'Honey Boo Boo' 's Alana Thompson on Mom's Drug Use Struggles: 'It's Something I'd Wish on Nobody'

As she approaches her 16th birthday, the reality star reflects on growing up in the public eye — and says she has shed her "Honey Boo Boo" persona

Alana Thompson is proud of where she's at today.

Ahead of her 16th birthday Saturday, the former Here Comes Honey Boo Boo star got candid in an interview with Teen Vogue about the difficulties she's faced weathering her mother June "Mama June" Shannon's substance use during her formative years, which have played out on camera.

"A lot of folks in this world do not realize how many people are actually really affected by drug and alcohol [use]," Alana told the magazine. "It's very, very hard. It's something I'd wish on nobody, for real."

In March 2019, June, 42, was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. Her then-boyfriend, Eugene Edward "Geno" Doak, was also arrested. She pleaded not guilty and was reportedly sentenced to 100 hours of community service. Following the arrest, June's daughter Lauryn "Pumpkin" Shannon, 21, became Alana's legal guardian.

Alana Thompson Honey Boo Boo; Teen Vogue Aug 2021
Peyton Fulford/Teen Vogue
Alana Thompson Honey Boo Boo; Teen Vogue Aug 2021
Alana Thompson. Peyton Fulford/Teen Vogue

June later checked into rehab as she continues to work on her sobriety, as documented on Mama June: Road to Redemption.

"When my mama got real bad with her [drug use], I didn't know where I was going to end up. I'm proud of myself for how far I've come," Alana told Teen Vogue, adding that she and her mom are working on getting their relationship "back on track."

The teen is also striving for the world to see her as more than just a former Toddlers & Tiaras star, which she says has impacted her personal life. She's currently in public high school and has dreams of being a neonatal nurse.

"To be honest, I do not have many friends. At all," she said. "Because I feel like folks are so much like, 'Oh my God, I'm friends with Honey Boo Boo.' I don't trust nobody really, so I don't have friends."

Alana Thompson Honey Boo Boo; Teen Vogue Aug 2021
Alana Thompson. Peyton Fulford/Teen Vogue

She told the outlet she's constantly telling people to call her by her real name, and not Honey Boo Boo, as she has shed that persona.

"They are completely two different people," she said. "I would say that I do like this Alana now, rather than the younger Alana."

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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