Substance abuse has the potential to ruin lives. Substance abuse caused “The Ellen Show” producer, Andy Lassner, to ruin his first marriage, his relationship with his oldest child, and his job. Andy Lassner shared his story on his sobriety to inspire others to get help.

The Start of Lassner’s Addiction

Lassner battled anxiety and depression at a young age. When he was a preteen, Lassner was offered a glass of wine at a synagogue after services. He felt calm and confident, feeling only alcohol could do that for him. Lassner would get his hands on the bourbon and whiskey that would be kept in the synagogue’s refrigerator and became an alcoholic in high school. His first exposure to cocaine and crack was when he interned at a daytime talk show while attending NYU. Lassner felt ashamed keeping his problem with drugs a secret and feeling like drugs were his only friend.

Lassner’s First Attempt at Sobriety

Lassner became inspired to achieve sobriety after coming across the made-for-tv movie “My Name is Bill W.” about the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous. At age 20, Lassner got sober by attending 12-step meetings for the next four years regularly. He got married, became a father, and got a job as a supervising producer of “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” 

Lassner’s Relapse

Unfortunately, Lassner stopped going to A.A. after six years. He saw that the Listerine bottles sent to “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” had a high alcohol content which he took home. Lassner would drink half a gallon of Listerine a day followed by cocaine, heroin, and Vicodin. His lowest point was when he left his baby daughter in a cab with the meter running while he went in a brownstone with friends to get high. 

Lassner’s Second Chance

Lassner’s internship sent him to rehab where he was connected to Dallas Taylor who was known for working with people struggling with addiction. They flew together to an Arizona rehab facility where he spent a year in a sober home. Today, Lassner is happily remarried and is a father to three children. Lassner feels an obligation to share his story with others to provide them with hope. Being open about his addiction allowed friends, co-workers, and strangers to come to him for help. Lassner says it does not matter to him that it took twenty years to achieve sobriety, but just that it happened for him matters.

Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alta Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse inpatient center. Alta Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is willing to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.


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You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.