Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted became addicted to painkillers as he recovered from a crippling shoulder injury which threatened to end his music career.

The rocker was injured in a freak accident in 2006 when he hurt both shoulders while attempting to catch a bass amp, and subsequently underwent numerous surgeries and several years of rehab therapy to regain the use of his hands.

Newsted has now revealed he battled a dangerous prescription drug addiction as he recovered from his injuries, telling, "When I had my shoulder surgeries, they took over a three-and-a-half to four-year span, back and forth, left shoulder, right shoulder, left shoulder, right shoulder. With complete bicep tears and rotator cuff tears and very ugly rehab and therapy. Painkiller addiction, the whole deal."

The rocker kicked his habit and turned to art to help himself heal. He adds, "I only had one arm at a time, so I started painting. Now, I can use both hands equally for everything. That's how the art came. I had to have something to do because I could not play my instrument."