Justin Bieber On Past Xanax Addiction: "It Got Pretty Dark"

By Paul Gaita 02/11/19

"I think there were times when my security was coming in late at night to check my pulse and see if I was still breathing," Bieber told Vogue.

Justin Bieber talked to Vogue about his past Xanax addiction

Justin Bieber spoke frankly about his past struggles with substance use in a far-ranging cover story for the March 2019 issue of Vogue.

The pop singer said that his "super-promiscuous" behavior led to using Xanax as a means of putting a "screen" between him and his actions.

Bieber said that his faith helped him not only gain sobriety but also led him to model Hailey Baldwin, whom he married last September. "I believe that God blessed me with Hailey as a result," he told Vogue.

In the interview—his first full-length conversation with the media in more than two years—Bieber said that his Xanax use was spawned in part from his meteoric rise to fame.

"I was real at first," he recalled. "And then I was manufactured, as, slowly, they just took more and more control."

Bieber took his stardom as proof of his own infallibility, and "got very arrogant and cocky." "I was wearing sunglasses inside," he said.

Bieber indulged heavily in the "rock 'n' roll" lifestyle, which manifested itself in "doing things that I was so ashamed of"—namely, a penchant for promiscuity that he numbed through Xanax use. "My mom always said treat women with respect," he said. "For me, that was always in my head while I was doing it, so I could never enjoy it."

Eventually, Bieber found that he had a "legitimate problem" with sex that was born from the clash between his values and the emptiness he felt about his stardom. "I think sex can cause a lot of pain," he said. "Sometimes people have sex because they don't feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth." 

The drug use, too, contributed to the young star feeling unmoored and out of control. "Drugs put a screen between me and what I was doing," he explained. "It got pretty dark. I think there were times when my security was coming in late at night to check my pulse and see if I was still breathing."

Bieber eventually found help through a detox in 2014, and has remained abstinent from drugs since then without the lack of outside assistance. "To do it without a program, and to stick with it without a sober coach or AA classes—I think he's extraordinary," said Baldwin about her new spouse.

As for his intimacy issues, Bieber said that he stayed celibate prior to meeting Baldwin in order to "rededicate myself to God in that way, because I really felt it was better for the condition of my soul."

Now that the couple are married, Bieber feels that "God blessed me with Hailey as a result [of his abstinence]. There are perks. You get rewarded for good behavior."

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.