‘Teen Mom’ Amber Portwood: “Prison Saved My Life”
Since being released from an Indiana prison last month, Amber Portwood is opening up about her future and living a sober life.
The Teen Mom star, whose addiction to Vicodin and Ambien led to a five-year sentence for drug possession and parole violations, tells In Touch in her first interview since becoming a free woman, that drugs are a thing of her past. And she’s only focusing on rebuilding the relationship with her 5-year-old daughter, Leah.
“Prison saved my life — and gave me a second chance at being a mother,” Amber said of her little girl, who she’s sworn to never leave again.
“When I promised her that, I could see relief all over her face. That’s when my life with her began again.”
Although her ex, Gary Shirley, takes care of Leah full time, Amber plans to file for joint custody.
“Before prison, I never thought about Leah. I was addicted to drugs and didn’t care about anything else,” said Amber.
The 23-year-old describes her 17 months as a prisoner like a “nightmare” from the moment she first stepped into her cell: “Feeling humiliated and vulnerable… you literally have nothing and walk around like a zombie,” she said.
“There were times I reached a breaking point. But I knew the only person who could get me out of there was me,” added Amber, who used her time behind bars to make a difference in not only her life, but the lives of the prisoners as well.
She got her GED, participated in group therapy, and even taught anger management: “That was a big accomplishment. I want to help people so they don’t go through what I went through,” Amber said of her plan to open a rehab facility in the future.
But for starters, she’s going back to school and enrolling in community college in the New Year.