Lauren Conrad will always be known as the "girl who didn't go to Paris" because she decided to stay in California with then-boyfriend Jason Wahler. But their summer ended in unexplained heartbreak. What "The Hills" didn't show was Wahler's intense struggle with alcohol addiction, which contributed to their failed relationship.
Wahler returned to the show in 2007, claiming to be cleaning up his act, but it wasn't until his 2010 stint on "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew" that the reality bad boy finally made a commitment to getting clean and sober.
In a telling new blog post for HuffPost Celebrity, Wahler opened up about his struggles with addiction and how his reality TV background fueled the flame and led to him almost dying.
"I was in the fight for my life, but I didn't realize it," the newlywed star revealed. "My mistakes and run-ins with the law always hit the wires because of my time spent on MTV's 'Laguna Beach' and 'The Hills.' I was quickly becoming known as the non-stop partier from Orange County, when truthfully, I was just like any other alcoholic who was humiliated because of their spiral out of control. I knew that 'Laguna' and 'The Hills' weren't the source of my addiction, but the overnight success, fame and cash ignited my addiction much quicker."
Wahler's addiction became so bad that he almost took his own life at one point.
"I was so uncomfortable in my own skin that I contemplated suicide a number of times, and even attempted it once," he revealed. "I took 10 times more Antabuse [a popular drug that helps alcoholics abstain from drinking] than I was supposed to in an effort to take my own life, but was saved after being rushed to the hospital and receiving treatment for my overdose. That was about four years ago, and I have now been sober for three."
After completing Season 4 of "Celebrity Rehab," Wahler was in a much better place. He made amends with Conrad, who got engaged to boyfriend William Tell last weekend -- the same weekend Wahler himself got married.
The California native credits much of his sober success to model Ashley Slack, his new bride. It's been a long journey for the star, but he remains committed to keeping clean.
"I now take pride in how I look, and live a healthy lifestyle that is reflected in my physicality," he said. "I could see the obvious difference between who I was then at 19 and who I have become now -- and believe the public can see the same, too, despite my past reputation."
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