Brian Wilson Shares Regret Over Drug Use In New Memoir

By McCarton Ackerman 10/14/16

"I regret having taken LSD. It’s a bad drug…the struggle for mental health is the result of bad drugs."

Brian Wilson Shares Regret Over Drug Use In New Memoir

Twenty-five years after releasing his first memoir, founding Beach Boy Brian Wilson has released a second, and this time dove deeper into his battles with drug addiction and mental illness.

I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir was released on Tuesday. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Wilson says he laments his former drug use and wouldn’t encourage others to go down the same path he did. The singer also revealed that he has now been sober for over three years.

“I want people to realize that drugs can be very detrimental and dangerous. I talk a lot about my bad experiences on drugs in the book for that reason,” said Wilson. “I’ve told a lot of people don’t take psychedelic drugs. It’s mentally dangerous to take. I regret having taken LSD. It’s a bad drug … The struggle for mental health is the result of bad drugs.”

This isn’t the first time Wilson has spoken out about the negatives of his past drug use. In a June 2011 interview with the Guardian, Wilson talked about his heavy LSD consumption. “At first, my creativity increased more than I could believe," he said. "On the downside, it fucked with my brain.” He eventually heard voices in his head “saying derogatory things” and admitted that he still struggles with the voices to this day.

At the height of his drug use, he appeared to be deteriorating due to ongoing heroin, LSD, cocaine and marijuana consumption, according to the Daily Mail. Wilson was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic (his diagnosis was later changed to schizoaffective disorder) and was unable to take care of himself. From 1982 to 1992, he was under the control of Svengali-like psychotherapist Dr. Eugene Landy, who managed everything from his medications to his finances.

Eventually, Wilson met former model Melinda Ledbetter, who helped him escape from Landy’s control and ended up marrying the singer. Although he admitted his mental health battles continue to be a daily struggle, Wilson said he is committed to his sobriety and found writing his latest memoir to be cathartic.

“I learned that I had a lot of courage,” he told Rolling Stone. "There's a Serenity Prayer for Alcoholics Anonymous. ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change, the courage to change the things I can't.’ I've been sober now for three-and-a-half years. My doctor told me to knock off the alcohol. And I did. I stopped. I feel a lot better, too.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.