The Truth About Alaskan Bush People Star Matt Brown's Addiction

The Alaskan Bush People has been a fan-favorite show on Discovery since the network started documenting the Brown family's atypical lives in 2014. Despite supposedly living off the grid in the Alaskan bush (besides a relocation to Washington and a short stint in Los Angeles for Ami Brown's cancer treatment) and surviving solely off the land, there is just as much opportunity for drama as there is for any reality show cast. 

Indeed, the Brown family has been through a lot of turmoil, such as handling depression, serving jail time for falsifying information on official Alaskan state forms, and dealing with estranged family members. While it seems that the Browns have everything aired out in the open, there is still mystery involving the eldest child of Ami and Billy Brown, Matt Brown.

Matt has not been on the show since 2018. Before and during this time, the reality star was dealing with a drinking problem for which he sought professional help. While Matt has been hidden from the show, his struggles are not completely secret, as he has often given fans updates on his journey to sobriety. 

Let's take a closer look at the truth about Alaskan Bush People star Matt Brown's addiction.

Matt Brown's addiction has been an uphill battle

Matt Brown reportedly checked into rehab three times between 2016 and 2019. "I started hanging out with people who drank. They didn't have a problem with it so while I was around them, I started drinking," he told People. His admittance to rehab came three years after he was arrested in Juneau, Alaska for a DUI following a night of partying, according to documents obtained by Radar Online.

While it is unfortunately not uncommon to see people in the public eye struggle with an addiction of some sort, this was especially tough for the reality star who was in his early thirties at the time, because his famous family does not drink. Matt contemplated telling them about his abuse issues and decided it was best, in the end, to come clean so he could seek proper treatment. Luckily, the Browns were understanding and only wanted what was best for him. "He's fighting a hard road. He has for a long time," his father, Billy, shared with People. "We just try to let him know that family's here no matter what."

Matt headed to the Betty Ford Center in September 2018, about two years after his first stint in rehab. His stay only lasted about a month, however, he was admitted back into treatment in January 2019 for a longer stay, per Radar Online. There are no further reports of Matt entering rehab, and he now seems to be living a quiet life.

What's next for Matt Brown?

There are rumors that Matt Brown may return to Alaskan Bush People (however serious accusations may hinder his future), but for now, it seems like he's leading a low-key life. Along with embracing a new look, the reality star frequently updates his fans on Instagram, often posting photos of himself near the shore, on hikes, and enjoying nature in general. 

In July 2020, Matt celebrated a milestone in his path to sobriety on Instagram. "2 years ago today, I walked in the front doors of Betty Ford, completely broken," he recalled. "I found happiness. [It's] still one day at a time, and I still have my days, but it's so much easier now, now that I have tools, now that I understand how to better understand myself."

Beyond that, despite family feuds and taking a step back from his family's dramatic series, the Browns are still behind Matt, which encourages him to stay on the right track and be positive about his future. "Their support was unbelievable. It instantly made me feel better and like I could be successful on this journey," he told People. "In life, we all get lost every now and then and have to find our way back. Not everyone makes it back, and I'm happy to be one of those who did."

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact SAMHSA's 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).