Former pop idol Nick Carter faces a daily struggle staying sober after doctors warned the Backstreet Boy a booze binge could kill him. The 29-year-old sought medical help last year (08), after suffering from chest pains.
Doctors in Florida diagnosed him with cardiomyopathy; a build up of toxins that prevents the heart from pumping blood efficiently.
The condition was blamed on the years of binge drinking and drug taking that had caused Carter's weight to balloon and his health to deteriorate - and medics warned him he'd end up dead if he didn't stop.
He tells People magazine, "My doctors said, 'You need to change your lifestyle.'
"I don't want to die. I don't want to be that person people read about and think, 'That's sad that he couldn't stop it and killed himself.'"
Eight months on, the star has dropped all the extra pounds and cut drink, drugs and fatty foods out of his diet - but he admits he finds it hard to stay clean. He confesses he has lapsed and "started to drink a couple of glasses of wine, and I couldn't control it" - but credits his doctor with helping him stay sober.
Specialist Dr. Richard Polakoff tells People, "Once you get this condition, it can get progressively worse until the heart is extremely weak. But if he abstains from alcohol and other substances, I think we can get his heart back to normal."