Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Amber Portwood Behind Bars Special

Amber Portwood Behind Bars: An MTV Special

This was a refreshing look at Amber. For the first time we see her sober and completely awake and real. She held her eyes open and smiled with real sincere answers for a change. Dr. Drew sits down with Amber and for a few minutes she has to adjust to the interview. She was very nervous which is one thing I haven't seen from her in any other interview. 

I wasn't aware of how many different sectors there are in prisons. I certainly never heard of there being a "Therapeutic Community" in prison either which is where Amber is now placed. In this community Amber is able to take a variety of classes to better herself. Not all are mandatory but Amber has chosen to do them anyway. She tells Dr. Drew that she has no idea that she would be in a rehab like prison.

Amber was sentenced to 5 years in prison because she chose to not continue with rehab. Many fans (and anti-fans) couldn't understand why Amber chose to go to prison so thankfully the interview sheds some light on it. Amber says that she told the judge "Please send me to prison." 

The burning question: "What made you say 'I'm not taking treatment. Send me to prison?'" 
Amber: "When I was in treatment, I wasn't getting anything out of it. I was still doing drugs, I started to move to harder drugs."

Amber talks about her abuse of Fentanyl patches. Which are gel patches that are meant to go on your body and the medicine absorbed through your skin. (basically a pain reliever from what I have read and some people abuse it by chewing on the patch.) Amber said that her drug use and depression got so bad that she didn't care about anything anymore. She said she would go to her drug tests and be chewing on a patch while screening. That is when she knew she really didn't care anymore. 

"I knew, I don't know how... but I knew I was going to die."

Dr. Drew asked her to explain how drug addiction gets so far that you don't care about anything, even your own child. Amber says: "It's not that you don't love your child. You're a very selfish person when you're an addict. All I wanted was to find drugs so I didn't have to withdraw. I didn't care who was in my way."

Amber reveals that her only visitor in prison is her mother. She has tried to get Gary to bring Leah but he hasn't yet. (In a new clip posted to the mtv website Gary does say that he plans to take Leah to see her very soon.) Another thing that I did not know about prisons is that they have playgrounds, where children can come to visit their incarcerated family members. I think this is good, when Leah does finally get to visit her mom she will be able to play and maybe not feel like she is in a completely negative environment. 

They have yet to tell Leah that Amber is in prison. Gary tells her that she is at work, or on vacation or even driving the twinkie truck to avoid it. Amber does talk to Leah everyday on the phone. 

Amber describes a typical day for her, she wakes up at 7:30am and has to be ready for her group meetings at 9am. 4 times a week she goes to Narcotics Anonymous as well as many other classes she is taking, including a parenting class and a GED class. She does work that includes cleaning bathrooms where she is paid less than a dollar an hour. She also studies every Saturday. She tells Dr. Drew that she has seen a change in herself. She talks about when she used to get spray tans and eyelashes to make herself feel good, and now she realizes how fake she was. 

Dr. Drew asks her what the little things are that she misses now. She tells him that she misses sleeping in, going to starbucks, driving and listening to music, shopping.. "I miss freedom, is what it is. I miss my family." 

She clears up some of the rumors she has been hearing about her while in prison. One was that someone put glass in her food. She said nothing like that has happened. Also that there is no "girlfriend" named sugar foot tattooing her name on their neck. So that's good. lol 

Amber says that the message she would give to Leah right now is that "I'll be home soon. And I'll actually be there for her this time. I'll the mom that she wants."

When released Amber plans on being a much better mother and helping other people that are in the situation she was in. Dr. Drew tells her that she made the right decision, that she probably wouldn't have gotten sober any other way and that it was a privilege to witness her story. 


  1. Seeing how obvious it was that she was sober in this interview just makes it more obvious that she wasn't at all sober in rehab. I have never been a fan of her until now.
    Also I love Dr.Drew's reaction when she says she was there for Leah physically but not emotionally and that that was good enough for Leah at the time. Sadly, all the teen moms I know (not saying all teen moms, just the ones i know), even the sober ones, think that being there physically is all their kids need. I wish they'd address the emotional and developmental needs of children more on the show, or in the Dr.Drew episodes at least.

    1. Yeah but she didn't really go to rehab for pill abuse... the reason at the time was for emotional problems (obviously the meds issue came up but that wasn't the main reason for her intake). They have psychiatrists there that are quick to give you new pills, or continue meds they already have a prescription for. She had a script for anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills already so they let her continue using them. She couldn't abuse them freely, but she definitely wasn't 100% "sober" either.

    2. The change could emotional to. Im.sure it has to do with the drugs as well but I think shes just becomeing a new person.

  2. Shes doing so great! I hope she can get better and get out in 2 years. She seemed to be responding well to her treatment and she really want to be better this time.

  3. So proud of her. It's like a totally different person and further shows how high she's been most of the show. Good job, Amber.. keep it up!

  4. I am not an Amber fan at all. BUT, I was really amazed watching this special. I feel like for the first time, I saw the person her family kept saying she was. I really think she is taking steps for the better for the first time, and I really wish her well.

  5. I wasnt a big fan of her at all but this clip just turned everything around because she is sober and i can tell in the show she was always high because i can tell a difference between the show Teen Mom to Amber Behind Bars there's a complete turn around and its not hard to tell theres a turn around its actually very easy to tell! Keep Up The Good Work Amber!!!!

  6. I didnt like her during the show but i wish her the best i hope she gets better for herself and her kid.

  7. Honestly I could not stand Amber before this. She drove me crazy, to the point that I would skip her segments because I couldn't stand to look at her constantly being on drugs and just making excuses. I didn't even want to watch this but I realized I should suck it up. It was one of the best things I have seen on teen mom. Amber looks amazing, she doesn't look fake by any means. For the first time I saw her as a young woman trying to find her place rather than an annoying drug abusing teenager who only cared about herself. She was honest and didn't make excuses. And yeah some of the things I sat there and go how could a parent think that way, but I am not addicted to drugs so I could never know what she went through or is going through. But the fact that she could sit there and be completely honest was incredible and I have a new found respect for Amber. I wish her all the luck in the world and hope she can get her life back together for her and her beautiful daughter because after everything they have been through, they both deserve it.

  8. Wow. The only negative thought I had was that I didnt like her hairstyle. It truely is amazing how much shes changed. I really think she made the right choice.

  9. I think it's great Amber has made mature decisions to better her future and is finally facing the music. Although her interview was certainly touching and seemed very heartfelt on her behalf, I do have to say some of her comments threw me.."when she gets out she is going to be the mom Leah wants.." how about being the Mom that Leah deserves? Notice how the first things Amber spoke of missing were starbucks and listening to music in her car? What about Leah...? She never once specifically said she missed Leah..just her "family." I hope Amber continues on the road to recovery firstly from her addiction, but secondly, to being the mom Leah deserves. I can honestly say, I don't think I feel bad that Gary has not brought Leah to visit. Amber's own words are that she has told Leah before she is getting the help she needs..but that never actually turned out to be true. Children are fragile and vulnerable. 4 months of prision does not equate to enough stability that amounts to the amount of damage she has already caused this little girl and the loved ones around her. Amber needs to first get better for herself, before she can be the mom she needs to be to Leah. Best wishes Amber.