Pete Doherty opens up on what prompted heroin abuse: “I completely romanticised it”

1 June 2019, 14:00 | Updated: 1 June 2019, 14:01

The Libertines singer has spoken candidly about what made him start abusing the drug in a recent interview.

Pete Doherty has opened up about what prompted him to start using heroin at the turn of the 2000s.

The Libertines rocker recently gave a candid interview in Phil Taggart’s Slacker Podcast where he discussed everything from his early days in the Camden-based band, to what started his heavy drug use.

Asked by Taggart whether literature was partly responsible for his switch from relatively clean living to hard drugs, Doherty replied: “It was. I fell into a bit of a trance actually with this idea of opium and what it could do and I think the difference between opium in its purest form and skag (slang for heroin)… I didn’t really see it."

The Don't Look Back Into The Sun rocker added: "I completely romanticised it and the world and threw myself in with a rare energy. I also had a bit of trouble sleeping at that time and I found it was helping me to sleep, you know?"

Asked if that was around the time The Libertines started, he replied: "Yeah, [...] 99, 2000".

Listen to the podcast from 32:00 to hear Doherty talk about the subject.

Pete Doherty has been arrested on multiple occasions due to his drug use.

It even was revealed by Doherty in his Pete Walsh-written biography that he used to work as a drug dealer and sex worker to fund his habit before The Libertines found fame.

In 2003 Doherty was sentenced to six months (which was reduced to two months) in prison after breaking into Carl Barat's flat, while The Libertines were performing without him in Japan.

2005 saw Doherty arrested after an altercation with documentary maker Max Carlish and further offences throughout the decade saw Doherty summonsed, arrested or jailed for everything from cocaine possession to driving offences.

As recently as 2017, Doherty was reportedly arrested for "smuggling" heroin through Italy while driving towards Switzerland.

If you have been affected by any of the issues above please reach out to the following organisations:



TEL: 03300 888 3853


Action on Addiction

TEL: 0300 330 0659


TEL: 020 7324 2989

Rehab 4 Addiction

TEL: 0800 140 4690