Red Hot Chili Peppers Bassist Flea Opens Up About Drug Abuse

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea has opened up about his history of substance abuse and how he resists the temptation of drugs.

“I started smoking weed when I was eleven, and then proceeded to snort, shoot, pop, smoke, drop and dragon chase my way through my teens and twenties,” he wrote in an op-ed for TIME.

The 55-year-old musician said he got clean in 1993 at the age of 30 – but continues to struggle.

“Temptation is a bitch though. All my life I’ve gone through periods of horrific anxiety: a tightness in my stomach that creeps up and squeezes my brain in an icy grip. My mind relentlessly whirring, I can’t eat or sleep, and I stare into a seemingly infinite void of despair, a bottomless pit of fear,” wrote Flea. "Ouch. Man, drugs would fix all that in a flash.”

Flea said he has learned to be grateful for the pain in his life.

This pain includes a broken arm he suffered a few years ago in a snowboarding accident. Flea said his doctor gave him a two-month supply of Oxycontin.

“The bottle said to take four each day. I was high as hell when I took those things,” he recalled. “It not only quelled my physical pain, but all my emotions as well. I only took one a day, but I was not present for my kids, my creative spirit went into decline and I became depressed.”

Flea said medical professionals need to be more discerning and there needs to be more programs and services for people who get hooked on prescription medication.