In the March 2019 issue of Vogue, Justin Bieber sat down alongside his new wife, Hailey Bieber and opened up about the past.
In the interview, Bieber broke his silence on his past reckless behavior – including a problem with Xanax and sex. The interview also included insight into his absence from the music industry and struggling with depression while on tour.
“It Got Pretty Dark”
In January 2014, Bieber was arrested in Miami for drag racing and driving under the influence. At the time, authorities noted that there was an “odor of alcohol emanating from the driver’s breath.” Later, the musician allegedly admitted that he had smoked marijuana, took Xanax and drank alcohol earlier in the night. Speaking about his life at the time, Bieber stated that he was struggling with drug use.
“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,” Bieber said.
He described a time in his life where he was addicted to Xanax, trying to numb the feelings of shame he had while living a life that didn’t quite match up to what he’d grown up with.
“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.” The 24-year-old went on, “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.”
Eventually, Bieber’s mentor and pastor of Hillsong Church, Carl Lentz stepped in when he realized the singer had a problem and urged the Bieber to move into his home in New Jersey in 2014 for an “informal detox.” The “Sorry” singer said he has not touched a drug since.
“I’m really proud of him. 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,” Hailey said during the interview.
“I Needed Some Time”
However, as time went on, his struggles bled into his music career. In 2017, the singer canceled his Purpose world tour with 14 shows left amid rumors about his mental health.
“I got really depressed on tour,” he recalled. “I haven’t talked about this, and I’m still processing so much stuff that I haven’t talked about. I was lonely. I needed some time.”
Bieber stated that after that moment, he decided to step back from his career.
“Just thinking about music stresses me out. I’ve been successful since I was 13, so I didn’t really have a chance to find who I was apart from what I did,” he explained. “I just needed some time to evaluate myself: who I am, what I want out of my life, my relationships, who I want to be — stuff that when you’re so immersed in the music business you kind of lose sight of.”
Xanax is an extremely addictive drug and is a trademark for alprazolam, a fast-acting benzodiazepine sedative used for treating anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Xanax works by changing the way GABA, a chemical in the brain, acts. That change also produces a pleasant feeling of escape, known as euphoria or a “high” when the drug is abused. Also commonly called “benzos” for short, benzodiazepines are psychoactive depressants that work by changing the brain’s neurochemical levels.
If Xanax is taken in large quantities or over a long period of time, it will become addictive. Individuals who develop an addiction to Xanax (along with other substances like cocaine, alcohol, or heroin) face troubles in nearly every facet of their lives and abuse of Xanax leads to several negative effects. These struggles may also involve occupational or scholastic problems, marriage problems, or family conflict.
If you or a loved one are addicted to Xanax, get help now by calling Sober Nation’s 24-hour hotline at 866-241-6541
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Newlyweds @justinbieber and @haileybieber are our March issue cover stars! Tap the link in our bio to read their full interview. Photographed by #AnnieLeibovitz, styled by @tonnegood, @karlawelchstylist and @michael_philouze, written by @robertjhaskell, Vogue, March 2019.