Amber Portwood Reveals She Began Using Pills at Age 11: 'It Just Kind of Spiraled Out of Control'
"I've been partying since I was about 11 years old, that’s the first time I did pills," Amber Portwood revealed
Amber Portwood is opening up about the devastating reality of her past drug abuse.
“I’ve been partying since I was about 11 years old, that’s the first time I did pills,” Portwood said. “In Anderson, [Indiana], there’s not much to do. A lot of kids at school, they always brought s— from their house. We didn’t know what much of it was.”
The mother of two said she began to “dabble in partying, hanging out with bad people” at the age of 15.
“That’s when the pills started coming in, a lot of opiates. In my mind, I think I was just trying to self-medicate at the time, probably very depressed, so it just kind of spiraled out of control,” she said. “It wasn’t [until] I got pregnant with my daughter Leah that I stopped doing drugs all together ’cause I was so scared of something happening to her. A lot of people don’t even believe me when I tell them that, but it’s the truth.”
Her downward spiral began once again a few months after welcoming her now 9-year-old daughter, who she shares with ex-boyfriend Gary Shirley.
“Six to seven months after Leah was born, I started taking opiates again, medication for my back for my scoliosis and I got addicted from there,” Portwood said.
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In November 2010, she was charged with three counts of domestic violence after MTV cameras recorded her abuse against Shirley.
In 2012, Portwood was ordered to serve prison time by an Indiana judge after she violated her drug court probation requirements by failing a urine test and lying about it, according to CNN. She was sentenced to five years, but was released after serving 17 months.
In the years since her release, Portwood has turned her life around and in November 2017, PEOPLE confirmed she was expecting her second child, a boy.
In May, she and boyfriend Andrew Glennon welcomed son James.
A source close to the MTV reality star previously told PEOPLE she was happy to be building a life with her boyfriend as a family of four.
“In spite of all that she was just so happy to be starting over with a guy like Andrew,” the source said. “And now that the baby is here, they are over the moon.”