AJ McClean and His Newest Challenge in Sobriety

Backstreet’s back–in recovery for one of its members. AJ McClean’s struggle with drugs and alcohol has been chronicled for the last 20 years, and now the Backstreet Boy has been sober for over nine months. McClean’s problems with drugs and alcohol were first exposed when the band had to cancel part of their tour back in 2001 due to his first rehab stint. Since then, he has been to rehab a few more times because he desires sobriety while battling a powerful addiction. 

What Happened?

After fighting the insidiousness of his addiction for most of the past two decades, McClean was hit pretty hard with the death of Mac Miller in September of 2019. After meeting Mac Miller a few times without any clues that he had addiction issues, McClean related to him. McClean felt like no one knew how big his problems with addiction were even though they had concerns. With two daughters to raise and a marriage to uphold, AJ McClean has begun to put more vigor into his recovery than he ever has because he finally understands that he has too much to live for.  

Where Is He at Today?

The promises do start coming true when recovery is put as a priority. Fans everywhere are excited that AJ McClean is a Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) contestant. AJ is stoked about performing and having a platform to promote his primary personal purpose. When Interviewed by ET Canada, AJ expressed how his recovery would fit into the competition. He stated, “If I do get the privilege of exploring that through dance, [hopefully I can] help another addict and show that we’re human, too. We all make mistakes. We made a mistake, but we’re not a mistake. If I can inspire somebody who’s struggling to take that first step into a meeting or [admit] they have a problem, then I’ve done what I set out to do – pass along the message of Alcoholics Anonymous and help another addict.”

There is no one way to carry the message of recovery to those who may not understand what it entails. Instead of hiding his addiction, McClean hopes to use his time on DWTS as a way to bring about addiction recovery awareness while winning that coveted Mirror Ball trophy. Good luck, AJ! We are all rooting for you and your recovery. 


We love cheering on celebrities in their addiction recovery. We want to get the word out that recovery is worth it when you work it. If you, or someone you know, are struggling to end your relationship with drugs and alcohol, Valiant Living can give you a way out of your addiction. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today at (303) 952-5035 to personalize your recovery program.