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Cher’s Son Elijah Blue Allman Opens Up About Heroin Addiction: I Started Using Drugs at 11

Cher and son Elijah Blue Allman on March 29, 2001
Cher's son Elijah Blue Allman, 37, says he started using drugs when he was 11 years old and later turned to heroin to "escape all the things" in his past

Cher's son Elijah Blue Allman — whom she welcomed during her marriage to rocker Gregg Allman in the 1970s — was just 11 years old when he used drugs for the first time. What followed was a long battle with addiction, which led to some "close calls" with mortality, he revealed in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight.

"I started with drugs around the same time that we all did, around 11," the now-37-year-old musician and artist confessed, noting that he first experimented with weed and ecstasy. "I mean, it's just what you did, it's just what everybody did."

Related: PHOTOS: Celebrity pot smokers

After some time, he said, he moved on to harder drugs, partly as a way to numb himself to old wounds. "I [was] just looking to escape all the things in my past, and that's when you turn to those kind of drugs, you know, heroin and opiates," he explained to ET. "[Heroin] kind of saved me…If I didn't have that at that point, I don't know what I would have done…You may jump off a bridge. If you can just go through that time period and live through it and then get help…"

Related: PHOTOS: Celebrity rehab centers

Living through it wasn't always a certainty, he admitted. "I did have some close calls and some moments of really feeling at the edge of mortality," the newly married Allman said. "I always kind of kept it a little bit safe, but you never can do that."

Related: PHOTOS: Stars gone too soon

"Even though you think that in your mind, of course the wrong things can happen," he continued. "The wrong combination of things can happen, and you can just slip in to the abyss. I knew it was wrong, and I knew that I was very unsatisfied with life at that point."

These days, he's more settled. Sober since 2008, Allman recently eloped with fiancee Marieangela King, a.k.a. Queenie, of the band King.

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