The 69-year-old Rolling Stones musician said he still drinks and smokes marijuana, but quit using "smack" or heroin because drug laws have become more strict in recent years. He also said he stopped using cocaine after he fell out of a tree and injured his head.
Celebrity news website RadarOnline said Richards talked about his drug use when a Men's Journal writer asked him about heroin being part of his "Protestant work ethic" for an interview in the July issue of the magazine.
"It was -- either stay up or crash out or wake up," Richards said. "It was always to do something. Also, I've got to confess, I was very interested in what I could take and what I could do. I looked upon the body as a laboratory -- I used to throw in this chemical and then that one to see what would happen; I was intrigued by that. What one would work against another; I've got a bit of an alchemist in me that way. But all experiments must come to an end."
Richards went on to say he doesn't believe drugs damaged his body and insisted it enabled him to work harder.
"If I stayed up, I got a few more songs out of it," he said. "It's like Churchill said about alcohol, 'Believe me -- I've taken a lot more out of alcohol than its ever taken out of me!' And I kind of feel the same way about the dope and stuff. I've got something out of it. Might've pissed off a lot of people."