The Hills: New Beginnings star Jason Wahler revealed that his substance abuse and gambling addiction got so out of control he lost his $1M home over it.
The 34-year-old reality star discussed his very dark relapse on the May 19 episode of the MTV show, after a boy’s casino night with a $500 buy-in, conjured up some unsavory memories.
‘The last house we owned, we ended up having to sell, due to my addiction and moreover with gambling,’ he said in a confessional, having previously called the spiral a ‘domino effect.’
Addiction battle: The Hills: New Beginnings star Jason Wahler, 34, reveals his substance abuse battle and gambling addiction got so out of control he lost his home over it
The reality star had previously talked about his battle with cocaine and alcohol usage, which spiraled into a gambling addiction throughout the course of his various relapses.
‘When alcohol came back into the picture I started doing it in isolation. I was not able to really function. While I was drinking and using, it spiraled into a gambling addiction as well,’ he said of his multi-year battle in December 2020.
‘During this period I was making lousy choices in company and business. I surrounded myself with bad company and was making bad business investments. It was a domino effect. I lost a lot of money and lost our house within a year,’ he shared on his website.
And in Wednesday’s episode, his decision to attend a boy’s casino night left his pregnant wife Ashley Stack understandably ‘concerned,’ prompting him to speak to costars Brandon Thomas Lee, Brody Jenner, Spencer Pratt and Justin Bobby about it.
Gambling addiction: The reality star opened up about his very dark relapse on the May 19 episode of the MTV show, after a boy’s casino night with a $500 buy-in, conjured up some unsavory memories
Regaining trust: When asked if his wife Ashley was ‘okay’ with him attending a casino night, Wahler shared with fellow castmates that she ‘trusts’ him ‘for the most part’
‘It’s way different now, there’s a lot more to lose,’ he said, while revealing he and Stack had recently purchased a new house. ‘I can’t put my family at that type of risk, especially in a time when she’s pregnant,’ Wahler added.
And after veteran cast member Frankie Delgado inquired if Ashley was ‘okay’ with him ‘putting a little money on the table,’ given his past, Jason shared that for ‘the most part,’ she trusts him.
‘Yeah, she trusts me now, for the most part,’ he said to the group. ‘She was concerned at first coming up here but we talked and she knows the growth I made and I’m utilizing my own separate funds that I have for this and she knows I’ve set aside money, my own allowance every month,’ he added.
Wahler had previously said that his substance use got ‘much worse,’ while rising to fame on Laguna Beach and then The Hills when he was just 18.
‘At 18 years old, we were literally being paid to go to clubs,’ Wahler said. ‘It added fuel to the fire — it made everything times 10, times 100,’ he said.
In the spotlight: Wahler had said that his addiction got ‘much worse,’ while rising to fame on Laguna Beach and then The Hills when he was just 18; pictured with Hills: New Beginnings cast 2019
Setbacks: After four years of sobriety he relapsed in 2018, followed by another relapse in 2020 that caused he and Ashley to lose their house
His cocaine use and alcohol dependency led to 18 arrests and a DUI, and between the ages of 18 to 23 he was ‘in and out’ of 12 different treatment centers.
Jason — who speaks openly about the ebbs and flows of his battle on his website — said that an ‘aha moment’ came when his father broke down in a therapy session following his DUI.
And while on a good path he met Ashley and the pair married in 2013, welcoming their first child together four years later. They are currently expecting a second child any day now.
In 2015 he launched Widespread Recovery, an all-male sober living home in Laguna Beach, but his journey has been marked by a few setbacks.
He relapsed in 2018 after being sober for four years, penning a statement on his Instagram about surrendering to his addiction and the ‘shame and guilt,’ it caused him.
Allowance: Jason’s cocaine use and alcohol dependency led to 18 arrests and a DUI, and between the ages of 18 to 23 he was ‘in and out’ of 12 different treatment centers before getting sober; pictured with Stack March 2021
‘I became complacent and I was blindsided. I am beyond embarrassed. At first I was full of shame and guilt, but I am learning to forgive and move forward.
‘I can only hope my pain will be someone else’s gain and I will continue to live one day at a time. Don’t be afraid to start over. You are worth it.’
The way they were: The early days of The Hills with Lauren Conrad at the center
And his most recent relapse in 2020 was the catalyst for he and Ashley to lose their home, sharing on his website that he ‘began to get high on the whole act of relapse.’
‘Even with this house of cards falling apart, ego came into play, and I just assumed I would be able to fix it,’ he said. ‘I began to get high on the whole act of relapse. I felt like there was no way to get out, I was already in too deep.’
‘After getting honest about my relapse I have gotten to a point where I have internalized that drinking or doing a drug would not make any situation better,’ he shared.
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