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Keith Richards

Keith Richards, the legendary guitarist of the great rock and roll band The Rolling Stones, has never been quiet about his drug use, enjoyment of life, and viewpoint about rehab. Many people who have lived a lifetime of drug abuse and addiction, often recount their tales later in life, looking back on them with a newfound sense of sobriety that helps them see the addiction more clearly. Not Keith Richards.


Keith Richards

The rocker has many times been quoted as having absolutely no regrets, and has even defended his drug use, claiming that heroin is part of what made him an artist. In a 2013 interview for Men's Journal Magazine, Richards elaborated on the way the drug affected his work, stating: "It was - either stay up or crash out or wake up. It was always to do something. Also, I've got to confess, I was very interested in what I could take and what I could do.

"I looked upon the body as a laboratory - I used to throw in this chemical and then that one to see what would happen; I was intrigued by that." He added, "It's like Churchill said about alcohol, 'Believe me - I've taken a lot more out of alcohol than it's ever taken out of me!' And I kind of feel the same way about the dope and stuff. I got something out of it."

Richards' notoriety for drug use started with a string of drug busts throughout the 1960's and 70's that resulted in five trials for drug charges: in 1967, twice in 1973, in 1977 and in 1978. Only the first trial resulted in imprisonment, and within a month the conviction was overturned due to lack of evidence.

Richards had many run-ins with the law regarding his heroin use, which even left him stranded in Canada in 1977. His passport was confiscated and he was refused entry to the United States due to criminal possession of heroin with what Canadian law enforcement deemed "intent to traffic."


The musician has made it loud and clear that he'd rather play his guitar than go to rehab. "I hate all this idea of rehab and giving stuff up because it just means you're hung up on it," he said. His Rolling Stones companion Ronnie Wood has been to rehab many times, to which Richards has suggested is because he loves drama and attention.

Today, Richards has made a significant attempt to cut back on heroin and cocaine use, specifically by sticking to marijuana and wine. He is open about using one addiction to take the place of another, and his official Twitter handle (@officialKeef) plays off the word kief, a slang term for marijuana.

Despite a lifetime of addiction and rabid drug use, he's still rocking out. This past March, it was announced that Richards will release a children's book, a project he is working on with his daughter Theodora. If there's something Richards may love more than drugs, its books. He is an avid reader with his own personal library.

 
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