Former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler admitted that being left out of the band’s 2016 reunion challenged his ability to stay away from drink and drugs – but that he managed to resist the urge.

His addiction issues contributed to his firing from the classic-era lineup in 1990, and although he's made a few guest appearances with Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan on the Not in This Lifetime road trip, he wasn’t invited to return full time.

“I thought me and Slash were going to be like Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson [of Rush],” Adler recently told 98.9 The Rock (via Blabbermouth). “They've known each other since they were in junior high school, they grew up together playing music, they got successful and they stayed together for, like, 50 years. I thought that's how Slash and I were going to be, but it didn't work out that way. Friends come and friends go, even ones that you think and really feel in your heart you're going to have forever. I have no resentments. That's the only reason that I'm able to stay sober and not drinking.

“This whole GN'R thing, trust me – in 2016 and 2017, them not using me and Izzy [Stradlin], that would have been the perfect excuse for me to go off and start drinking and drugging. I did that the last time – last time they threw me under the bus, I did do that, because my heart was broken. Now I'm stronger; I practice the four agreements; and I was able to get through this. And now, I'm going to start playing again."

Adler said his guest spots on the tour were "very exciting, [but] I wish the guys would have wanted to have done the real reunion with me and Izzy." "It was just so great," he said. "You get love from 100 people, it's a wonderful feeling. You get love from 85,000 people, it's a high. There's no drug better. It was so great to be able to look down and see Slash and Duff and Axl. I'm a fan, and all the fans wanted to see the original five of us, but it didn't work out that way.”

He added that he had "no say" in the decision and apologized to fans who wanted the entire lineup onstage every night. “I did my best, I swear on God I did," he said. "Everybody, get on the website and put some prayers into God. Let's make this happen this new year.”

Adler's band, Adler’s Appetite, is marking the recent 30th anniversary of GNR's debut album, Appetite for Destruction, by playing it in full on tour. The drummer has shows planned in Australia, Europe, South America and the U.S.