Nick Carter joined the Backstreet Boys when he was 12, and early fame and life on the road led him to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. He says he drank heavily while on tour in 2008 and started to feel tightness and pain in his chest. Doctors told him he had early signs of drug-and-alcohol induced cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle and can lead to heart failure.
"You can get whatever you want in this industry. And it’s a vicious cycle," Nick says. "And if you don’t have a good support system, and good family and good friends, you can fall into that hole."
Nick decided to make some changes in his life. He quit abusing drugs and alcohol, started to eat healthier and began to exercise.
"If you're going down this pattern of addiction, drug abuse, food addictions, when you change one thing, then you can change the next," ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says.
Nick is on a 20th anniversary tour with the Backstreet Boys, and he recently released a new book, Facing the Music and Living to Talk about It, where he opens up about how he overcame drug and alcohol abuse.