(NewsNation) — One of the most recognized and beloved child stars from the ’90s is speaking about his history of drug addiction, his resilience and his recovery.
“I am getting a second chance at life,” says Shaun Weiss, who was in hit movies such as “Mighty Ducks” and “Heavyweights.” “I’m totally aware of that, and I tried to never take that for granted.”
Weiss struggled with drug addiction and was even arrested, which he describes as hitting “rock bottom.”
“I’ll just let you know, when they take your mug shot, they’re not using any Instagram filters down at the station,” he joked with NewsNation’s Markie Martin.
Weiss said his addiction started when he had a mental health crisis after his dad died and after he went through a bad breakup.
“Things just got too heavy for me, and I kind of lost my mind, really,” he says.
But now, after seeking treatment at a treatment center called Quest 2 Recovery, Weiss said he’s been sober for a little over three years. On Jan. 25, it will mark four years of sobriety for the actor, who also works at Quest as a recovery coach.
“That’s really the thing I’m proudest of,” Weiss said. “I’ve had a lot of accomplishments, but this recovery thing is really my proudest accomplishment.”
The support from fans helped bring him back and pull Weiss through some tough times, he said, as well as being able to tell his story through standup comedy.
“Being able to look at the trauma, I went through the lens of trying to be creative, and to do comedy has just been a game changer,” Weiss said. “And people find my story inspiring so I just kind of tell my story, and I try to do that — in a funny way, though. It’s fulfilling for me.”
To those who might have a family member who is dealing with addiction, Weiss says don’t give up on them.
He acknowledges the frustration that can come with that.
“As drug addicts, we tend to burn our bridges and burn people that are close to us in our life,” Weiss said. “But really, as a result of not really having family and things like that to pull me back — that’s how I became untethered and ended up on the street.”
Added Weiss, “It’s a very difficult thing, this drug addiction, and when we feel alone, it makes it even that much worse.”