June 23, 2014 10:20 AM EDT

Actor Chris Bauer, known for his role as Sheriff Andy Bellefleur on the HBO series True Blood, told People how he dealt with alcohol and drug addiction for years and why he decided to get sober.

Bauer’s addiction started when he was 14 years old, right after he had his first drink. He said working on the vampire drama had been the turning point in his struggle.

“I got sober right after I shot the pilot for True Blood. Now that it’s winding down, I’m in touch with how much my life has changed from getting my act together,” Bauer told People.

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