Jelly Roll Says He Tries to 'Stay Away From Drugs' After Reconsidering His Relationship With Cocaine

Jelly Roll revealed that it took him a long time to learn he could "drink alcohol without doing cocaine."

Jelly Roll recently opened up about his past substance abuse issues, saying that he tries to "stay away from drugs" after reconsidering his relationship with cocaine. "I had to learn that you could drink alcohol without doing cocaine. It took me a long time to learn that," he recently told PEOPLE. "I've never said that, but that's real. There was a long time where I just assumed, when people told me they drank without doing cocaine, I was like, I thought we only drank to do cocaine."

As a younger man, Jelly Roll was in and out of jail for various crimes, including drug-related charges. These days, he's a rapper-turned-award-winning country music star on the rise who chooses to give back by visiting prisons and juvenile detention centers to perform and "do a little encouraging" for the inmates. "I always said that if I ever got in this situation, I would do everything I could to give back," he explained. "The fact that just me showing up places can make people happy is such a gift, and I feel like if God gave me that gift, I should show up."

Reflecting more on his past with drugs and alcohol, the "Save Me" singer said, "I thought [drinking] was to make us not feel like drug addicts. Nobody wants to snort cocaine sober, then you're a drug addict. But I had to re-look at my relationship with alcohol like that." He added, "I never really had a problem with alcohol, so I'll still have a cocktail, but very, especially this year, very seldomly. Like, special night kind of stuff, like the night of the CMAs, of course we partied. But I just try to stay away from drugs."

While he has never been to rehab, Jelly Roll revealed that he does "occasionally" attend meetings for addiction support. "I've never talked about this in interviews, but because I do drink and smoke weed, I will attend meetings occasionally. If I'm really struggling with thinking of my behavioral pattern, I'll go to a meeting," he shared. "I just – out of an abundance of respect for the people who really got off the drugs completely, and the alcohol and the weed – don't necessarily claim to be a part of the program, because I respect their work and I would never want to diminish it with some of my actions, but AA has done a lot for me."