Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean spoke about his addiction struggles saying that for the first time in 2001, he tried cocaine right before the filming of "The Call" music video.
Though he came clean to his bandmates right after, AJ kept his substance abuse a secret until they started to recognize signs of drug use. AJ McLean’s addiction was so bad that his bandmates started to notice that he was skipping rehearsals and that his behavior began to change. AJ McLean’s drug use started because he “thought it would make those feelings of insecurity go away.”
In July of that year, McLean was confronted by the group and they encouraged him to seek treatment for substance abuse. He remembers Kevin Richardson telling him, “If you continue using, I will never trust you again. You’re dead to me.” Though he received treatment for addiction, AJ McLean’s substance abuse continued for 20 years, up until the end of 2019.
We are glad that AJ is sober and changed his life for the better! Not only is he attending 12-step meetings online, but he also speaks with his sponsor 6 times a day! When AJ spoke about his addiction struggles, he said, “The silver lining of the pandemic for me is that I can really work on myself, get to a meeting every day, and build a foundation of recovery before going back on tour next year. As hard as it is to say, I have zero regrets and am beyond lucky to still be here. I can genuinely say I love myself today.”