Zac Clark, a former contestant on the Bachelorette, has been sober since August 2011. Whenever there was a toast on the show, the producers brought him sparkling cider. He said he knew Tayshia Adams—who was the bachelorette that season, and to whom he is now engaged—was serious about him when she too requested sparkling cider.
Clark had his first drink as a teenager hanging out with older guys. He lied about it, which he later said, “set off like 15 years of lying.” He soon started drinking heavily and buying Adderall off of people who had prescriptions. “I had the numbers of five people who I could call at any time and buy their extra doses off them,” he said.
When it was discovered Clark had a brain tumor and would need surgery to remove it, he saw it as a way to procure powerful drugs like morphine and Dilaudid. “Now I had something I could go to doctors with,” he said. Later, he had his gall bladder voluntarily removed—lying about the amount of pain he was in—in order to get more prescription drugs.
At one point, Clark was snorting OxyContin and doing heroin, crack, and whippets. He was arrested for possessing crack cocaine and driving while intoxicated, which ended in a four and a half month stay at a treatment center. He credits his time there for helping him turn his life around.
Since then, Clark has dedicated his life to helping others in recovery. In 2017, Clark co-founded a sober living facility in Westchester, NY with his friend Justin Gurland. He and Gurland also consult with families who are struggling, and cultivate connection with other addiction and mental health treatment professionals. Clark runs marathons to raise money and awareness about addiction.
Since requesting sparkling cider instead of booze, Adams continues to support Clark’s sobriety. Clark is integrating Adams into his sober community—as well as showing her that there are many others out there who have loved ones in recovery.
“[We’ll be] going on a trip with a couple of my buddies who are sober, and their wives or partners are not,” he said. “Being able to connect with them on that level to show that, one, we have a sh*tload of fun still and we’re not wet blankets. And two, that she’s not alone—that there’s other people out there.”
If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. Amatus Recovery Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you turn your life around and find peace in recovery. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.