Tarek El Moussa Reflects on Struggling With Alcoholism at Age 19

Tarek El Moussa 964

Tarek El Moussa.
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Tarek El Moussa is opening up about his struggles with alcoholism as a young adult.

“I will never forget this day … or this kid. I was 20 years old fishing for King salmon in Alaska,” the HGTV personality, 42, wrote via Instagram on Monday, December 4, alongside a photo of his younger self. “Unfortunately, all I remember was the terrible hangover I had. I had drank over 30 shots of vodka and whatever else I could get my hands on. I can still feel the throbbing in my head and the pulsing vein on my temple.”

El Moussa confessed that in his younger years, he was “used to” feeling those aches and pains due to his consistent heavy drinking.

“Most people don’t know this about me, but at 19 my life went downhill in what felt like overnight. I gained 50 pounds, lost my confidence, lost my hope, and became a raging alcoholic,” he continued. “All my drive was gone. It’s crazy to think today I sometimes wake up at 3 am to start work, when at 20, I would wake up at 3 pm to start my day.”

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While El Moussa didn’t share what exactly prompted him to turn his life around, he noted that everyone deserves a “second chance.” He told his followers that if they were in a similar situation that he once faced, his upcoming book, Flip Your Life, could be helpful.

“If you are looking for the help I desperately needed at that time, check out my new book Flip Your Life,” he penned. “I wrote it thinking about 20-year-old Tarek and what could have helped him❤️.”

El Moussa noted that his book is available to preorder and will be released in February 2024.

The reality star revealed earlier this year that he had been working on writing his story for nearly a decade and had accomplished his goal.

“I’ve been working on this book for 7 years now, and I can’t wait for you to read my personal journey on how I found success, and how I got to where I am today,” he shared via Instagram in September alongside a video slideshow of different moments in his life. “Within that journey, you will learn about many bumps in [the] road including cancers, divorce, business struggles, addiction, and more. This book has been a long time coming, and I’m so proud to share my personal story with you!”

El Moussa has faced a series of life changes and health battles over the years. In 2013, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Shortly after his initial diagnosis, he learned he also had testicular cancer. After entering remission in 2019, El Moussa sustained a back injury that led to him to develop an addiction to steroids.

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Talk about a roller-coaster! Christina Hall (née Haack) and Tarek El Moussa‘s ups and downs started well before they called it quits in 2016. The reality stars tied the knot in May 2009, four years before their HGTV series catapulted them into the spotlight. Things took a turn when El Moussa was diagnosed with two […]

“After the cancers, I had that terrible accident on my back and I lost like 60 pounds, and I was on all those opiates. I was not doing well,” El Moussa recalled to Fox News Digital in February. “This is what people don’t understand — you know, from 2013 to 2016, it was hell.”

In addition to battling addiction, El Moussa and ex-wife Christina Hall decided to divorce after seven years of marriage. The exes, who split in 2016, share two children: daughter Taylor, 12, and son Brayden, 7. Following their split, Tarek moved on with wife Heather Rae El Moussa whom he wed in October 2021. The couple welcomed their first son, Tristan, in January.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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