Ed Sheeran Explains What Drove Him to Stop His Excessive Alcohol and Drug Habits

Ed Sheeran has been open about his alcohol and drug use – discussing it in various interviews throughout his career. For example, he admitted to drinking nearly ten pints in one sitting on a regular basis and would party until 6 a.m. on the regular. He has also admitted to experimenting with drugs. 

“I used to do everything to excess, like real excess. I would go to a restaurant and be like, ‘Oh, I like the look of that and that, and I’ll just eat all of that. I loved drinking everything in sight and all the other stuff,” he said in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music in 2021. He was living a rockstar lifestyle. 

That lifestyle started to change when he became a father for the first time. He and his wife, Cherry Seaborn, welcomed their first daughter, Lyra Antarctica, in August 2020. In the Apple Music interview, he talked about how he had to dial things back – he would still drink, but not nearly as much as he used to.

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On March 21, Ed Sheeran sat down for a cover story interview with Rolling Stone and, once again, opened up about his excessive drug and alcohol use in the past. This time around, he shared the exact moment that he realized it was time to change his ways and dial it back – calling it his ‘wake-up call.’ 

The wake-up call came when his wife issued a stark warning ahead of their first daughter being born. The baby was just a couple weeks away from her arrival when Cherry asked her husband if he really wanted someone else to drive her to the hospital when her water broke – he wouldn’t be able to if he was drunk. 

“And that’s when it clicked. I was like, ‘No, actually, I really don’t.’ And I don’t ever want to be pissed holding my kid. Ever, ever,” he told Rolling Stone. While he never truly plans on quitting, he’s much more aware of how much he drinks now – instead of a bottle of vodka, he’ll opt to have a couple of beers.

His daughter, Lyra, is about to turn two years old in a few months, and he’s also the father to another daughter, Jupiter – who the couple welcomed back in May 2022. Now a father to two beautiful daughters, Sheeran says he has a totally different outlook on life when compared to the earlier years of his career. 

Ed Sheeran Also Opens Up About His Past Drug Use

In addition to his excessive alcohol use, Ed Sheeran also opened up about his past drug use – which he says began at the age of 24 when he was at a festival with his friends. Since all of his friends were using drugs, he figured it couldn’t be all that bad. It didn’t take long before he was using it on a regular basis.

“Then it just turns into a habit that you do once a week and then once a day and then, like, twice a day and then, like, without booze. It just became bad vibes,” he explained. It wasn’t until his best friend Jamal Edwards – who he calls his brother – passed away in 2022 that he decided never to use drugs again. 

Jamal, who he calls his brother, was one of the only people who believed in him and is a major reason why Ed Sheeran became successful. He passed away as a result of cocaine and alcohol use, which is why Sheeran believes it would be disrespectful to Jamal’s legacy if he ever touched another drug again.

“I would never, ever, ever touch anything again because that’s how [he] died. And that’s just disrespectful to his memory to even, like, go near.” His death also taught Sheeran how to manage his depression, adding that he got to a point where he didn’t want to live anymore, which made him feel selfish as a dad. 

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For those that have kept a close eye on Ed Sheeran throughout his career, you’ve likely realized that he’s much more open about his struggles than in years past. If you’re interested in learning more, then stay tuned because he has an upcoming docuseries (May 3) and album (May 5) that details everything!

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