Justin Bieber is speaking frankly for the first time about his past experiences with drug addiction.
In an episode of his documentary series “Justin Bieber: Sessions,” released Monday, the 25-year-old pop star got candid about his past drug use, which began with smoking marijuana when he was “12 or 13.”
The singer has previously opened up about a past of “doing pretty heavy drugs,” but delved into much greater detail in the new episode. He began depending on marijuana heavily and later got involved with alcohol, lean (a mixture of codeine cough syrup, soda and hard candy), taking pills, MDMA, psychedelic mushrooms, “everything.” Bieber eventually decided he wanted to get sober when he “felt like I was dying.”
“My security and stuff would come into my room at night to check my pulse,” he recalled. “People don’t know how serious it got. It was legit crazy scary. I was waking up in the morning and the first thing I was doing was popping pills and smoking a blunt and starting my day. It just got scary.”
Scooter Braun, Bieber’s longtime manager, called ages 19 to 21 his “dark period.”
“He’s gone through a lot in a very short life,” Braun added. “You don’t always agree with someone’s decisions in that moment. There’re young people making decisions that affect a lot of people and sometimes in those scenarios, you’re gonna make the right the right decision, sometimes you’re gonna make the wrong.”
In his youth, Bieber seemingly launched overnight from an unknown teen in Canada with a YouTube channel to an international pop star. He’s previously opened up about what an overwhelming transition it was for a 13-year-old.
“Millions (of fans were) saying how much they loved me and how great I was,” he wrote in an Instagram post last September. “You hear these things enough as a young boy and you actually start believing it… So by this point I was 18 with no skills in the real world, with millions of dollars and access to whatever I wanted. This is a very scary concept for anyone.”
Bieber’s wife, the former Hailey Baldwin, said she thought his then-undiagnosed “crippling anxiety” led the young star to self-medicate. But she didn’t involve herself in his life until he decided to get sober.
Bieber said his parents didn’t raise him with the “tools to be a good team player.”
“Sometimes when life throws you things that you can’t control, you know, naturally our attitude is to be upset or to be disappointed or discouraged,” Bieber said. “It might not seem that hard to some people to just get out of bed in the morning, but it’s been really hard for me to just get out of my bed. And I know a lot of people feel that same way, so I just want to say you’re not there alone in that. There’s people that are going through it with you. Life is worth living.”
More: Justin Bieber announces the title of his fifth album: ‘Changes,’ sets Valentine’s Day release
The documentary series, a YouTube Originals production, premiered last month and was announced, along with Bieber’s upcoming album “Changes,” to further explain the singer’s health issues, among other topics. Earlier in January, Bieber revealed he was diagnosed with Lyme disease and had “a serious case of chronic mono.”
Since the last time we heard new tunes from Bieber, he’s gotten married and become transparent about battling mental illness in the public eye and learning from his errors.
“As humans, we are imperfect,” Bieber said in a video announcing his new professional chapter. “My past, my mistakes, all the things that I’ve been through. I believe that I’m right where I’m supposed to be and God has me right where he wants me. … We all have different stories. I’m just excited to share mine.”