Prince Harry Was 'Being Honest' About His Life Story by Disclosing Drug Use

Prince Harry's disclosures of drug use in his memoir Spare are the "least of his problems" and show that he was simply "being honest" about his life story, according to a recent debate on a British morning show.

Harry's revelations in his memoir and in interviews that he has experimented with psychedelic drugs, cocaine, magic mushrooms, ayahuasca and marijuana have become a topic of debate in recent days as U.S.-based right-wing group The Heritage Foundation is lobbying D.C. officials to make public the prince's visa application.

If the royal had disclosed to the Department of Homeland Security his use of recreational drugs, it's possible that his visa would have been denied. But it's now unlikely to have any negative ramifications, a legal expert previously told Newsweek.

Prince Harry "Spare" Drug Revelations Criticism
Prince Harry attends the Invictus Games in Düsseldorf, Germany on September 6, 2022. The prince has faced criticism over his self-disclosed revelations about his recreational drug use. SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP via Getty Images

In an appearance on Tuesday's Good Morning Britain, Newsweek's chief royal correspondent Jack Royston argued that after signing a number of lucrative content creation deals, Harry has had to make some disclosures about his personal life, and ones about his drug-taking hurt nobody but himself.

"The guy signed up to do a multi-million-pound tell-all memoir," Royston said. "He's got to give them something. Talking about drugs doesn't hurt other people and it's fine for us to have a debate about a counter argument, which is that psychedelic drugs can go terribly wrong for some people. But this is the guy's life story and he's being honest so why shouldn't he come out and just say it?"

In Spare, Harry discussed at length his mental health journey which was impacted by his mother's death at the age of 12, and his experiences having seen active duty during his time in the British Armed Forces.

After a therapist suggested he could be experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the royal told readers that therapy and home remedies helped his journey to manage his past experiences which included meditation and self-medication.

"Psychedelics did me some good as well. "I'd experimented with them over the years, for fun, but now I'd begun to use them therapeutically, medicinally," Harry wrote.

"They didn't simply allow me to escape reality for a while, they let me redefine reality. Under the influence of these substances I was able to let go of rigid preconcepts, to see that there was another world beyond my heavily filtered senses, a world that was equally real and doubly beautiful—a world with no red mist, no reason for red mist. There was only truth."

The royal also referenced his drug use in a recent promotional interview for Spare with author Dr. Gabor Mate. He said of his experiences: "[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."

Prince Harry "Spare" Memoir
Copies of Prince Harry's "Spare" memoir photographed on its release day, January 10, 2023. The prince revealed in the book that he experimented with psychedelic drugs such as magic mushrooms. Scott Olson/Getty Images

The prince has been criticized for appearing to advocate for the use of psychedelics. British TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp took to Twitter to post her disapproval, writing: "if you have a vast platform you don't mouth off about using illegal drugs the trade in which kills people."

After his conversation with Mate, drugs education advocate and founder of the DSM Foundation, Fiona Spargo-Mabbs OBE, said that Harry's revelation could be viewed as an encouragement.

"It is understandable that when people are struggling, they look around for ways to cope," she told ITV News. "This is particularly true of young people, an increasing number of whom we know have been struggling with their mental health during and since Covid, yet who are unable to access support services because they are so stretched.

"Given this context, Prince Harry's comments about using drugs as a way of dealing with past trauma could easily be misconstrued as being true across the board," she said.

So far, the prince has not responded to criticism over his discussion of drugs, neither has the royal household who, on behalf of the royal family, have adopted a "no comment" position on Harry's comments in Spare or his interviews promoting it.

Newsweek reached out to representatives of Prince Harry via email for comment.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek's royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek's The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email We'd love to hear from you.


Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts