Prince Harry reveals drugs were a ‘comfort’ to help deal with trauma

The Duke of Sussex said psychedelics gave him a ‘release, comfort, a lightness’ and were ‘one of the fundamental parts of my life that changed me’

Joe Middleton
Monday 06 March 2023 08:37 GMT
Spare: Revelations from Prince Harry's book

Prince Harry has revealed that using marijuana and psychedelics helped him deal with trauma in his life, as he is diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) during a livestream interview.

The Duke of Sussex spoke to Dr Gabor Mate, a trauma expert, and they covered a wide range of topics, including his mother’s death, drug use, his time in the army, and his relationship with other members of the royal family.

On using drugs, Prince Harry said: “(Cocaine) didn’t do anything for me, it was more a social thing and gave me a sense of belonging for sure, I think it probably also made me feel different to the way I was feeling, which was kind of the point.

“Marijuana is different, that actually really did help me.”

The duke also spoke of using plant-based psychedelics such as ayahuasca, after Dr Mate told of using it with his patients.

Harry said: “It was the cleaning of the windscreen, cleaning of the windshield, the removal of life’s filters just as much as on Instagram, these layers of filters.

“It removed it all for me and brought me a sense of relaxation, release, comfort, a lightness that I managed to hold on to for a period of time.

“I started doing it recreationally and then started to realise how good it was for me, I would say it is one of the fundamental parts of my life that changed me and helped me deal with the traumas and pains of the past.”

Prince Harry and his fiancee, US actress Meghan Markle, visit Nottingham for their first official public engagement together on December 1, 2017

Harry, who took part in the interview to continue publicising his controversial tell-all memoir Spare, also spoke about the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 when the duke was just 12 years old.

Dr Mate told him: “Reading the book, I diagnose you with ADD....I see it as a normal response to normal stress.”

He said this can be “healed at any age”. The Duke of Sussex responded: “Thanks for the free session.”

Prince Harry also tackled some of the negative reaction to his book, that included a recent particularly scathing portrayal of the prince and his wife, Meghan, in an episode of South Park.

Speaking about dismissive reaction to the tome, the Duke of Sussex said: “Sometimes I’m surprised and sometimes I’m not.

It has not yet been confirmed whether Harry will be invited to attend his father’s coronation in May

“It is the same group of people who react the same way when someone in a position like myself talk about their trauma.

“As we’ve already discussed, I’m not a victim in this, but there’s almost a balancing act.

“The more they criticise, the more they comment, the more I feel the need to share. I found a way to be able to look around, and firstly ignore, the criticisms and the abuse.”

Talking about his army career, he claimed that some British soldiers were not “necessarily” supportive of military efforts in Afghanistan.

During the livestreamed conversation, Dr Mate told the Duke of Sussex that he did not align with the West during the conflict.

Harry responded: “One of the reasons why so many people in the United Kingdom were not supportive of our troops was because they assumed that everybody that was serving was for the war.

“But no, once you sign up, you do what you’re told to do.

“So there was a lot of us that didn’t necessarily agree or disagree, but you were doing what you were trained to do, you were doing what you were sent to do.”

The Duke of Sussex also revealed that a lack of hugs he received from members of the royal family during his childhood has affected how he raises his children.

He said: “It leaves me in the position now, as a father of two kids of my own, to make sure that I smother them with love and affection,” he said. “Not smother them to the point where they’re trying to get away and I’m like, ‘No, come here I need to hug you.’”

Harry’s latest interview comes after the revelation that he and wife Meghan have been asked to leave Frogmore Cottage by King Charles.

Sources claimed that the couple are “not fighting” the decision, as they are said to be making arrangements to have their remaining belongings shipped to California.

It has not yet been confirmed whether Harry will be invited to attend his father’s coronation in May or whether he will accept if he is asked to come.

Additional reporting by PA

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