Intimates Recall DJ AM's Struggle with Drugs

Intimates Recall DJ AM's Struggle with Drugs
Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein
Mattel/AP

08/29/2009 AT 02:30 PM EDT

While questions still remain unanswered concerning Friday's death of Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein amid reports that police found drug paraphernalia at the scene, the celebrity DJ made no secret of his past drug addiction and stints in rehab. Even so, say friends, he was usually quick to reach out and help others who also were suffering.

And while one pal says Goldstein seemed troubled of late after surviving a fiery plane crash last year that claimed the lives of two crewmembers and two passengers, others recall someone who was always a "consummate professional."

In fact, Goldstein, 36, had recently wrapped an upcoming show for MTV, Gone Too Far, on which he helped other addicts find a way to end their dependence. Last month he told PEOPLE, "I did everything. When I was young, I drank, I smoked pot. The super downfall for me was smoking cocaine. That's what brought me to my knees faster than anything."

Admitting he had "a few false starts," Goldstein said he had been off drugs and clean for 11½ years and had been working with other addicts since six months into his sobriety.

"What's always helped me is working with other sober addicts. People who know what it's like to be obsessed with their addictions," he said. "I have a circle of friends who are recovering addicts."

Stressed Need for Survival

A source recalls emailing Goldstein last week for advice on helping someone she knew was becoming addicted. As Goldstein responded (punctuation and spelling his): "I hope you all agree that what a real friend does is help someone to LIVE and not to die. Its may sound dramatic but its really just as simple as saying 'I will do EVERYTHING to help you live, but nothing to help you die.' "

But according to a friend: "Adam was sober for years. I know he was making a huge effort to stay clean and healthy." Then again, the plane crash had more of an emotional effect on him than he often let on. "His friends were starting to worry about him. He didn't seem like himself, he seemed as if he was under a lot of stress, but I think everyone assumed it was because he was working so much."

Another popular DJ who knew Goldstein for about 15 years says he never noticed Goldstein struggling.

"Here he was a guy who in 10 years time dropped weight, dropped drugs, got clean, quit smoking and for a time even quit Red Bull, "says DJ Hollywood, who is also the music director for Pure Nightclub in Vegas "As far as his demons, I never saw that, but this goes true with any person who's battled that, you're only one day away from going back to that. He was always professional and always gave an incredible show. There are thousands of people who will attest to that. It's just sad, man."

Reporting by MARK GRAY and PAMELA WARRICK

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