JASON PRIESTLEY IN BOOZE REHAB

Published on: March 15, 2002

"Beverly Hills, 90210" star Jason Priestley has finally faced up to his longtime alcohol problem and checked himself into Promises, the detox center for the stars.

And the TV heartthrob -- whose drinking has led to a drunk-driving arrest, jail time and a failed marriage -- is determined to beat the bottle once and for all, say pals.

"Jason finally admitted he'd hit rock bottom, and through the help of his close friends he turned to Promises in Malibu," a source close to the 32-year-old actor revealed.

"He came in March 4 at the end of his rope. He confessed he needed professional help to kick his dependency on alcohol.

"He's got several film offers on the table and wants to end his problem for good.

"Jason's a very sensitive guy, so owning up to his booze problem was a big step.

"Everyone close to him is tremendously proud. He's embracing the program and is convinced he'll turn his life around."

The actor was charged with drunk driving after a December 1999 car crash. He was convicted and sentenced to five days in a work-release program, and also ordered to undergo alcohol counseling.

At Promises Jason is now undergoing a 28-day residential program, said the close source.

"He's attending daily Twelve Step meetings, participating in group therapy, eating healthy, exercising and reading scripts.

"He's not pulling a star trip and is being as cooperative as he can.

"Jason told a pal, 'I've tried to quit drinking on my own and it just doesn't work. I'm owning up to my problem. AA is an incredible program and has helped countless people get their lives back on track. I'm trying to follow the Twelve Steps and putting my faith in God.'

"Jason's been incredibly inspiring. And everyone close to him is praying that the program gives him the peace and serenity he deserves."