Deadliest Catch star Nick McGlashan has opened up about his drug addiction, while the reality TV cameras were rolling.
McGlashan gained some fame and recognition as a deck boss on the past four seasons of the Discovery Channel's popular, long-running reality TV show about Bering Sea crabbers. But years of worsening alcohol and drug addiction stripped away much of the good in the 29-year-old's life and his problems were coming to the surface.
By fall of 2016, McGlashan couldn't hide it anymore. He was working on the crabbing boat Summer Bay for Bill "Wild Bill" Wichrowski, a captain who considered McGlashan "the best deck hand in Alaska."
The Deadliest Catch production crew and everyone else noticed McGlashan at his worst. They described him as pale, slurring his words, while coming down off drugs. When his captain learned of his stash of drugs in Dutch Harbor, he was fired, which was captured by the reality series cameras.
"All I ever wanted to do was be a fisherman, and I lost that," said McGlashan. "I lost the ability to work at sea because I forgot how to live on land."
While losing his dream was something brutal, McGlashan credits it for pushing him to get sober and launching him on a new path. After being fired by Wichrowski, McGlashan revealed he flew to Anchorage with $10,000 in cash and bought heroin. Then he bought a one-way ticket to Florida.
"I didn't know what I was doing," he said.
The next stop was inpatient drug and alcohol treatment in Washington state. He walked through the doors of the treatment facility on Nov. 11 and has been clean and sober ever since.
In early May, McGlashan wrote his story in a confessional essay published in the online magazine Chosen. He admitted that he'd overdosed three times, and had been drinking a "half-gallon of vodka and shooting two grams of heroin, and one gram of meth" daily before he went to rehab.
"My addict self was killing me and I was struggling to die," he said.
Luckily, McGlashan didn’t let the addiction control his life and was able to fight it off. His former captain said he wasn’t surprised by the way McGlashan has thrown himself into being a public figure for sobriety.
"As obsessed with getting loaded as Nick was, he's that obsessed with being sober," said Wichrowski.
Lanford says he's proud of his son.
"The heroin epidemic in this country is just way out of control. People are dying every day," Lanford said. "If because of what he's doing he can help one person, save one person's life, then he's doing a good job."
McGlashan further went on to speak about his future and said he couldn’t talk much about his fate on Deadliest Catch, or whether his former captain would give him another chance because of a non-disclosure agreement with Discovery Channel. But he is working in the fishing industry again and has sought out other people in recovery on the boat he works on.0comments
"We have meetings on the boat every day," he said. "We go out on the forepeak, where it's quiet."