In a new autobiography detailing his lifelong struggle with drugs and alcohol, Nick Carter says that his parents and siblings used to joke about the first time he tried booze -- when he was 2.
"Family legend has it that when I was 2 years old, I crawled into one of the Yankee Rebel's liquor storage rooms where I was caught drinking for the first time," he writes, referring to the bar on the floor below his parents' apartment. "My parents always laughed at that. I laughed too, for a while, and then I didn't laugh at it anymore."
Excerpted on RadarOnline, the book, "Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It," includes Carter's attempts to unravel his addictions. "My parents … always stressed about money, which is another reason they turned to alcohol so much," he writes. "I began drinking heavily in my teens and then moved on to drugs at eighteen or nineteen, starting with marijuana and moving up to cocaine, Ecstasy, and prescription painkillers, among other substances."
Now 33, Carter says that members of the Backstreet Boys tried to help but had no success as Carter got into a "binge and bump" cycle of heavy drinking followed by cocaine use with his friends. It got to the point, Carter writes, that he was doing cocaine, ecstasy and drinking "an entire bottle of vodka a night."
"I woke up in a hotel room with my head pounding so hard I couldn't focus my eyes," he recalls of one particularly bad night. "My heart was pounding so loud, I thought someone was at the door. I decided my body was trying to get me to pay attention one last time. … It was change or die."
Carter's brother, Aaron, has reportedly sought treatment for substance abuse. Their sister, Leslie, died of a reported drug overdose at the age of 25.