'Teen Mom' Amber Portwood Admits Being High During All Her TV Appearances

By McCarton Ackerman 12/24/13

The reality show personality tried and failed to complete rehab, but ultimately found her path by going to prison.

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Fans of Teen Mom are seeing the sober side of Amber Portwood for the first time. The reality star gave an interview last Friday to Dr. Phil and not only declared that it was “my first time on stage sober,” but that she had been high “every time you see me on that show.” Portwood was addicted to prescription medication and had been to rehab on several occasions, but admitted that she was abusing drugs while in court-ordered treatment.

“I was using a drug called fentanyl … it’s patches. I opened up the patch and I would eat the patch,” she said. "It's very dangerous. I was using that the whole time I was in [rehab] with a friend ... in drug court and on house arrest."

Portwood failed a drug test in December 2011 while on probation for possession of drugs. She avoided a five-year prison sentence by attending a long-term drug rehab, but shockingly told a judge in June 2012 that she had been using throughout the program and asked the judge to impose her original sentence. Although she declared that jail was necessary in order to truly get clean for her now five-year-old daughter, Leah, some questioned her motives.

“It is very sad that having a cute little girl to love isn’t enough to motivate Amber to get clean in a rehab facility, and that she asked to be put in prison instead," said Dr. Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets. "It almost seems as if she is doing this to avoid the responsibilities of motherhood.”

But despite the controversial method, it seems that prison was beneficial for Portwood. She was released from Rockville Correctional Facility in Indiana last month after serving just 17 months of her sentence. The early release was due to good behavior, time served, and the completion of two prison courses. Portwood also managed to get her GED while behind bars.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.