Theoren Fleury says he's still fighting the difficult battle against alcohol and drug abuse.

In an interview with Rogers Sportsnet televised on Monday the former NHL star admitted he still isn't clean and sober.

"I'm not sober today," Fleury said. "But am I trying? Yeah I'm trying, I'm trying every day. Do I want to be sober? Yeah eventually at some point I want to be sober."

Fleury has been plagued by personal problems on and off the ice throughout his career.

The five-foot-six-inch, 180-pounder has been suspended several times for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. Fleury hasn't played since being placed in the NHL's substance abuse program in April 2003.

When asked whether it was drugs or booze that was the problem, the feisty Fleury replied: "It was all of them, it was every single one of them that you could put your finger on.

"Once you get a handle on one thing, then something else that creeps up, then once you get that under control then something else creeps up, that's the nature of the disease that people really don't understand," Fleury said.

"This is a lifelong sentence."

Fleury, the pride of Russell, Man., had 1,088 points in 1,084 career NHL games over 15 NHL seasons with the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks.

with files from Canadian Press