Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown opens up about overcoming cocaine addiction

‘Cocaine became my escape’

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 07 March 2019 13:28 GMT
(Getty Images)

Karamo Brown has opened up about his past cocaine addiction, admitting that the drug became an "escape" for him.

Brown, who stars as the resident culture and lifestyle expert on hit Netflix show Queer Eye, is famed for providing sage advice for those struggling with self-esteem and confidence issues.

The television personality has spoken candidly about the effect recreational use of cocaine once had on his life, revealing that he would sometimes take it multiple times day.

"I went to a place where I was using this drug and using it like early in the morning, in the evening," he recently told People.

Brown recalled a time when he would give his credit card to his drug dealer, whose last name he didn't know, so that he could take money out of the ATM to pay for the drug.

"He could have robbed me blind. That was a low point, where I was like, ‘How could you embarrass yourself?’" Brown said.

The Queer Eye star also recalled one New Year's Eve when he was riding in the back of a car with his mother, who was sitting in the front.

His mother was aware of his cocaine addiction, and watched as Brown used the drug in the back seat.

"The look on her face of hurt, of pain, I was like… I put my family through that," the television personality states.

Self-forgiveness has played an important role in his recovery, Brown says.

"I had to forgive myself, because going through that allows me to talk to people who have addictions and say, ‘I know what you’re going through’," he states.

"It allows me to talk to family members who are dealing with someone who has addiction."

Support free-thinking journalism and attend Independent events

In August 2018, Brown shared a video on Instagram in which he spoke about mental health, and revealed that in 2006 his mental health reached such a low point that he tried to take his own life.

"I know so many of us suffer from mental health issues and we just don't know where to turn," he said.

"I want you to know that things do get better," he added.

Queer Eye's third season is set to premiere on 15 March on Netflix.

If you wish to speak to someone about drug addiction, you can call charity Frank on 0300 123 6600. The helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To speak to emotional support charity Samaritans, you can call the helpline on 116 123.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in