Shaun Weiss talks about his battle with addiction.
The former child star, best known for his role as goalie Greg Goldberg in Mighty Ducks film franchise, has struggled publicly in recent years. His addiction to methamphetamine and heroin led to homelessness and multiple arrests. He’s making strides in his recovery, which he explained in conversation with Addiction Talk. Now two years sober, he said he feels “reborn.”
Weiss admitted it’s “hard to see” photos of him looking unrecognizable from his three-year battle with addiction.
“I looked horrible and deadly,” she said. At the time, he didn’t know what he looked like, explaining that he avoided looking at mirrors or his reflection for months. When he finally did, they “bite”.
She lost 96 pounds and “got bugs in my hair,” she said. He stole $1,000 worth of electronics a day to support his habit. “This is not normal. It’s not like you’re taking a few extra pills. This is a very serious problem… I was in horrible shape. I probably would have died if those good sheriff’s deputies hadn’t stepped in and saved me,” referring to his 2020 arrest. for breaking into a car while on meth.(He was previously arrested twice in 2017 for petty theft and possession of methamphetamine and twice in 2018 for being drunk and shoplifting.)
Weiss said he drank alcohol and smoked pot in his younger years, but his world didn’t spiral until a perfect storm—his father died, he broke up with his fiancee, a job he was working at went broke and he couldn’t afford it. a new place to live.
“It was like the perfect convergence of a lot of things,” he said. “And it was too much for me really.” He said he was heartbroken and felt like someone was sitting on his chest. The first time she tried the methodology, “it was an immediate relief” to those suffocating feelings.
He said “it was very shortly after the first time I had ever seen a hard drug … where it had completely enveloped me. Within less than six months, I was a full-blown drug addict.”
Living on the streets, he lost his phone — and his contacts. After all, as he admitted, he had burned many bridges by then. Alone with only drugs, he had “no one to hold him accountable.” Quickly, it reached a point “of being so ashamed of what I had become, what my lifestyle was like, that I didn’t want to reach out to these people [anyway]. I didn’t want to be seen as I was.”
During those years, “Literally what was going through my mind was: I’m going to get this next bag of drugs… [and then] I won’t be using it again… I’ll get away from it. I will recover. And I had that mindset every day. Every bag I made for three years, [I’d tell myself] it was the last bag I would ever make. It just went on and on.”
He said he got to the point where he was “desperate” and “didn’t think I was going to live much longer”. He would think of writing farewell notes to his loved ones.
Weiss went to rehab in 2018 and then relapsed. He credits his 2020 arrest as a wake-up call. He spent about 40 days in jail for the carjacking and couldn’t imagine doing it for three years, which was the sentence he faced. The judge put him in a drug diversion program and he started getting the treatment he needed.
He admitted that his original plan was to calm people down by getting sober “for as long as I needed and then … go and get high again.” However, in therapy, things began to change. He recalled watching the 2018 Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges film Ben is back in the group room during treatment.
“There’s a scene where a heroin dealer throws a big bag of heroin on the table — and normally I would see that bag and start fantasizing and wishing I could have it,” Weiss. “This time I saw the bag and they were physically pushing me away… I was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I started crying and crying.” He understood at that moment that “recovery is possible.”
He said part of his recovery was taking care of himself. She focuses on religion and meditation and has developed a yoga practice. He has a hip injury but likes to ride his bike and get out in nature. He publishes magazines and reads books that inspire him. What he learned in therapy was that he should try to “create a life that you don’t have to escape from.”
Weiss said child stardom — and being given so much at a young age — played a role in his addiction.
“It made me an adrenaline junkie,” said Weiss, who lived in a sober home after rehab. “Things were a lot more exciting to me than the average 13-year-old — going on trips and flying places and going to movies. So I was very addicted to the excitement of things. And when that went away, I didn’t really know how to have that. the feeling. And I found that in drugs — not necessarily the drug itself, but I’m one of those guys who enjoys the feeling of doing something naughty that I shouldn’t be doing. That was a big part of the high for me.”
Also, “I never really valued things. I had a BMW, I wanted a Ferrari.” Whereas today, after surviving everything she has, “I appreciate every breath. That’s a change and when you start living with gratitude.”
He said the period when he was in the throes of addiction is now a “blur”. “I can’t even look back and imagine that it was me. It’s like a different person. So I can’t imagine what would have to happen to put me back in a mindset where I don’t care about life anymore and I don’t care about seeing anymore my loved ones. I can’t imagine going there again.”
After all, he’s looking ahead. Weiss, who had a smile makeover to replace his drug-damaged teeth, is returning to acting. In April, he landed his first movie role – from Lionsgate Revolution of Jesus — in 14 years. He hopes for more roles to come, but is also considering doing his own project that tells the story of his addiction.
He remains grateful to Mighty Ducks fans who supported him through his rock bottom which kept him going during his sobriety journey.
“I was in a jail cell and the deputy came up and said, ‘Hey man, your fans are really rooting for you,'” he said. “I’m like, ‘What are you talking about?’ I didn’t know what was going on… I was sick on drugs, sitting in a cell and that was the little flicker of light for me, knowing there are people out there who care. This started to grow. I finally felt a I didn’t want to let these people down because they were invested in my recovery.”
He added: “I’m really sorry Ducks The fans wanted to see me like this, but I hope my story is helpful. So it’s not just a sad thing that happened. I’m trying to do something with it.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Referral Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357)