It’s very sobering to hear Jason Wahler talk about his long battle with addiction.
The Laguna Beach star, unforgettable to fans for his star-crossed connection with co-star Lauren Conrad, is looking back at his time on the infamous MTV series. Now 33 years old, it’s clear the reality TV alum has done quite a bit of necessary introspection about the show, his addiction, and his life over the years.
Speaking on the Behind the Velvet Rope podcast in a brand new interview this week, Wahler admitted his addictive behavior started before he was ever cast on the iconic series. But receiving fame, fortune, and the ability to party all over the world on MTV’s dime didn’t exactly help things along, either.
The now-bearded star recalled how things changed rapidly for his teen-aged self at the time:
“I had addiction way before the show started, it added fuel to the fire. Everything shifted , and I was being paid to party and travel the world. Most of your friends are looking for fake ID’s and I thought I was living the dream. It was one of those things that you get so caught up into it and there was no one you could really talk to, or relate to, for advice or suggestions.”
That attitude quickly landed Jason in rehab while still filming, though he admits now that he “didn’t take it too seriously” at the time.
But once Laguna Beach ran its course on TV, his daily schedule freed up considerably — and his addictive habits quickly worsened.
“I had some accountability — not that I necessarily stuck to it back then — but when the show went off, it went straight to this partying every day and living that life. From 18 to 23, I went to 12 different treatment centers. I was just in and out, in and out, in and out, until I ended up getting into Celebrity Rehab.”
And while rehab and treatment occasionally helped in small ways here and there, none of it compared to one particularly poignant moment between the reality TV star and his father.
LC’s infamous ex recalled the moment that changed it all, explaining his dad’s powerful revelation during a therapy session:
“I don’t know how that didn’t happen before, but it came to a point where the light came on for my parents. My dad in a therapy session just looked at me, and I had never seen him breakdown except for when his mom died, and he just looked across and he goes, ‘Look Jason, I don’t know what we’re going to do. Our marriage is suffering. There is just no intimacy. There is nothing there, we’re like two planks of wood waiting for the phone call that you’re dead.’”
While Wahler recently admitted he slipped up in his journey to sobriety, that “turning point” with his father turned out to be the rock bottom from which he rebounded, cleaned up, and got his life together. The journey hasn’t always been easy, but the reality TV vet says he’s “happy” now, and living better than he has in a long time:
“I am so happy I have the education and the knowledge I do today. I basically have taken my story and continued it on a public level to give people hope and inspiration.”
Really rooting for Jason to continue down this good path, even if he stumbles here and there!
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