AJ McLean Spoke About The First Time He Tried Drugs

AJ McLean recently opened up about the first time he tried drugs nearly 20 years ago.

The Backstreet Boys singer, who unfortunately suffered from years of addiction, spoke with People magazine about the first time he did cocaine and how he kept his substance abuse a secret for months before seeking treatment.

“I never really had a desire for the drugs, but being an addict — to me, that word encompasses everything,” said AJ. “I was introduced to cocaine literally the night that we shot the video for ‘The Call.’ It was the first time I ever tried it because it was a late-night shoot. I was with a ‘friend’ at the time — who’s clearly not a friend anymore — and [he] offered it to me. I said, ‘No.’ Then I caved and I did it.”

“When I showed up on set and I got in the makeup chair, I told everybody,” he recalled. “I was like, ‘I’m freaking out. I’m on this. I’m on that.’ They were like, ‘You need to stop. Don’t tell the world that you’re on drugs right now.’ Somehow someway, I kept it a secret from everyone for the next at least 18 months before the boys caught on, before my family caught on, before my real friends caught on. I found a way to really keep it under the rug.”

“I would go to bed when the sun was rising and I would wake up when the sun was down,” he added. “Like they say, the definition of insanity, repeating the same mistakes over and over expecting different results. That’s what I did for two years.”

AJ added that he used substances as a “big Band-Aid” to numb his pain.

“I thought drugs and alcohol would make those feelings of insecurity go away,” he said. “But it doesn’t work that way.”

In 2001, AJ said the other Backstreet Boys stepped in to help him through his recovery.

“The most crucial part of that conversation was the final thing Kevin [Richardson] said to me: If I continued using, he said, ‘I will never trust you again. You’re dead to me,'” AJ said.

We’re so happy he’s made it through to the other side as a whole person. Thank you for being so open, AJ.

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