Child Star’s Meth Addiction
Former child star, Danny Pintauro, recently revealed his past addiction to methamphetamine during an interview for an episode of Oprah’s, “Where Are They Now?.” During the interview he also opened up to her about being HIV positive, which he was diagnosed with 12 years ago.
We all knew and loved Pintauro for his lovable portrayal of precocious cutie, Jonathon Bower, on the 80’s hit sitcom, Who’s the Boss. He has come a long way from his days on set as he turned to hardcore street drugs soon after he was pressured into coming out publicly about his sexuality in 1997.
He said that he began using meth after leaving a 2 year relationship, saying “I discovered that there was more I wanted to explore…sexually. Crystal meth takes away your inhibitions, you have no limits. If you want to explore that adventurous side, taking the drug is going to put you there.” He spent quite a while venturing into uncharted territories, but that exploration came at a pretty high price. Pintauro said that it was in his first year of using meth that he was diagnosed with HIV after a sexual encounter with a partner who wasn’t on his treatment regimen nor taking care of himself in general. He has courageously battled HIV in private for the last 12 years, but that’s all changed now.
Danny Pintauro – The Advocate
His goal now is to step up and embrace his role as a “beacon of light” to the LGBT community, which was something he wasn’t emotionally or psychologically equipped to do when he came out nearly 20 years ago. “It is definitely one of my life regrets that I wasn’t able to take responsibility on. So now that all of this happening, I feel like the fates are telling me that this is my opportunity to be that beacon of light, and I’m going to do everything and anything I can to live up to that,” he said.
Having spent a lot of time researching the use of meth in the LGBT community, he quickly saw that it has become an epidemic that needs to be addressed. He’s ready to address the issue with his peers head on, even if that means taking on a heap of criticism in the process. “I feel like one of the ways the community is going to listen is for me to be pretty harsh. It’s not going to be, ‘Hey guys, let’s work on fixing this.’ It’s going to be, ‘Get you f—ing s— together,” he said in the interview.
“I am speaking out because I want everyone who continues to ‘tweak’ and party to know that it is not worth the price. I want my community to wake up, stop being complacent and start taking care of each other. We need to be the best we can – safe and healthy,” he told PEOPLE.
Danny Pintauro’s story is one familiar in to so many in the LGBT community with members being 40% more likely to use meth, 30% battling some form of substance abuse and LGBT teenagers clocking in at 200% more likely to abuse illicit substances than straight teens.
There are solutions available to those in need of recovery programs, mental health services and of course a variety of services offered at the many Health Street DNA & Drug Test locations nationwide like: