morning America on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 10: Hope Solo and Abby Wambach from The United States women's national soccer team is seen at 'Good Morning America on July 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15: Honoree Caitlyn Jenner (R) accepts the Arthur Ashe Courage Award from former professional soccer player Abby Wambach onstage during The 2015 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater on July 15, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
CHATTANOOGA, TN - AUGUST 19: Forward Abby Wambach #20 of the United States runs during the friendly match against Costa Rica at Finley Stadium on August 19, 2015 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 16: Abby Wambach #20 of the United States during the National Anthem before the match against the Costa Rica at Heinz Field on August 16, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - OCTOBER 27: Abby Wambach pictured during the U.S. Womenâs National Teamâs visit to the White House in Washington, D.C. on October 27, 2015. Credit: mpi34/MediaPunch/IPX
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Wambach said she previously abused vodka and pills, including Vicodin, Ambien, and Adderall, and that she's been sober since her arrest. She pleaded guilty and entered a diversion program for first-time offenders that included treatment.

Despite her private struggles, she became the leading scorer in international soccer — male or female — with 184 career goals. She's a two-time Olympic gold medalist and was named the 2012 FIFA Player of the Year. She retired in October, a few months after the U.S. Women's National Team won the World Cup. "This isn't something that just snuck up on me when I retired from soccer. This is something I've been dealing with for years now," she said.

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