Amber Portwood, seen here with her boyfriend Gary Shirley, is regretting her decision to choose her five-year prison sentence over rehab. Photo via Teen Mom Facebook page.
Teen Mom’s original bad girl, Amber Portwood, has had her share of run-ins with the police and the court system since being on 16 & Pregnant, the original documentary series that Teen Mom sprang from, roughly four years ago.
Last week, Amber tested positive for drugs, violating the terms of her probation for the felony possession of a controlled substance charge she pleaded guilty to in February. That felony violated an earlier probation, which earned her a five-year sentence. That five-year sentence was was suspended because Amber agreed to enter a court-mandated rehabilitation program. Because she tested positive for Suboxone, the drug she has said she has a problem with, the five-year sentence was reinstated unless she went back to rehab. Amber told the judge she would rather go to jail than rehab because she believed it was the only way she would be able to get off of drugs.
Suboxone, an opiate that is used to treat those who are addicted to opiate painkillers, is a morphine-like drug that is taken by dissolving under the tongue. Amber told ABC News in a June 7 interview that she took 30 of the pills over 3 days, popping four or five at a time under her tongue and just letting herself “nod out.”
Amber said the abuse started after she had gallbladder surgery in the spring. Because of her history of addiction, her doctor wouldn’t give her pain medication. Her brother told OK Magazine the doctors wouldn’t even give her a prescription strength dose of Tylenol for the pain. Amber, however, told ABC News she managed to get her hands on the Suboxone she was addicted to anyway and began taking too much of it. She said she didn’t just have a problem. She was taking so much she was attempting to take her life again. It was the second time Amber attempted suicide, with the first being last year when she placed a call to her boyfriend, Gary Shirley, telling him to look for her body hanging in the garage. He called 911 and went immediately to her house, where he found her in a semi-conscious state with a rope tied loosely around her neck.
Her brother, Shawn Portwood, opened up and talked to several media outlets, including Reality Weekly and OK Magazine. In an interview with Reality Weekly, Shawn said he believed Amber’s relapse wasn’t really a relapse.
“She threw in the towel. I don’t think it was a relapse,” he said in the magazine’s June 25 issue. “She did it on purpose because she wanted to give up.”
Shawn said his sister didn’t think her decision through before committing to it. OK reported that aside from her brother, other friends are worried about Amber.
“Now that Amber’s in jail, she realizes what a mistake she’s made,” an insider reported to OK in its June 25 issue. “She knows she’s a target for the other inmates and she really is scared for her life. She’s been having panic attacks and is convinced she’s going to die before she gets out.”
Shawn told many media outlets that his sister had no idea what she was in for. He said she thought, incorrectly, that prison would be like county jail. Only, instead of being locked up with drunk drivers and minor criminals, Amber would be stuck in prison with hardened criminals and murderers.
While there’s plenty to be scared of, the facility Amber will likely go to, Rockville Correctional Facility for Women in Rockville, IN, has several opportunities for her to take advantage of. The women can work for .12 to .25 cents an hour and go to school. Amber has been saying for years she hasn’t had time to get her GED, said her brother, but now she has no excuse not to. Even Amber said she is looking forward to getting an education so she can get a job and get her daughter back after she’s out.
While getting her daughter back is something to look forward to, one friend told OK that Amber will be a total stranger to Leah when she gets out, as Leah will be almost 9 when Amber is released.
Shawn said he and his family are hoping that Amber will get clean in jail and learn a trade so she can support herself and her daughter when she is released. He also said he hopes she keeps quiet, as her famous big mouth might get her in trouble.
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