Superstar singer and former Black Eyed Peas songstress Fergie “Fergalicious” Duhamel is no stranger to addiction and recovery. Born Stacy Ann Ferguson on March 27, 1975; the multi-platinum Grammy award winner has shared her battle with crystal meth with the world on more than one occasion.
Recently, however; she opened up again about the extent of her addiction and explained how long it took her to regain her sanity.
“I was [suffering from] chemically induced psychosis and dementia. I was hallucinating on a daily basis,” Fergie said in a new interview with the U.K.’s iNews in December 2017. “It took a year after getting off that drug for the chemicals in my brain to settle so that I stopped seeing things. I’d just be sitting there, seeing a random bee or bunny.”
This is not surprising. The withdrawal timeline for methamphetamines is extensive.
She continued, “The drugs thing, it was a hell of a lot of fun… until it wasn’t,” she said. “But you know what? I thank the day it happened to me. Because that’s my strength, my faith, my hope for something better.”
Fergie Sat Down For An Interview With Oprah In 2012 And Talked At Length About Her Addiction
In 2012, Fergie sat down with Oprah and got candid about her crystal meth addiction and subsequent rock bottom. Oprah pointed out that just ten years before; Fergie was broke, unemployed, and addicted to drugs. She noted how far she has come since then.
“What got me through it was a lot of therapy, soul-searching, discovering why I took the drugs in the first pace because that’s really what it is,” Fergie said.
When asked by Oprah what did cause her to take the drugs in the first place, Fergie explained that she was in a group called Wild Orchid and it just wasn’t working. She admitted she was being inauthentic and wasn’t going after the style she wanted to go for.
“I wasn’t being myself and what I should’ve done is say ‘girls, you know, it’s really time for me to go on my own. I need to fulfill this dream of mine to have a solo album.’ And I didn’t know how to do that. I didn’t know how to deal with that confrontation. I wanted to please them, and I didn’t know how to deal, so I started taking drugs instead.”
Fergie Told Oprah How She Hit Rock Bottom
“I got into a scene where I started taking ecstasy and from there I started taking crystal meth. With any drug, everything is great at the beginning and then slowly your life starts to spiral down,” said Fergie; who admitted meth almost killed her and that she got down to 90 pounds at one point.
When Oprah asked Fergie what her rock bottom was, she said, “My rock bottom was….well, my brain had been playing a lot of tricks on me. I thought the FBI was after me. You’re kind of living in this alternate reality. It’s very strange. And I started getting very paranoid. So I went one day into this church and I thought the FBI and the SWAT teams were outside of the church. This is what the drug was telling me.
“So, I had a conversation with God. I’m very close with my Higher Power. I have a very strong connection with It. And, I said, ‘Alright. If I go out there and the FBI and the Swat team’s not out there, then it’s the drugs and I am stopping. But, if they’re out there, I was right the entire time and obviously it’s a big conspiracy.’ So, obviously, I went outside the church – they actually kicked me out – and there was no SWAT team. There was no FBI. Just me. And God. And, I kept my promise. That day. That was it.”
When Oprah asked how long she had been on drugs, Fergie said it was very quick for her. “I was actually lucky I went crazy because it made me stop. It was about a year’s time, so it was actually pretty quick.”
Some Of Fergie’s Low Points During Her Addiction
Fergie has been in recovery now for 18 years and she enjoys sobriety, a gift that keeps on giving. Over the years, Fergie has shared openly about some of the low places her addiction took her. She spoke out about her past drug abuse to Time, referring to it as “the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with.”
Here are a few of the negative experiences Fergie had during her addiction to meth:
- She told US Weekly she blacked out the windows in her apartment, convinced she was under FBI surveillance.
- She also told US Weekly she had delusions and once had an eight-hour conversation with a laundry hamper.
- Another time, according to US Weekly, a drug dealer held a gun to her head as she tried to buy marijuana in a bad neighborhood in L.A.
- The day she hit bottom, she was kicked out of a church, she told the U.K.’s iNews. “Because I was moving down the aisles in this crazy way, as I thought there was an infrared camera in the church trying to check for my body,” she said. “I bolted past the altar into a hallway and two people were chasing me.”
Fergie, a former child star who appeared on Disney Kids Incorporated in the 1980s, admitted to US Weekly that her publicist doesn’t like her talking so openly about her experiences with addiction.
“But I don’t care,” she said. “For me, it’s something I went through. It’s an epidemic, and it’s important to talk about it because it’s a very, very hard thing to stop.”
Understanding Crystal Meth Addiction
It’s no wonder that Fergie experienced hallucinations and thought the FBI and SWAT team were after her the day she hit rock bottom. Meth is a very powerful drug that wreaks havoc on the brain. To understand Fergie’s condition, let’s talk about methamphetamine addiction.
Methamphetamines, also known on the street as meth, ice, crank, and crystal; is a white powdered crystalline substance that can be snorted, smoked, or liquified and injected. It is a powerful stimulant that causes the user to experience euphoria, increased alertness, a false sense of happiness, feelings of increased strength and power, and an altered state of consciousness.
Meth is a highly addictive substance. Many people try ice just once and they are hooked. It’s no surprise that Fergie got addicted to the stuff. Millions of people across the United States are addicted to crystal. Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of people admit themselves into rehab every year to get treatment for an addiction to methamphetamines.
What Meth Does To The Brain
When someone uses crank, their brain gets surged with the natural feel-good chemicals Serotonin and Dopamine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for feelings of contentment, well-being, and happiness. While the brain produces these chemicals on its own, meth produces an overwhelming amount of these chemicals all at once, which causes the user to feel the insane high the drug is known for.
The problem is, once the user comes down from the high, their brain is depleted of Serotonin and Dopamine. This causes the user to crash. Someone who has come down from a meth binge can sleep for days and wake up to feelings of extreme – even suicidal – depression. This is because the brain has no more feel-good chemicals to produce.
Meth Causes Hallucinations, Delusions, And Paranoia
Meth is a stimulant drug that can cause the user to stay awake for days at a time. People who use this drug will often go on a binge and go without sleep or food for seven to ten days. This causes someone who is abusing meth to hallucinate and become delusional and paranoid.
It is not uncommon for people who are binging on crank to concoct elaborate and ridiculous schemes in their mind about being followed by the police, being under the surveillance of extraterrestrial beings, or thinking friends and family members are out to “get” them. This is exactly what Fergie said she experienced in her addiction to meth.
Many people who are high on crank become extremely agitated, hostile, and even violent. For these reasons, people who abuse ice should be considered a danger to themselves and others. You can not reason with someone who is on a meth binge because they are not in their right mind.
What Meth Addiction Looks Like – It Isn’t Pretty
Methamphetamines are made using a number of powerful chemicals, including gasoline and paint thinner. It’s a wonder anyone would take the risk of putting this stuff into their bodies because of the destruction it causes. Although opiates, marijuana, and other naturally-based substances are harmful, crystal meth is especially toxic to the brain and body because it is manufactured entirely from nasty chemicals.
Chronic ice users experience rotting teeth, skin abscesses, and a level of toxicity in their bodies that destroys the liver, kidneys, pancreas, and other vital organs. It also causes the user’s skin to age rapidly. What’s worse is that meth can cause permanent brain damage.
The drug has such a devastating effect to people’s physical appearance, the Meth Project was created to show the progression of the addiction through a series of mug shots of meth users. If you’re using meth and you need a deterrent to help you get off the drug, looking at these pictures might do the trick. Because Fergie only used the drug for a short time, she is lucky that she escaped with her good looks.
Meth Addiction Leads To Withdrawal And Long-Term Recovery
People who are addicted to meth find it hard to quit using the drug because of the terrible withdrawal associated with it. Withdrawal from ice is incredibly painful and it creates a mental type of withdrawal, where withdrawal from drugs like opioids is almost entirely physical.
When someone has been using crank for an extended period of time and they stop using the drug, they will definitely experience extreme withdrawal symptoms. Here are a few:
- Overwhelming depression
- Uncontrollable crying
- Physical body aches
- Physical weakness
- Increased appetite
- Cravings for more meth
Most people find that they cannot quit using meth on their own because the withdrawal symptoms are just too intense.
Do You Have A Meth Addiction? Let Fergie Be Your Inspiration
If you have an addiction to ice, help is available. You can recover, but you shouldn’t try to do it alone. Talk to an addiction specialist about your problem and found out what treatment options are available.
Think about Fergie. She was deep into her addiction and she thought the SWAT team and FBI were after her. When she got clean, she was broke and unemployed. Today, she’s an international superstar with more than 18 years clean. If she can do it, so can you.
Need some motivation to get sober? Here’s seven reasons why you should kick your habit.