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Backstreet Boy AJ McLean, now sober, recalls hitting "rock bottom" nine months ago

ABC/Kelsey McNeal

AJ McLean of Backstreet Boys has had a well-documented struggle with substance abuse, and has made several trips to rehab.  But now he tells PeopleTV that it was just over nine months ago that he finally hit what he calls “rock bottom.”

As AJ recounts, he had traveled to Las Vegas to see Shania Twain, but had secretly planned to binge on drugs and alcohol the whole time as one “last hurrah,” and then return home and pretend it never happened.  However, things didn’t quite work out that way.

When he returned home, after missing several flights, AJ says he “reeked of alcohol,” which prompted his youngest daughter to say, “You don’t smell like my daddy.”  AJ says that was his “moment of surrender,” adding, “For me, that was my rock bottom.”

“I felt disgusting. That was the moment I dropped to my knees and said, ‘God, I cannot do this on my own. I have tried and I have failed miserably. So help a brother out.’” he recalls.

He says he’s been clean and sober ever since, and is currently competing on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.

“My family has saved my life, God has saved my life, and my recovery has saved my life,” he says. “Without those three things, I wouldn’t be here.”

By Andrea Dresdale
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