Blue singer Lee Ryan has admitted to using an hallucinogenic “medicine” called ayahuasca, which reportedly killed a 19-year-old British tourist.
Ryan said he takes the hallucinogen during his spiritual retreats to help him deal with his alcohol addiction.
Ayahuasca has been used by tribes in the Amazon rain forest for centuries and is meant to help users have a spiritual experience.
Speaking to The Sun, Ryan said: “I do a lot of spiritual retreats now. It really helped me with my alcohol addiction.
“I started doing a lot of weekends where you work with medicine. Have you heard of ayahuasca? You work with a shaman.
“A lot of these ceremonies are ancient, date back to indigenous tribes 2/3,000 years ago. They’d work with these things to kind of connect to your higher level of self."
The singer revealed that he was driven to alcohol and would drink a bottle of whisky a night after he was made bankrupt in 2013.
On the retreats, he added: “It’s like going through 20 years of counselling in the space of one weekend. It’s been life-changing for me, and I continue to do it.
“It’s helped me so much with depression, having a lot of self-realisation, dealing with past trauma, which has helped me be a better person.
“It’s tough, it’s really hard but totally transformational. I’d recommend it to anyone who needs it.”
In 2018, British student Henry Miller died apparently after consuming the hallucinogen, also known as yagé, while travelling around Colombia.
The hallucinogen is traditionally prepared by boiling Psychotria viridis leaves and stalks of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine in water. While some users claim to feel enlightened by the substance, others say it has caused them distress.