AJ McLean opens up about his twenty-year addiction to alcohol after finding his priorities. “God, recovery, family, and me,” says McLean of his current state of mind.
McLean has a loving wife, Rochelle, and two young daughters. Ava, 7, and Lyric, 3, “make me want to be a better human being”, says McLean.
As his fame with the Backstreet Boys began to grow, he felt his insecurities growing as well. His low self-esteem led him to try cocaine for the first time before a music video shoot in 2001.
His drug use became an everyday thing he says, “just like drinking”.
The Backstreet Boys is the best selling boy band of all time. McLean describes it as a “tornado”. This immediate rise to fame in the ’90s had him seeking external validation. He overdosed twice and sought in-patient treatment “multiple times”.
In 2001, McLean checked into a treatment facility at the urging of his bandmates. He did “everything right” and stayed sober for almost seven years.
A relapse happened in 2008 while McLean was on tour and stressed out. He thought at first he could control it, but it eventually turned into the same alcohol and drug abuse.
McLean credits God for saving his life. He said he dropped to his knees and asked God to help him. “My family has saved my life, God has saved my life, and my recovery has saved my life.”
Now eliminated from, but happy to have had the opportunity for, Season 29 of Dancing with the Stars, AJ McLean has finally found peace.