Fergie’s crystal meth addiction came on quick and crashed down hard. Her delusions of being tracked by the FBI led her to the moment she finally found freedom from drugs.
Before her time with the Black Eyed Peas, singer Fergie struggled with a severe crystal meth addiction.
“I thought the FBI was after me,” she explained in an interview with Oprah. “You’re in this kind of alternate reality and I started getting really paranoid.”
She has been incredibly open and honest about her past struggles with her crystal meth addiction, sharing her experience in interviews with various outlets. She doesn’t claim to be sober as she still consumes wine but has been free of drugs since joining the Black Eyed Peas in the early 2000s, around 2002.
“The drugs thing, it was a hell of a lot of fun,” said Fergie, “until it wasn’t.”
Discovering a Way to Escape
During the end of her time with Wild Orchid, she started to feel the desire to venture out on her own and create a solo album. While she enjoyed the years spent with Wild Orchid, Fergie felt herself called to pursue the creation of her own album.
However, she found herself unable to share this truth with her groupmates. She feared she would let the group down if she left. Instead, she continued to work with them despite wanting to explore other creative avenues. “I wasn’t being myself,” she told Oprah. “I didn’t know how to deal with confrontation, so I turned to drugs to distract myself.”
She started with party drugs in the evenings like ecstasy. Not long after, though, she discovered methamphetamines, or crystal meth. The powerful sway of the crystalline amphetamine would soon change the course of her life for the following year.
Fergie’s Descent into Drug Addiction
Once she was introduced to crystal meth, Fergie believed she had found her solution. Meth provided a way to escape the pressures surrounding her. It seemed like a helpful alternative to the feeling of being trapped by not following her dream of pursuing the venture of a solo album.
However, she found herself wrapped up in the world of drugs much quicker than she initially expected. Looking back, she realizes now that the dramatic descent into a despairing drug addiction took only a year total.
She began using crystal meth on a daily basis, multiple times a day. “At my lowest point, I was [suffering from] chemically induced psychosis and dementia. I was hallucinating on a daily basis,” she told Nick Levine of iNews.
During an interview with Self in 2007, Fergie recounted a time that she had an eight-hour, one-sided conversation with a laundry hamper. Due to the hallucinations and psychosis caused by the methamphetamines, she believed there was a person inside of the hamper that she was speaking with. “I remember thinking somebody was inside of it, going to come and get me!” she explained.
Due to her increasing struggles with crystal meth, along with her erratic behavior, Wild Orchid’s record label dropped her from the group. She ended up with the result she wanted but absolutely destroyed her sanity in the process. Oprah put it rather bluntly during her interview with the pop star: “Rather than say what needs to be said, I think I’ll take drugs instead.”
If only Fergie had the tools to deal with the confrontation beforehand, she may have been able to save herself the year of struggle.
Her Hallucination-Inspired Kick into Getting Clean
With such an intense addiction to crystal meth, you might think she would never have gotten clean. If you are familiar with addicts active in their addiction, they can withstand an incredible beating before they finally, if ever, get clean. So what finally pushed Fergie to get clean?
She was in church, of all places.
She was at a loss for what to do and where to go. Spun out on crystal meth and hallucinating, Fergie found herself in a church. As she looks back and recounts the story now, she believes she ended up there due to her Catholic upbringing and an intervention from her higher power.
“I went into this church,” she explains. “I thought the FBI and a SWAT team were tracking me and after me.” Those who know someone who has used methamphetamines know that this is an unshakeable belief in the minds of many crystal meth addicts. The delusions that they are under government surveillance hold true and can hardly be dissuaded.
Workers in the church tried to kick her out due to her erratic behavior. “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. I bolted past the altar into a hallway and two people were chasing me.”
It was then that she had a small moment of clarity. Fergie reached out to God and made a deal: “If I walk outside, and the SWAT team’s out there, I was right all along. But if they’re not out there, then it’s the drugs making me see things…and if it really is the drugs, I don’t want to live my life like this anymore, anyway.”
When she exited the church, she found herself alone in the parking lot with God. No FBI, no CIA, no SWAT team. Just Fergie and her higher power. And from that day on she kept the promise she made. She has been clean since being kicked out of that church back in 2002.
Recovering from a Seemingly Hopeless Psychosis
How has Fergie continued to progress with her recovery? Especially while continuing to drink alcohol, something many addicts find themselves incapable of doing. It’s all or nothing for most in recovery; picking and choosing does not work. Fergie recognizes this herself. “For most addicts, they would advise never to have any sort of substance. I just have my own journey, and I am very blessed this day to be alive.”
Through work with a therapist and extreme soul-searching, she dug down to the roots and discovered why she used the drugs in the first place. In addition, she credits much of her recovery to her closeness with God. “I’m very close with my higher power. I have a very strong connection with it,” she told Oprah.
In reference to the day in the church, she said, “I thank the day it happened to me. Because that’s my strength, my faith, my hope for something better.” Fergie’s openness about her own struggle with drugs can hopefully inspire many others to look at and reflect on their own relationships with mind-altering substances.
Fergie’s story is one that many addicts can relate to. While the timeline and outside circumstances may differ, the hopelessness is one every addict understands. The feeling like there is no escape, no way out, no way to change anything. However, her story is also inspiring. It shows that there is a way to triumph over your addiction, to take your life back into your own hands.
Not everyone experiences the same rock-bottom moment. Some can stop while still relatively unharmed. Others need to pull down the entire structure they’ve built around themselves multiple times before they make the realization that something is wrong.
No matter when you make the decision to stop, you can follow through on it with dedication and hard work. If Fergie can get sober while stumbling through the spotlight and live on to share her experience, use her story as an inspiration to take charge in your own life and give yourself the chance to be free.