"Alaskan Bush People" Star Matt Brown Returns To Rehab

By Maggie Ethridge 10/05/18

“We miss him terribly, but we’d rather lose him from home for a little while than lose him forever," says Matt's father, Billy.

Matt Brown
Photo via YouTube

Matt Brown, a star on the popular Discovery Channel reality show, Alaskan Bush People, has entered rehab for alcoholism for the second time.

“I struggle with substance abuse, and after a year of ups and downs, I decided to return to treatment,” Brown told People for the magazine's upcoming print issue. “I’m really grateful for everyone’s support and hope to have my life back on track soon.”

Brown's decision to announce his second trip to rehab (his first was in 2016) via People magazine is a strangely hopeful sign that the social stigma of addiction is fading, as it is better and more widely understood that addiction is a disease—one that often includes "relapse as part of recovery," as is frequently said in Alcoholics Anonymous.

After his first experience in rehab, Juneau Empire spoke to Brown’s mother Ami about their family lineage. "I come from a family of alcoholism. My father was an alcoholic and it tore our family apart. Watching these things as a child, you learn from it. That is the reason why I don’t let them know where, physically, I am."

The Brown family had been hit with a serious stressor last year, when Ami was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. She has since been declared cancer-free and undergoes frequent testing to monitor her health. Struggling with multiple moves around the country can also put pressure on a family.

After his first stint in rehab, Matt Brown chose to drink in moderation. But in the last year, he found that his drinking was becoming increasingly problematic so he chose to enter rehab again. While the family's history of alcoholism put Brown at higher risk for addiction, his family’s support gives him a better chance at successful sobriety.

His mother Ami supports this decision. “It’s hard not having one of my babies here with us,” she told People magazine. “He was so strong for me, and I want to be strong for him.”

Brown’s father Billy agrees. “We miss him terribly, but we’d rather lose him from home for a little while than lose him forever. We just want him to do what he needs to do to get better.”

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Maggie May Ethridge is the author of Atmospheric Disturbances: Scenes From a Marriage (Shebooks, 2014) and the recently completed novel, Agitate My Heart. She is a freelance writer published in Rolling Stone, VOX, Washington Post, The Guardian and many others. Find her at her blog Flux Capacitor or on LinkedIn or Twitter.