OXON HILL, Md. (WUSA9) -- Some celebrities who have overcome addiction are in town this week for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
Actor Matthew Perry was among the featured speakers on Monday and today, musician Daniel Powter shared his personal story, and support for drug courts.
And in an exclusive interview with Andrea McCarren, he made a stunning admission for the first time.
Powter skyrocketed to fame with the hit song "Bad Day," but behind his chart-topping success was a devastating secret.
"All of a sudden, I had everything at my feet. I was touring the world. I did 2 ½ years on the first record. Sold millions of records. 3306 But I hated myself," he said.
The Canadian-born singer-songwriter battled feelings of shame, guilt and remorse. He submerged them in alcohol and cocaine.
"I thought that was my problem. But it wasn't. That was my solution," Powter said. "It wasn't until I started digging in, taking a look at myself, saying I gotta work on some stuff I don't want to look at. And I didn't want to look at it."
He forced himself to look at a brutally painful chapter of childhood sexual abuse, by a female babysitter. Until then, he'd suffered in silence.
"Three years from the time I was around seven til the time I was ten. And my parents didn't know and I was too scared to tell them," he said.
He's now overcome his addictions and is confronting the abuse, for the first time.
"I've never talked about it publicly before until today," said Powter, who was in D.C. to show his support for drug courts, instead of jail time for addicted, non-violent offenders.
"Instead of being punished, someone's reaching out a hand," he said.
Powter calls it the most successful social program in the world...the last vestige of hope.
"These judges are saving people's lives. While saving taxpayers' money, not putting people in prison," he said.
And Powter may be saving some lives too... giving much-needed hope to those in the grips of addiction. And that may be his most important measure of success so far.
Written by Andrea McCarren