What’s Wrong With Justin Bieber?

A lawyer, a drug counselor, an addiction expert and a former child star weigh in on what's behind Bieber's recent behavior.
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(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Justin Gone Wild

Being Bieber

beingbieber235 Whats Wrong With Justin Bieber?

By Shannon Carlin

After a tumultuous 2013 in which Justin Bieber made headlines for fighting with his neighborsgoing nuts at a NYC nightclub, peeing on Bill Clinton (well, sort of) and losing custody of his pet monkey, the pop star swore this year would be different. But only 23 days into 2014 and it seems like it’s more of the same.

Earlier today (Jan. 23), Bieber was arrested in Florida for drag-racing and driving under the influence with the official report stating that the officer smelled an “odor of alcohol emanating from the drivers breath and bloodshot eyes.” Bieber—who was charged with resisting arrest without violence, a DUI and driving with an expired drivers license—was later released on a $2,500 bail, stopping on his way out to wave at photographers and blow kisses to his fans.

Related: Read Justin Bieber’s Police Report

“This is the best thing that could have happened to him,” said former child star Danny Bonaduce on his radio morning show on Seattle’s KZOK-FM (a station) hours after news of Bieber’s arrest went public. “Speaking from personal experience, this could save his life.”

In an interview with hours later, Bonaduce spoke further on his claims that jail could be a saving grace for the pop star. “I used to be something like Justin Bieber,” Bonaduce said. “I didn’t have the cash, but you know, every time something I would think was bad happened, somebody would say, ‘Best thing that ever happened to Bonaduce.’ I think there’s absolutely a real chance that the cops saved his life today.”

Bonaduce, who became famous for his role on The Partridge Family in the early ’70s, is no stranger to the law himself, having been arrested numerous times on drug charges including a 1990 arrest for trying to buy cocaine in Daytona Beach. It should be noted, Bonaduce was there to speak at an anti-drug campaign aimed at keeping kids off drugs. Looking at Bieber’s recent troubles, Bonaduce can’t help but see similarities between the pop star and his younger self.

“Being young, stupid and in jail. That’s the exact signs that I see I have in common with this kid,” Bonaduce said, “You know, you can Google it, I can Google it, I went through some ridiculously hard times for very close to 30 years before I got it together. If someone can help get him together without wasting 30 years of his life that would be wonderful.”

Related: Listen to ‘The Danny Bonaduce Show’ on

Bonaduce says he has no stake in Bieber, but believes he’s a talented kid who he’d like to see get his act together before it’s too late. “What is it going to escalate to? What will it be next week?” Bonaduce questioned. “And seriously, if he doesn’t educate himself we’re going to be talking about, ‘Can you believe Justin Bieber is dead?’ I think anyone would actually say, ‘Yeah, I saw this coming.'”

But looking back five years ago, when Bieber first hit the scene, most people wouldn’t have seen this coming.

The Canadian singer—who talked openly about his faith and his close relationship with his mom—got his start on YouTube at the tender age of 14. He made a name for himself with innocent pop songs like “One Less Lonely Girl” and “Baby,” earning him a loyal group of fans better known as his Beliebers. The sugary sweet teen sensation, who found a mentor in Usher and earned the 2012 cover of Forbes for his venture capitalist ways, seemed to be on top of the world. That was, until hormones kicked in.

Dr. Adi Jaffe, Research Director at Alternatives Addiction Treatment Center in Beverly Hills, believes in all seriousness that Bieber’s age could be a factor in his most recent reckless behavior, which follows a search warrant executed on Bieber’s home in Calabasas, California, where drugs and drug paraphernalia were found. Bieber was not charged.

“Rebellion could be an issue here, since that is common among teens and young adults Justin’s age, but it could be a sign that he is becoming less able to control, or hide, that rebellion,” Dr. Jaffe wrote in an email to “Justin is just 19 and we know that, especially for boys, self-control doesn’t fully mature in the brain until around the age of 25.”

Justin Bieber exits the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)Bieber exits the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami on Jan. 23. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Dr. Jaffe pointed out that though Bieber would like to say he’s a normal 19-year-old, your average teen isn’t being followed by hundreds of cameras and having their daily lives publicized in the daily tabloids. “I would say Justin is what happens when you take a normal young adult and put them under a microscope – everything looks much bigger and more extreme,” he wrote.

In his opinion, Bieber’s arrest could simply be nothing more than “an inflated 19-year-old ego with a license to do things most people dream of and little consequence,” but notes that if left unchecked his actions could escalate and eventually lead to a complete disregard for boundaries, regardless of who sets them. “That’s where real legal and criminal consequences may begin to amass,” Dr. Jaffe wrote.

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