“I struggle with substance abuse, and after a year of ups and downs, I decided to return to treatment,” Brown, who first entered rehab in 2016 for alcohol abuse, told the outlet. “I’m really grateful for everyone’s support and hope to have my life back on track soon.”
Brown’s announcement comes shortly after the family at the center of the Discovery reality series made the move from the Alaskan wilderness to instead create a homestead in Washington following matriarch Ami Brown’s cancer battle. Despite his absence, his family is giving him their full support.
“It’s hard not having one of my babies here with us,” Ami said. “He was so strong for me, and I want to be strong for him.”
Patriarch Billy Brown added that the family misses “him terribly, but we’d rather lose him from home for a little while than lose him forever. We just want him to do what he needs to do to get better.”
The 36-year-old, who is the eldest of his siblings, previously opened up about his struggle with substance abuse following his initial time in rehab, admitting that the issue began after the family’s boat broke down and they began spending time in the nearby city of Juneau.
“I’ve always been able to handle city life, no problem. But I started hanging out with people who drank. They didn’t have a problem with it so while I was around them, I started drinking,” he said.
Brown claimed at the time that while his drinking started out light, “it got to be more and more,” causing him to become “more withdrawn,” slower, and causing things not to excite him “the way they used to.”
Although he was initially reluctant to admit his problem to his family, fearing being disappointing them, he “could see myself spiraling” and he “didn’t want to be one of those guys.”
Brown eventually entered an in-patient rehab center for 35 days in the spring of 2016, where he came to the conclusion that while not an alcoholic, he had a tendency to abuse alcohol.0comments
“I learned a lot about myself in those 35 days. I’ve turned my weakness into a strength,” he said. “In life, we all get lost every now and then and have to find our way back. Not everyone makes it back, and I’m happy to be one of those who did.”
Alaskan Bush People airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery.