Former teen idol Leif Garrett is doing well these days after struggling with a harrowing decades-long drug addiction that destroyed his career, health and life at the height of his fame.
Garrett, 51, said it was easy to fall prey to drugs and partying as a teen pop star, and warns of the dangers of having too much too soon in Hollywood.
"[Drug addiction] takes your soul," Garrett told Fox News Aug. 19. "It’s your lover. It’s your food .... My heroes and A&R guys on the bus were doing drugs so I was doing drugs."
Garrett, who was as big a star in the 1970s as Justin Bieber is today, says he was lucky to have overcome his crippling heroin addiction, and warns Bieber to stay grounded despite the fan adulation and fortune that's being thrust on him now.
"[My advice to Justin is] Do not believe your own publicity," said Garrett. "Sussing out who your real friends are is full-time work. Every scum bag, every drug dealer, every chicken hawk wants a piece of you."
While Bieber, 19, has recently been making headlines for his nonstop partying, he told Oprah Winfrey in November 2012 that he would never become a drug addict or an alcoholic because he surrounds himself with people he trusts and can turn to for help.
"Just remembering what's important [curbs my self-destructive tendencies]," said Justin, who works out regularly, plays sports and relaxes at least one day a week.
"I know I’m not going to make a life-changing bad decision, as some people have. I’ve seen it happen too many times. I could be my own worst enemy, but I don’t want to mess this up.”
While his work and travel schedule is relentless and chaotic, the Canadian pop juggernaut said he tries to be as normal as possible and appreciates all that he has worked so hard for.
"I try to be as normal as I can with the abnormal life that I have," he said. "It's definitely not normal, and there’s so many sacrifices that I’ve had to do. But at the end of the day, I’ve been able to do so much that I would have never been able to do."