Fallen pop star Leif Garrett blames his early fame on his decades-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction - because he had easy access to illegal substances as a teen celebrity.
The 48 year old began his career at the age of five and eventually became a teen addict - at 17, he crashed his car while high on alcohol and Quaaludes, leaving a friend paralyzed. However, the singer is adamant he could have avoided the pitfalls of fame if he had been properly supervised as a young star on the road.
He tells Good Morning America, "My mom didn't understand, you know. It was partially her fault. You don't allow a 14 or 15-year-old kid to go on the road without parental guidance. The bartenders knew who I was, knew how old I was, but no one said no. I think part of my drug use was that I didn't want to get older. I wanted to stay that rebellious 18 year old, just thinking I was superman or, you know, indestructible. But things catch up to you. Fame is a drug not only to oneself but to others as well."
Garrett admits he still suffers "hardcore nightmares and sleep issues" because of the teenage accident, which he claims led to his addiction to heroin. He has since been charged twice for possession of the drug, with his last arrest taking place earlier this year.
Garrett, who recently sought drug help on Dr. Drew Pinsky's reality series Celebrity Rehab, will begin a court-ordered treatment program next week, but the singer doubts the stint will help him kick his vices once and for all.
He says, "Since I have been out of rehab, I have had a cocktail. But I don't go out and get drunk out of my mind. And I haven't gone to use drugs so... some people say it is (a slippery slope). Some people say it's not. I am going to live my life as me."