Justin Bieber Just Got So Real About How Drug Abuse Fueled His Troubled Teenage Years

by Jamie LeeLo
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Wow, wow, wow. Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are letting fans in on their marriage, you guys, and it is fascinating. Even if you aren't a Belieber or up to speed with Baldwin's impressive modeling career, you've surely heard about their whirlwind marriage and PDA-filled summer. Now, the newlyweds are revealing all in an interview with Vogue magazine and it's — dare I say — emotional? Or is that too boring of a word? Justin Bieber's comments about his drug abuse fueling his troubled teenage years shine a light on what the public could have already guessed: being that young, that famous, and that rich is a slippery slope to some wild behavior.

If you're a millennial, chances are your youth ran parallel to Bieber's. While you were busy transitioning from high school to college, Bieber was busy transitioning from YouTube videos to being Usher's protégé. While you were, perhaps, busy moving out of your parent's house and into your college dorm, Bieber was busy touring all around the world. While you were navigating how to be a young person as an adult, Bieber was navigating how to be a young person as a celebrity. Like so many other people who are exposed to way too much way too soon, it landed Bieber in some hot water in the press and personally.

It's no secret he's struggled. After abruptly canceling his Purpose tour with only 14 shows left, fans had to wonder... "Justin, is everything, like, OK?"

As it turns out, it wasn't. Not really. Bieber was at the tail end of what Vogue and everyone has called his "apology tour," aka, a PR effort to reset the public's perception of the kid who once peed in a mop bucket.

To be totally, totally, fair, Bieber makes a good point about money and fame. He offered, "A lot of the douchey things I was doing gave people the right to be like, 'Man, that’s frickin’ douchey, bro.' But, a lot of the stuff was like — me peeing in a bucket, people made such a big deal of that. Or me owning a monkey. It’s like, if you had the money that I had, why wouldn’t you get a monkey? You would get a monkey!"

I see his point. Would I personally get a monkey? No. But I know other people who might.

Bieber also admits that so much of his risky behavior was fueled by drug abuse — specifically Xanax. The "Sorry" singer says he was extremely promiscuous for a long period of time, but that a lot of his actions were in direct conflict with his personal morals. For these reasons, he used the drug to mute the voice in his head that was telling him he was on the wrong path.

He explained it, "I found myself doing things that I was so ashamed of, being super-promiscuous and stuff, and I think I used Xanax because I was so ashamed." Bieber added,

My mom always said to treat women with respect. For me that was always in my head while I was doing it, so I could never enjoy it. Drugs put a screen between me and what I was doing. 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.

According to Bieber, while he will socially drink from time to time, he has not "ingested a drug" since 2014 when he temporarily moved in with Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz for an "informal detox." Baldwin also reflected on Bieber's sobriety.

"I just wanted him to be happy and be good and be safe and feel joy. But I’m really proud of him," she said. "To do it without a program, and to stick with it without a sober coach or AA or classes — I think it’s extraordinary. He is, in ways, a walking miracle."

Today, Bieber and Baldwin are in marriage counseling, because as Baldwin put it, "[marriage is] always going to be hard." But, she insists she "never gets sick" of Bieber and she is his "baby boo."

So, there's that.

Best of luck, kids. It's a big world out there.