Nick Carter, from the boy band the Backstreet Boys, has publicly discussed his struggle with addiction, mainly to prescription painkillers. Although he is now drug free, Nick admits he still battles with alcohol addiction.
It comes as no surprise that when an addicted person is not properly treated for the underlying causes of and reasons for continued substance abuse, simply stopping the use of a drug of choice will not cure the brain aspect of addiction.
The term transfer of addiction is used to explain Nick Carter’s situation: giving up drugs, mainly prescription painkillers, lead to his addiction to alcohol. In other cases, an addict or alcoholic who gets clean and sober will then start exercising incessantly, or will compulsively engage in a behavior like gambling, sex, or shopping. Others turn to food when drugs and alcohol are no longer options for relief and coping. An eating disorder can develop as quickly as the drug or alcohol addiction did.
A Family Disease
Addiction and alcoholism can be both genetically and environmentally passed on to the next generation. In Nick’s case, a tumultuous childhood for him and his siblings lead to cases of diagnosable substance abuse in 3 out of 5 of the Carter offspring. Nick’s brother, Aaron Carter, who also found some success in the music industry, started using drugs and alcohol at a young age. With an older brother setting an example, and money as no object, Aaron’s life spiraled out of control without parental intervention. When Aaron was ready, Nick took him to rehab.
Leslie Carter was also heavily into substances, but she did not get the chance to change her life. In 2012, at age 25, she died of a drug overdose. Nick’s parents blamed him for Leslie’s death, which split the Carter family even further.
At 33, Nick feels lucky to be alive. He is working on permanently changing his life for the better, and his progression started with a medical scare. Precipitated by some physical pain, Nick went to see a doctor who wanted to run some tests. While waiting for the results, Nick says his anxiety took over and he just needed an escape. In an interview with People Magazine, Nick said, “I went out and just went nuts. I drank so much and I did a bunch of blow. I felt like I was trying to kill myself – because I didn’t want to get the results.”
Drinking and drugging did not help matters. Nick was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition where a weakened heart muscle can cause sudden death. He stopped using all pills, but continued to drink. Will Nick Carter’s next step be giving up alcohol too?
Nick is telling all in his autobiography, “Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It.” He discusses his family, his partying days, and his relationship with Paris Hilton, among other things. Nick is focused on making his life better each day, and he recently got engaged to fitness expert and actress, Lauren Kitt.
For Nick, and others like him, sobriety is the first step in moving life in a healthy and positive direction. With medically-monitored detoxification and then formal treatment, addicts and alcoholics can leave substances behind for a life of successful recovery.
If you, or someone you care about, has been abusing drugs and alcohol, intervention and treatment are needed to make changes before medical and mental health complications cause irreversible damage.
The treatment team at Balboa Horizons is available to help assess the situation, and to recommend appropriate action. Contact the treatment center now and start making decisions that lead toward a life of health and happiness without drugs and alcohol.