Anthony Kiedis Explains Grip Heroin Had On Him, How He Finally Got Sober

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

October 21, 2022

Photo: AFP

Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis admits that when he began doing hard drugs, it was partly because the danger appealed to him.

Kiedis began drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana as a young teenager. He tells Joe Rogan in a new conversation that eventually he decided to try harder stuff, but it wasn't because he was in a band.

"It had nothing to do with rock 'n' roll," Kiedis said. "It was exciting and dangerous, like, 'Hmm, everyone is afraid of that, I think I'll do that thing that just the word scares people. But it was also a way of checking out... I felt whole by putting these things in me, until I had to pay the toll."

Kiedis alluded to underlying mental health issues, reasoning that he felt cocaine and heroin were "going to make me well...but it was just killing me."

Kiedis began understanding the severity of his own heroin habit by seeing how the drug affected RHCP guitarist Hillel Slovak, who was briefly kicked out of the band due to problems with his addiction.

Slovak died from an overdose in 1988, but Kiedis says that truthfully wasn't the reason he eventually sought treatment for himself before the decade was over.

"My best friend died, which did not instigate sobriety, but it definitely destroyed me, emotionally," he explained. "But I continued to use after he died. And then I got to the point where I could not turn off the noise with drugs and alcohol... I was putting all this poison in me and I was still here."

Kiedis spent nearly all the money he had at the time on his treatment program, and stayed sober for nearly 5 years before a relapse in 1994. Kiedis has reportedly remained sober since 2000.

Red Hot Chili Peppers just released their second double-album of the year, Return of the Dream Canteen. The band plans to support the new record on tour next year.

Go here for the tour dates.

Red Hot Chili Peppers
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