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Former Blur Frontman Says Heroin Made Him 'Incredibly Productive'

By McCarton Ackerman 03/31/14

Albarn said he was able to taper his addiction in order to maximize his creativity, even though he ultimately said that any addiction "is not good."

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Most people in recovery wouldn’t look back fondly on their heroin use, but former Blur frontman Damon Albarn had plenty of positive things to say about his time using the drug. Having now been sober for years, Albarn insisted that he was “incredibly productive” while using heroin and created some of his best music during his addiction.

"I hate talking about this because of my daughter, my family. But, for me, it was incredibly creative...[Heroin] freed me up,” he said. "A combination of [heroin] and playing really simple, beautiful, repetitive shit in Africa changed me completely as a musician. I found a sense of rhythm. I somehow managed to break out of something with my voice."

Albarn said he began using heroin at “the height of Britpop” and was able to taper his use of the drug for maximum creative output, taking it at a rate of “five days on, two days off.” But while he claims that heroin helped him creatively, he still doesn’t endorse others trying it. "It's a cruel, cruel thing," he said. "[Heroin] does turn you into a very isolated person and ultimately anything that you are truly dependent on is not good."

Earlier this month, actor Josh Brolin also revealed that he was a former heroin user. He entered treatment four months ago for substance abuse, but only recently opened up about the extent of his former drug past as a teenager. “I tried heroin. I mean, I never got into it and I never died from it, which is a good thing,” he said in an interview with The Guardian. "I've had 19 friends who died. Most of those guys I grew up with, they're all dead now."

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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.

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