Justin Bieber writes candidly about past drug use, struggles of being a child star

The pop singer said he never learned “the fundamentals of responsibility," which led to “terrible decisions,” including drug abuse. Now, he said that he's “navigating the best season of his life.”
6:11 | 09/04/19

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Transcript for Justin Bieber writes candidly about past drug use, struggles of being a child star
Reporter: The world first met Justin Bieber when he was just a baby. The 15-year-old burst onto the pop music scene and has dominated the charts, with hits like "Sorry." Justin Bieber is not just a huge pop star but one of the best-selling artists globally of all time. Reporter: But now, at 25, after over a decade in the spotlight, Bieber is opening up about the pitfalls of child stardom and how his early fame and fortune affected his mental health. In a candid and revealing Instagram post, Bieber writing, "I have a lot of money, clothes, cars, accolades, achievements, awards and I was still unfulfilled." Even saying, "Sometimes it can even get to the point where you don't even want to live anymore." He said he woke up some days and just didn't want to be alive. He had it all but he felt like he had nothing at all. Reporter: Admitting to doing pretty heavy drugs he said he, "Abused all of my relationships." He added "By 20 I made every bad decision you could have thought of." Those bad decisions, resulting in a DUI charge. He later plead guilty to reckless driving. But then faced accusations of striking a paparozzo with his car. He was not charged for the incident. And his antics, even got the snl treatment. I'm a big boy now. Reporter: All jokes aside, his real life was no laughing matter Bieber's rise to to fame is pure 21st century: He went viral on YouTube. His mom posting videos like this belting out cover songs like Justin Timberlake's "Cry me a river" Reporter: Nightline first met Bieber back in 2010. Here you go, you ready! I feed off the fans' energy. If they're screaming really loud, I get pumped up. And you know, it's really exciting to me. Reporter: He told Chris Connelly about the struggles of being raised by a single mom in Canada. I grew up with not a lot of money. I was living with mom. My mom and dad split up when I was very young. What kind of effect did that have on you as a young kid? My parents splitting up definitely wasn't a highlight of my life. It's sad. The kid experiences feeling like they left. It makes you not feel so good. But now that being in my position that I am now is just like looking back I'm so blessed. Reporter: The then 16-year-old Bieber sounded confident that he could avoid the pitfalls of other child stars. What's going to keep you from making those same bad decisions? Um, my mom. My mom is always there for me and I never want to let her down. Reporter: At 18, he spoke about his devotion to faith. Are you devout in a moral sense? So I know how you feel about drugs but no booze? You gotta be responsible and, you know, as far as alcohol, you just have to be responsible. Don't drink and drive and, excessively. Reporter: But fame seemed to take its toll. Bieber found himself embroiled in scandal after scandal. Justin Bieber's first arrest was in 2014. This was for a DUI in Miami which of course is a very serious offense and some of his other crimes were serious but seemed very juvenile. These were things like urinating in a bucket and leaked video footage. He egged his neighbor's house in calabasas. The list goes on and on. But it never impacted record sales or tours. Reporter: Bieber isn't the first young star to have their talents overshadowed by negative press. This is a pattern that we've seen in Hollywood. I mean of course Britney spears is probably the biggest name that comes to mind. You know she was a huge child star from age 10 and then had that very public meltdown in 2007. Another name that comes to mind is Lindsay lohan. We've seen this with celebrities. It's a typical pattern in Hollywood and I think what Justin Bieber is candidly saying is look don't feel bad for me. You know I understand that I have it all. I'm rich and famous but this isn't normal. Despacito Reporter: It was the summer of 2017, when his collaboration with Luis fonzi on "Despacito" was charting at number one. When it all seemed to come to a screeching halt. Cancelling the final 14 shows of his "Purpose" tour, citing unforeseen circumstances. A week later with fans devastated, he posted this lengthy letter on Instagram, writing, "I want my career to be sustainable, but I also want my mind heart and soul to be sustainable." Bieber had proclaimed a new focus on his faith. At times, turning to pastor, Carl Lentz for spiritual guidance. My nightline co-anchor, Byron Pitts, sat down with the hillsong preacher. You baptized Justin Bieber in a bathtub? Yes, Justin is a friend of ours. He loves the lord with all of his heart. There was a night where he wanted to renew his faith, and he wanted to get baptized again. And if you think that I'm still holdin' on to something you should go and love yourself Reporter: And it seems Bieber has not only been taking time to love himself, but to love his new marriage to model Hailey Baldwin. The couple publically saying their faith was their common denominator and part of the reason why they got together. He summed it up in his latest Instagram post saying, "It's taken me years to bounce back from all of these terrible decisions, fix broken relationship, and change relationship habits. Now I am navigating the best season of my life marriage!" I think that even though Justin Bieber's life is very unrelatable and unrealistic for pretty much everyone in this world. I think his statement actually will strike a chord with all of his followers who are young. You know their teens, they are in their 20s. Reporter: His latest message to beliebers may be providing rare insight into "What does he mean." Reporter: Next, celebrating

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