Charlie Sheen Opens Up About His Sobriety: 'It Just Hit Me That It Was Time to Make a Change'

"About a year and a half ago, it just hit me that I knew it was time to make a change," Charlie Sheen tells Jay Leno in the clip

Nearly two years ago, Charlie Sheen decided to make a drastic change in his life.

After a years-long battle with substance abuse, the Two and a Half Men star became sober in December 2017. Now, in a PEOPLE exclusive sneak peek at Wednesday’s episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, the actor opens up to the former late-night host about his sobriety and what pushed him to pursue it.

“Well, this is the new Charlie Sheen we’re seeing,” says Leno, 69, who’s known Sheen for almost 40 years. “You look good!”

Sheen, 54, explains that “about a year-and-a-half ago, it just hit me that I knew it was time to make a change,” and confirms that he hasn’t had a drink since.

“And, you know, it didn’t require some crazy rehab stint or a shootout with the cops,” says Sheen, who clarifies that “it didn’t require anything super dramatic and crazy and front-page news.”

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At the end of January, Sheen told PEOPLE he had “been sober almost 14 months,” citing his sobriety as “the biggest change for me.”

“I really focus on my health, my family and work will come next. I’m excited to be excited again,” said the father of five. (He is dad to daughters Sam, 15, and Lola, 14, with ex Denise Richards; sons Max and Bob, 10, with ex Brooke Mueller; and 34-year-old daughter, Cassandra Jade Estevez, from a previous relationship with his high school girlfriend Paula Speert.)

Sheen said his sobriety hadn’t been a struggle and he was ready for his life to change. “I came to it on my own,” he shared. “It was just one of those epiphany moments.”

“All I have to do is flash on four or five scenarios that live on the forefront of my memory and just remind myself this is what happened,” he explained. “I don’t put myself in positions where dangerous things could happen. I just have a confidence and a focus, and a game plan and I stick to it.”

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The actor also told PEOPLE that he tells his kids that if there’s anything “dangerous or unhealthy” they want to talk about, that he has “all the knowledge.”

“I don’t come at them with judgment or anything but love,” he said. “My experiences can prevent them from going down a similar road and so the whole journey wasn’t a complete waste of time. I have all the data.”

The new episode of Jay Leno’s Garage airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on CNBC.

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