opened up about his alcohol-addled past on a new Oprah: Where Are They Now?
In a rare candid interview, which aired Saturday, the 28-year-old former child star admitted that he struggled with the bottle in the days following his time on Dancing With the Stars in 2009.
"I started getting really heavy into drinking and was telling people, 'I'm on a real bad path right now. I need help,'" Carter recalled.
The singer's downward spiral began when his parents, Robert and Jane, divorced in 2003. News of the split came just one hour before the teen pop star was set to shoot his episode of MTV's Cribs.
"A lot of money was coming in. We had the biggest estate in all of the Florida Keys," Carter remembered. "I had to show all the cameras my life that I was losing and nobody ever knew it."
The depression that came along with the split drove Carter to excessive partying, and without an influx of work, he had to move into his brother Nick's home. It was during this time that Dancing With the Stars came along, giving him hope for a comeback to pop music, but the industry apparently had other thoughts.
"They didn't want to touch me. They didn't want to do anything," he explained. "Nothing ever came into fruition."
In 2011, Carter checked into the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, to get sober, and he says he's been on the straight and narrow ever since.
Earlier this year, he spoke exclusively to ET about rehab and his new song, "Fool's Gold," the first single from his upcoming album, LØVË.
"'Fool's Gold' is ... a dark secret," he cryptically told ET of the music video, which features his on-again, off-again girlfriend, Lee Karis.
Check out ET's exclusive video of Aaron performing "Fool's Gold" below.