Carl Barat ''had a rule'' never to take heroin or cocaine.

The Libertines' co-frontman admitted he struggled with drugs when he was younger but revealed his rule meant he has never suffered the same levels of addiction as bandmate Pete Doherty.

Speaking about his debauched life when the band rose to fame in 2002, he said: ''I embraced it as much as Peter did, no doubt about it. And that made it hard, of course it did. But I had a rule that said you can't do heroin and crack, because they seemed to be in a different area. Now that rule would maybe have been broken if I had been interested in crack and heroin. But to me crack is just panic and heroin is inactivity ... but hopefully that's all behind us.''

Despite his decision to avoid the illegal substances, the 36-year-old musician - who has started writing tracks for a third album with his bandmates now Pete has successfully completed a stint in rehab - said when he did try heroin, he didn't become hooked because he wanted to have sex and not fall curse to the drug's side effect of sexual inactivity.

He told The Guardian newspaper: ''It made me feel nauseous for a start, and that's never a pleasant experience. Also, my drugs have always been uppers because I like to be in control of my faculties - I've got so much to expel and express that I feel like heroin's slowing me down. It also makes you sexually inactive, and I didn't want to be sexually inactive as a 23-year-old. And also, it's just a drag - it's smelly with all the paraphernalia and burned fingers. It's not romantic opium, it's skanky heroin.''