Not holding back. Amber Portwood opened up about her struggles with substance abuse and revealed how it affected her everyday life.
“I have really horrible anger problems because I’m bipolar and borderline, which is not an excuse, but at the time I didn’t know it, so I wasn’t really taking care of myself or really understanding why I was feeling certain emotions,” the 28-year-old Teen Mom OG star recalled during a recent episode of the “Dopey” podcast. “I’d go party every other day. I’d be a Wednesday, I’m at the f—king bar and whopping ass and s—t, just like getting kicked out of bars or I got kicked out of our Walmart.”
“There’s like pictures of me beating up a girl in iHop,” she continued. “It was just crazy. I don’t know where the hell I was. I was gone. You can blame the drugs for the most part for kind of being impulsive, but it was kind of just me as a person.”
Portwood first appeared on MTV during season 1 of 16 and Pregnant in 2009. She has since appeared on all seven seasons of Teen Mom, later renamed Teen Mom OG. (Season 8 debuts in October.) While she admitted “the money didn’t help” her issues with drugs, she said she does not “blame MTV” for her struggles with addiction.
“When you’re making a lot of money, there’s more drugs,” Portwood explained. “Every time a drug dealer had a new stash, of whatever, they called me first because they knew I’d buy the whole [stash], because I had the money to do it. It’s never helps.”
She added: “I was a horrible opiate addict. I would probably do 10 to 20 hydros — if they didn’t have hydros it would be oxycontin or oxycodone … any kind of opiate that they had, I would try to take. I think it was that feeling of just kind of not being aware that I liked .. I think back in the day I was probably depressed and s—t. That was my ‘go-to’ thing.”
Portwood was arrested in December 2011 for violating probation after pleading guilty to two counts of domestic battery. In June 2012, she quit her court-ordered rehab problem and opted to serve a five-year prison sentence instead. (She was released in November 2013 after 17 months.) Portwood revealed to the podcast host that hitting rock bottom at her grandmother’s house was behind her decision to choose jail.
“Nothing else was working. I had overdosed at my grandma’s house on fentanyl in the bathroom,” she revealed. “It was daylight when I was awake … I woke up on the floor, like, just drooling out of my mouth. It was nighttime, I had no clue how long I had been in there.”
Portwood, who welcomed son James with her boyfriend Andrew Glennon in May, is also the mother of 9-year-old Leah, whom she shares with ex-fiancé Gary Shirley. Despite her past struggles, the MTV star said she can now “drink a little” because she “never had a problem with drinking.”
“Now I can have a glass of wine every now and again,” she said. “It’s not every day. It’s not every month.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).